The post office in Grootbrak River in the Western Cape on Wednesday went under armed robbers. The incident is one of four during which post offices were targeted by robbers on that day. Police were able to prevent one of the incidents.
The South African Post Office (Sapo) explains that its branches are especially a target when the South African Social Security Agency’s (Sassa) social allowance is paid out.
Sergeant. Western Cape police spokeswoman Laurianne Botha said local police were investigating a case of armed robbery after four suspects walked into the post office in Charles Street in Grootbrak River around 10am on Wednesday and stole an undisclosed amount of money.
Botha said the suspects attacked the security guard on duty outside the post office, after which they pointed a firearm at him and took his firearm from him.
The suspects then walked into the post office and ordered the people in the post office to lie face down on the floor, after which they aimed a firearm at the post office manager. The driver was forced to unlock the post office’s safe, after which the suspects fled on foot on cash.
“No one was injured in the incident, although many of the people were traumatized,” Botha said.
Post office security division chief Vossie Vos told Maroela Media staff received trauma treatment after the incident. “It is post office policy to give staff counseling if they have been victims of crime,” Vos explained.
No one has been arrested in connection with this incident.
Police are asking the public for any information regarding the incident at Sergeant. Wesley Louw on 079 893 9943 or the detection branch on 044 620 8300/04. All information will be kept confidential, Botha assured.
Two other post offices, respectively in the Free State and Limpopo, were targeted by robbers on Wednesday. A third post office went through Limpopo on Thursday.
“It is now clear that our post offices are becoming targets for armed robbers,” said Maj. Jan Petrus Scheepers, acting police chief in Limpopo, said in a statement.
“Like all other businesses in South Africa, the post office is a target for crime, especially during the Sassa pay period. We have also noticed an increase in criminal activity such as armed robbery, burglary, cash transport vehicles and attacks on automatic teller machines, ”Vos said.