WATCH: Acting top cop fights, hides behind couch during robbery

2016-12-14 16:49

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Johannesburg - A dramatic robbery, where acting police commissioner Kgomotso Phahlane fought off robbers at a spa, did not go quite as police described it at the time. 

According to a video News24 has obtained, after fighting the robbers, Phahlane dives behind a couch while his wife and the spa employee struggle with the criminals. 

The attempted robbery took place at the Ayothaya Thai Spa in Dunkeld on the afternoon of Sunday June 5 2016.

Police said at the time that the acting commissioner chased the robbers away when he fought back. 

Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi told News24 at the time that Phahlane accompanied his wife to the spa and was waiting for her in the car.

He noticed two men entering the spa wearing balaclavas and armed with pistols and sprung into action.

"He fought with the two guys with the view to take away the firearms. He managed to ward them off and they ran away."

The video News24 has seen shows two armed men walking into the spa.

Phahlane does initially struggle with the two men, punching one of them in the face. He falls to the floor as the two robbers leave the spa.

However, they do not speed off in their car, as the SAPS and Phahlane had originally claimed.

In reply to questions from News24, Phahlane's spokesperson Brigadier Mashadi Selepe said, "There is no dispute on the sequence of events which unfolded on the day of the attack at the spa ...

"It is unfortunate that you are suggesting a misrepresentation of facts which will be found nowhere in the department's reporting on the matter. It is found suspicious or why you are in possession of such recordings which is a subject of investigation [sic]. Such recordings can under no circumstances be made public."

Instead, they storm back into the spa.

Phahlane first grabs a pillow from a couch as if trying to protect himself with it, before diving behind the couch. He stays there until the end of the ordeal.

A spa employee and Phahlane's wife push the couch towards the robbers, which causes the two armed men to again leave the spa.

The employee and Phahlane's wife go towards the door, as if to make sure the robbers have left.

They try to close the door and Phahlane joins them. The two men do not return to the spa.

Mulaudzi, who released the original statement on Phahlane's heroics, said he had not seen the video before he made the statement. 

In an interview with Independent Media after the incident, Phahlane said he used his expertise as a policeman to fight the two armed men. 

“Using his experience as a policeman, he leapt into action, grabbing the arm of one of the would-be robbers. ‘In order to change the direction of the gun that was pointed at me; I went for his (attacker’s) arm',” it was reported. 

"Suddenly the gun was pointed at his colleague (accomplice). I knew if he decides to fire a shot, his colleague could also be shot. As (a) police (officer), you have to act in a split-second,” Phahlane was quoted as saying.

The story stated that throughout the scuffle, the firearm was pointed at the man’s accomplice.

"I was employed to protect the community and save lives. As an officer, you place yourself on duty if the situation demands that. I’m grateful no one was hurt." 

Phahlane said the scuffle lasted for almost five minutes.

“Although five minutes is not a long time, when you are in that situation you want it to end. Even one minute seems like an hour.”

He was grateful that he was able to protect the spa employees, he said.

Read more on:    saps  |  kgomotso phahlane  |  johannesburg

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