Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Fury at cops' inaction after robbery

14 April 2010, 09:29

By Graeme Hosken
Crime Reporter

A group of Pretoria residents and security guards are still waiting for the police to take their statements three days after they were attacked, beaten and robbed at gunpoint, allegedly by a gang of bogus policemen.

Their assailants, dressed in police uniforms, balaclavas and bulletproof vests and armed with shotguns and an assault rifle, launched their attack as two Chinese businessmen arrived in separate cars at their Montana security complex on Sunday afternoon.

As the businessmen, who police have declined to identify, waited for the security guards to open the boom gates of 21 Zambezi Estate, the gunmen, who were driving a Honda Accord, blocked their escape from behind.

While one of the gunmen overpowered the guards, the others allegedly attacked and pulled the businessmen from their cars.

Several residents, who were leaving the complex as the attack took place, were held up and forced from their vehicles by the man who had attacked the guards.

Robbed of cellphones, cash and other valuables, the residents were forced into the guardhouse and made to lie face-down on the floor alongside the terrified guards.

The gunmen escaped with a substantial amount of cash and valuables taken from the businessmen.

Police, who had been called to the scene, allegedly responded only an hour later, and then apparently left after taking only the businessmen's statements.

This is despite armed robbery being classified as a priority crime.

Andre Mostert, who was attacked as he left the complex, said: "When I was stopped I asked the 'policeman' what was happening. The next minute I had a shotgun pointed at my head and I was pulled from the car.

"There was nothing I could do," he said.

Mostert waited until the men had gone before he called a friend based at the Sinoville police station, who, in turn, alerted his colleagues on duty to what was happening.

Mostert said Sinoville police members arrived an hour after they had been called and after his friend had arrived.

"I was furious. I could not believe it took so long for them to get to us. What makes me even more cross is that I had to I ask the detectives and policemen on the scene to take my statement and the guards' statements.

"When I did, the policemen told me that we were to write out our own statements and leave them in the guardhouse along with the CCTV footage, which they wanted me to copy, so that they could collect it later this week.

"I could not believe it. I am refusing to write out my statement because it is not my job and I do not know what must go into the statement.

"It is completely unprofessional and an absolute disgrace," said Mostert, adding that the CCTV footage was collected on Monday night by police officers.

Police spokeswoman Constable Mable Sibanda said the allegations would be investigated.

"At any crime scene, especially a priority crime such as an armed robbery, statements have to be taken, and the police who respond to this crime should have taken all the statements," she said.

This article was originally published on page 3 of The Pretoria News on April 14, 2010

The Star

Comments by Sonny

Is this why the Commissioner became The General!

No wonder "CRIME PAYS IN SA!"

The party is over General, walk the talk!

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