B-Secure, the South African security service company which has protected Pietermaritzburg for over 30 years, fell victim to armed robbers on Thursday, local news outlets confirm.
According to News 24, the ambush on a Pietermaritzburg B-Secure guarding van was carried out by four men–one of them armed. The ruthless attackers hijacked it along with allegedly around R60 000 (nearly $4,200) in staff wages.
The B-Secure vehicle’s driver and a few other staff members were in the van on Morcom Road, Prestbury, when the incident occurred.
Provincial police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane said the driver and staff had stopped the van outside a business premises on Morcom Road when four men approached the vehicle.
A source with knowledge of the incident, but who asked not to be named, said the hijackers pulled the driver (42) out of the van and threw him down an embankment before running back to the vehicle to make their escape.
B-Secure general manager Debbie Ridley said after the incident that one guard sustained a broken clavicle when he jumped out of the vehicle and another had a large haematoma on the back of his head which needed stitches.
“She also fractured her hand when she was thrown out of the moving vehicle,” said Ridley.
“I am just extremely grateful that no one was killed, although the staff have been traumatised in this unnecessary and horrific incident.
“There were four people in the van at the time of the confrontation.”
Ridley said the staff in the car were all guards and the driver is the supervisor as well as a “reaction officer”.
“There were personal items stolen, including bags, cellphones, a Garmin and cash.”
Ridley confirmed the money that was stolen was to be used to pay staff wages and amounted to around R60 000.
“We are pleased that the vehicle was recovered undamaged,” she said.
She added that the company would be conducting their own investigations into the hijacking and said they “will leave no stone unturned in trying to get the culprits”.
The source said the men raced off in the B-Secure van, with the money and the staff members’ cellphones and wallets that had been left behind when they fled during the hijacking.
The vehicle was traced to the Ashdown area within half-an-hour where it was found abandoned. The source said arrests were imminent.