TAB robbed of R40k

2019-10-31 15:22
A file image of an incident outside the Tab Gold on Pietermaritz Street.

A file image of an incident outside the Tab Gold on Pietermaritz Street. (Mark Wing)

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About R40 000 was stolen from the safe at a Pietermaritzburg Tab Gold betting centre after two armed robbers barged into the horseracing and online sports site on New England Road on Wednesday.

The owner of the chain of Tab Gold outlets said 11 had been robbed across Pietermaritzburg in the past year.

“I saw my life flash before my eyes,” one of the traumatised victims of the robbery told The Witness.

The betting outlet was closed for the whole day yesterday to help traumatised staff recover.

Four staff members were inside the outlet at the time of the robbery.

Fortunately, no staff member was injured, but they were all very shaken and traumatised. Two of the staff members are mother and daughter Erica and Lathan Beyers.

The pair started working at the betting centre two months ago.

A visibly shaken Erica told The Witness on Wednesday that the robbers came into the betting store just after their 9 am opening time. “We didn’t even have a chance to look at the robbers because we were made to lie down on the ground,” said Erica.

Eight cell phones were also stolen during the robbery. “We came inside, and I went into the office and left the other staff at the main floor.”

Erica said while she was printing documents in the back office, she felt a gun barrel on her head.

“I just felt the gun at the back of my head, and a man instructed me to lie down on the floor. He then tied me up using a cable tie. He took out all the money from the safe and asked for my cell phone. I told him it was in my handbag … he took it and immediately left the room,” said Erica.

Erica said she lay on the floor and a few minutes later, she heard the security gate open.

“I slid across the floor on my stomach and managed to get to the main floor where my daughter was.

“I heard her screaming for the cleaner and security guard. I untied myself and then pressed the panic button.”

The security guard and another staff member were both found in the toilet with their hands tied behind their backs.

The two robbers are believed to have fled on foot. “I saw my life flash before my eyes. I was just worried about my daughter. I felt so helpless but luckily, she was also unharmed. It was a very traumatic five minutes.”

Recalling the incident, Lathan said “everything happened so quickly”.

“Just as we opened, they came in. I was busy loading the slot machines and all I heard was a man telling me to lie down and not look at him.

“Another man came, he tied me up and the other went into the back office. I’m just grateful that we are alive. I was so shocked I couldn’t even scream.”

Local businessman Rajen Govender, who owns Tab Gold Scottsville, said he had lost close to R1 million in total in the last year due to armed robberies at his 11 Pietermaritzburg Tab Gold branches.

“This has happened before,” Govender said.

“Last year, at the Pietermaritz Street branch we had three robberies in one week. The Bombay Road branch was also recently hit. The robberies are rife, and it is going to get worse now with the festive season approaching.

“I have reached the end of the road. The business has to go before December otherwise I’m just going to shut everything down. All I do is pay for security upgrades.

“I’m not making any profit because of the robberies,” Govender said.

• nokuthula.khanyile@media24.com
Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime
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