Over the past 24 hours Motherwell Cluster was hit by four armed robberies where the object was the savings monies of stokvel societies.
In the first incident yesterday 3 December at about 17:00, three armed suspects kicked open a church door in Mhenga Street, NU10 where money was being counted by the complainants. The money was demanded by the suspects and also took six (6) cellphones before they fled the scene.
Later that afternoon at 13:45, four armed males entered a house in Mtata Street, Wells Estate, where the stokvel monies were about to be counted. The suspects demanded the money then fled the scene.
This morning, 4 December at about 03:30, the kitchen door was kicked open by three armed suspects of a house in Nkwenkwezi Street, Ikamvelihle. They demanded the stokvel monies from the home owner before fleeing the scene.
Later this morning at about 09:45, two elderly ladies and their driver returned from the bank where they withdrew the stokvel money. On their arrival at one of the victim's homes in Ngwendu Street, Kwazakele, three armed males forced open the vehicle doors and shot the 52 year old driver in his his upper right leg. While they were busy robbing the one elderly lady carrying one of the money bags, the other elderly lady ran with the second money bag into an outside toilet and locked herself in. The suspects forced open the toilet door and also robbed her of that money bag, before fleeing the scene in a white Hyundai sedan vehicle.
In all four cases police suspects that the robbers had prior knowledge of the stockvel money.
The Motherwell Cluster Commander, Major General Dawie Rabie has urged the organisers of these stockvel societies not to announce when the money are to be withdrawn to all the others. Safer distribution of the money through bank accounts are safer options than carrying such large amounts of money around, or keeping it at their homes. "Robbers of these stockvel societies have proven in the past that these monies were not handled with safety precautions, making victims vulnerable for being robbed," he added.
Source: South African Police Service