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Security, the New Luxury

Incredible country we live in, awesome people, great weather, entrepreneurial opportunities galore. (If you know where to look!) . The distant shores of Australia or England have no lure whatsoever.

However an undeniable and growing trend are the measures taken by wealthy South Africans to ensure they minimize the chance of becoming a victim of crime. A plethora of luxury security estates is on offer, where you can sleep with your windows open and the kids can run in the street or play in the park. (Keep the pesky brats off the greens!). The luxury lifestyle on offer in these estates is superb, however…. (And there had to be a however didn’t there?) What happens to your security when you drive out the vaulted entrance and onto the no- mans land of our public roads?

The recently released crime stats give you an inkling of what awaits, but even these don’t paint the whole picture. Just take the statistics released by the SAP on how many firearms they have lost in the last seven years (Almost 20 000) and combine this with the recent report in the Star newspaper highlighting the fact that around 60 % of all crimes reported to the police emergency 10111 number are never followed up or documented.It doesn’t take a genius to work out a crime trend from here.

What we are seeing are South Africans following the path taken by wealthy citizens of other crime ridden countries, with the increased use of bullet resistant vehicles. Sounds scary when you think of those ugly lumbering Cash in Transit vehicles. But unbeknownst to you, the woman in the Porsche Cayenne next to you at the traffic light or the guy behind you in the new Infiniti FX may well be driving one of the new lightweight “Urban Armor” variants on offer by Armormax.

Gone are the days of heavy armored vehicles with heavily tinted green glass, which scream, “ Look at me”. The new technology now available from Armormax results in a vehicle that looks and drives like any other, but wow when that hijacker jumps from behind his bush, is he in for a surprise!

The feeling of security driving an Armormax vehicle is unsurpassed and knowing that you are safe from any assault is worth the price of the armor conversion.

Grant Anderson the managing director of Armormax tells me that they have saved eight lives in the Gauteng area in the last year alone! (What is really scary is that they don’t have thousands of their vehicles on the road, so their customer base is a relatively small statistic sample, you do the math)

Taking a tour of their facility in North riding (Not far from Monte Casino) the reality hits home as they have the shot window glass and accompanying pictures of the attacks that their vehicles have withstood, mounted on the reception wall. This attack Grant tells me, pointing at a side window with two shattered bullet impact sites, was on a family of four (two of the family were pre school kids). The hijackers just opened fire on my client, and the first two shots impacted right next to his head. When he reversed away they fired another shot, which hit the windscreen. But inside the vehicle the family was completely safe.

When I asked about the profile of his client base he told me that Armormax has quite a high number of ladies driving their vehicles, and this makes a lot of sense as they are generally the ones doing the school run and driving around during the day, which is when a lot of crime actually happens.A number of larger companies have global security standards, which include bullet resistant vehicles for their executives. Armormax has also armored vehicles for 42 heads of state, two of which were built in the Armomax South African facility recently.

It looks like peace of mind can be bought after all!

Armormax Attack

Last Monday, on the eve of one of the largest security operations surrounding the memorial service for Nelson Mandela, the father of democracy in South Africa, and a scant few kilometers from the iconic “Calabash” stadium in which it was held, one of our clients locked up his business and headed home. He headed through the security gates, which enclose his business, and within meters things went very, very wrong. Assailant’s with AK 47’s jumped out of a vehicle parked on the side of the road, gesturing for him to stop. He slammed his Range Rover into reverse and tried to make for the relative safety of the gated security area. An assailant opened fire with his AK, striking the windshield directly in front of him. The round shattered against the ballistic glass. His guards opened the gates and he was able to find safety. The assailants jumped into their vehicle and sped away. Another shaken call to us along the lines of “ Thanks Guys, you saved my life!”

As I sat down to write this on Thursday morning I had a frantic call from my wife who teaches at a small Pilate’s studio. She had been running literally a minute late for her class. A co-instructor had just pulled into the parking outside the studio and was accosted by three armed assailants. One leant into the car, pushed a pistol to her head and said “ Don’t scream, I hate it when they scream”. They rapidly stripped her of her wedding ring and handbag and jumped into their car, a new BMW 118. Wheel spinning away, they almost crashed into my wife. Luckily no one was injured, but I shudder to think of what would have happened if my wife had driven into the situation. The same day an innocent bystander was injured in the crossfire between the police and a gang of hijackers, about ten kilometers from my home.

For all the wonders that democracy has brought to the rainbow nation, huge challenges remain, challenges that will likely take generations to overcome. Crime is inextricably linked to these, and from my perspective it looks like its going to get worse before it gets better.

Demand for bullet resistant vehicles increases in SA

One of the sad realities of today’s world is that we are forced to co- exist with several risk factors that affect our safety and security. Hijackings are trending alarmingly upwards and the scourge of the developing economies, kidnappings are becoming ever more frequent. The chances of being attacked as you are parked in your driveway and then forced into your house where your family is subjected to the criminals will have increased markedly, and latest studies show that South Africa is only beaten by Somalia in the kidnapping stakes!

The proliferation of illegal firearms in South Africa has been a major contributing factor in the rise of violent crime. Figures from the Institute of Security Studies indicate that there are four illegal firearms for every legal registered firearm! This coupled with a police force that is unable to guarantee the safety of its citizens has led people to seek alternative means to effectively bolster their personal security. The need for an increased level of security whilst in a motor vehicle is self evident. Up until now there has not been a widely available solution available to the man in the street.

Enter Armormax SA, a company dedicated to the armoring of motor vehicles utilizing the latest in high tech lightweight opaque and transparent armor. Partnered with world renowned International Armoring Corporation, Armormax specializes in lightweight modular bulletproofing specifically designed for the threat levels currently encountered in South Africa. Analysis of hijackings in SA show that by far the majority of hijackings are committed with handguns, which in armoring terms are a relatively easy threat to negate.

The solution is a B4 level of Armor. Utilizing the latest in lightweight armoring technology, Armormax is able to armor select makes of luxury vehicles currently available in SA to a B4 level. A B4 level of protection will enable the armored portion of the vehicle to withstand shots fired from a .44 Magnum at point blank range. (A .44 Magnum is one of the most powerful handgun calibers)

The lightweight transparent armor (ballistic glass) fitted to the vehicle is optically indiscernible from the original OEM glass. The lightweight armor fitted to the vehicle has little effect on the performance and handling of the vehicle. A vehicle armored by Armormax will look the same as the original, with only the discerning few aware of its full potential.

Armor can be installed as an aftermarket product or at the time the vehicle is purchased. A customer can finance the armoring as part of the purchase price of the vehicle.

Grant Anderson GM of Armormax says that interest in the bullet resistant vehicles produced by Armormax has been high. “Although we have only just commenced marketing Armormax, interest levels have been extraordinary. We have completed a number of vehicles and our order book is starting to fill up. I think one of the differentiating factors about Armormax is that we are able to armor a range of luxury vehicles, so our clients are not limited when it comes to vehicle choice. This coupled with a very quick turnaround time and the fact that the vehicle looks no different from the standard model has made the difference”.

Your Own Armoured Vehicle

Words: Carl Marks

Ballistics is the science of the motion of projectiles in flight. When the projectile in question is a bullet, you need to know one thing: Will my car stop it?

That is the question Mark Burton has come to help us sort out. Mark really should have been back in Utah, coaching baseball to little kids with rosy cheeks on this sunny morning. He looks like that kind of guy – sincere, straightforward, and a bean-counter by profession, as he describes himself. But, when this CEO of the International Armoring Corporation sits down in Johannesburg to tell me about his company and the global development of private vehicle armouring, it is as if we step into a different plane of reality. And what a reality it is. Mark’s company is one of the world’s major supplier’s of private armouring – the kind used by the world’s billionaires, stars, and kidnap targets who need to create an invisible and impenetrable shield from a hostile world when they move around.

Governments have long been in this armouring business. For their leaders and for their troops. Harry Trumann was the first US President to put some steel and laminated glass between himself and the adoring (mostly!) public for some official engagements. But when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas in November 1963 the Secret Service finally got the message. From then on, all presidential vehicles were armored. Ironically, the first official supplier was Hess & Eisenhardt, a manufacturer that had previously specialized in hearses and ambulances

Since then, the technology of protection has spread around the world and opened up to the private sector. The website dots pinpointing Mark’s company’s presence across the globe looks like the nightlights of Vegas. Now, South Africa has joined this gallery of infamy – a place where the need for personal protection has reached a new scale on par with Columbian or Brazilian kidnappings, Los Angelean street shootings, and the Nigerian combination of bling, political favours, and petro-dollars. In fact, the private sector now services many governments. Mark shares with me that his company has worked on all of the last three Popemobiles, and also supplies the US operations in Iraq.

Armour, of course, is not new to our own country. First, we had the Apartheid Police and those ugly camouflage or yellow Caspirs tearing up the highways to the townships. Then, equally unpleasant to the eye, we have gotten used to cash-in-transit vehicles on our byways. (Is it only me, or are these guys always busy unloading just when I go shopping?) Both these generations come from the school of Gnarly and Robust school of design – looking mean and acting mean. Might work for some inner-city rapper, but not quite what our country’s top captains of industry might have in mind. These designs were the result of the need to stick multiple layers of glass on top of each other and that made it impossible to follow design contours. But it was ugly, ugly, very ugly. And very heavy. Or as the industry refers to them: “Barney Flintstone’s Rubble Armour.” In fact, in South Africa, like elsewhere, the sheer weight of many of these vehicles has made them a bigger security risk. They do not handle well in get-away situations, they break down under the weight, and they might spend more time in the shop getting fixed than protecting their owners.

New technologies are often the result of growing market demand. When daily kidnappings in areas like Mexico City started reaching double-digit figures, and ransom demands skyrocketed in excess of $30mm in one case, impetus was given to the search for new technologies and solutions. And Mark has been at the forefront of this search.

The ArmorMax range of vehicle protection that Mark is introducing to our shores, is on average at least 40%- 60% lighter than anything the market has ever known. And it is absolutely invisible, as the rebated and curved laminated glass fits the design contours perfectly. The specialists will tell you, having invisible armour is one of the first principles of safety. Else, you might as well paint a bull’s eye on your dashboard.

ArmorMax was chosen as the ideal level of protection for the South African market, where curbside highjackings pose the biggest threat. With a lightweight solution aimed at a B4 level of security, every piece of glass on your vehicles is replaced with a bullet-proof layer, and the passenger compartment is cocooned in impenetrable materials. That is, impenetrable to handguns up to a .44 Magnum, one of the most powerful handguns on the market. The laminated glass sounds different when you tap on the outside when on the inside. The outside layers absorb the initial impact and spray back shards that might be lethal to a close-up assailant. The inner layers are flexible and contain the rest of the energy while bending as far as necessary to make sure no impact blasts through to the passenger compartment. On the chassis and doors, old-fashioned steel has been replaced by an amazing material developed to maintain design principles such as the maintenance of performance and appearance. This lightweight, synthetic fibre laminate, made out of polycarbons, looks like a doormat, yet can withstand the impact and penetration of most bullets.

Local agents decided to kick off ArmorMax by stocking up for seven of the most popular models on Johannesburg roads. No, not their Lamborghini’s nor their Porsches. But if you own a Range Rover, a Jeep Cherokee, BMW X5, Volvo XE90, Toyota Landcruiser or a Mercedes ML, S or E class, you can drive in for a ready-fit armour solution that will only take a few days. And when planning the purchase of a new vehicle, speak to Grant Anderson at Armormax, as both finance and insurance options will accommodate your investment in private armour.

Armormax has developed a solution against the major problems faced on the local street. Armor can be installed as an aftermarket solution or at the time when a new vehicle is purchased. If, however, you are very fond of the old Jaguar or Bentley or the likes, with enough time and money, the South African workshop will source you the ArmorMax solution you require.



Crime Trends

VIDEO: Shopper followed from bank, robbed at gunpoint outside hardware store

10 December, 04:18 PM

Amateur footage uploaded to Facebook shows armed robbers getting away from the scene of a crime in Pinetown, KZN. Watch.

According to the uploader, the victim was followed from a bank to a hardware store by the assailants.

After committing the crime, the assailants made off in a getaway vehicle. Watch.

EXCLUSIVE: House robbery victim's hostage hell

Durban - While house robbers and a hero ex-cop traded gunfire during a Durban North home invasion, a woman who had been held hostage had cowered in a pantry.

In the aftermath of the shooting on Thursday night, in which two armed men were killed and a third lay dying outside the house, the shaken woman, Veronica Duarte, was found huddled in the dimly lit larder.

Duarte's neighbour, an ex-policeman, had been alerted by strange noises and had single-handedly taken on the gang.

Alone at home, Duarte had been on a treadmill with music blaring from her headphones which had masked the sound of the gang of four breaking down her front door.

Using hammers and a crowbar, the balaclava clad robbers had ripped a security gate out of the wall before holding her at gunpoint.

Her husband Carlos, who had been at a work Christmas function at Sun City, told News24 in an exclusive interview that his wife had been caught unawares.

“When the door swung open she said in that instant she thought it was me. Then they were all around her with guns,” he said.

“They pushed her into the bedroom and then kept shouting at her ‘where are the fucking safe keys’… she told them where the safe was but that I had the keys with me,” Duarte said.

The Welwitchia Avenue home on Friday bore the scars of the battle that took place outside. Spent bullet casings lay at the bottom of the swimming pool and bullet holes pock-marked the walls.

Deep red streaks of blood ran from the entry way and into the lounge, where two of the men heaved their last breath.

Casting his gaze across the bloodied scene, Duarte broke down while explaining the helplessness of the situation.

‘I immediately thought the worst’

“I was at Sun City last night and it was just around 20:00 and we were about to sit down for a Christmas dinner with all of my colleagues who had gathered for an office party.

“We had already ordered the food and I was talking to a colleague across the table. My phone was on silent but the LED was flashing and he [the colleague] said to me ‘hey your pocket is flashing’.

“I didn’t recognize the number and I was actually going to ignore it. But I had a change of heart and it was the lady who lives across the road asking if we were OK. I didn’t know what she meant until she said there had been a robbery at my home. I phoned my wife and by then everyone had arrived and as soon as she answered the phone, she burst into tears. I immediately thought the worst,” Duarte said.

“I spoke to my wife and she was crying, but she was OK. When the shooting started, the other three ran from the bedroom and I don’t know how my wife did it, but she ran to the pantry and hid inside.

“I was stuck in the middle of nowhere and I was screwed. There was nothing that I could do. Did what could have happened to her cross my mind? Oh yeah… I know it could have been a lot worse.”

5FM news reader shot in house robbery

Johannesburg - The Juice can this afternoon confirm that 5FM news reader, Carmen Reddy was shot last night during a house robbery at her home in Centurion.

It's believed that Carmen was with fellow 5FM DJ, Vic Naidoo at the time.

The Juice understands that officials believe armed men entered the house as the group of friends were celebrating Diwali.

It's understood that only Vic's cellphone was stolen.

5FM has yet to comment on the matter, but our sources tell us that Carmen has undergone surgery and is in a stable condition.

More on this story as it develops.

Waterkloof shoot-out: 'He gave his life for a family'

Pretoria - JP van Niekerk, a security guard who was shot dead in Waterkloof, gave his life for another family, a colleague said on Tuesday.

"He sacrificed his life but he was a hero," French Jooste from Bull Security told News24.

"He was a hero in all of our eyes. He always went in first. He wasn't scared of anything."

Jooste, along with Bull Security owners JP Griesel and Lendl Jansen, had to go tell Van Niekerk's wife, Erica that her husband had been killed.

"That was one of the worst experiences of my life. She was still asleep and we woke her up and said 'listen there was an incident and JP died on the scene'. That wasn't very nice."

He left behind his wife and two children, both still in school.

Van Niekerk was shot dead after responding to a house break-in in the early hours of Tuesday morning in Waterkloof.

Jooste said a Bull Security client had called at around 01:10 on Tuesday morning informing them that there were people in the house.

Five men, two of them armed, had entered the house.

‘Gunfight’

"As my guys [Bull Security] drove into the complex these guys starting shooting.

"A hell of a gunfight broke out. We still not sure how many rounds were fired," said Jooste.

"It was a rain of bullets. The whole house, the brick walls, even the neighbours walls were full of gunshot holes. Up to now we’re not sure how many rounds were fired."

He said Van Niekerk was shot in the stomach just under his bullet proof vest.

Jooste said when he arrived on the scene Van Niekerk was still alive.

"I arrived there and one of the owners of Bull Security, JP Griesle also arrived. JP [Griesle] started to do CPR on the other JP. He tried to help him."

Netcare paramedics arrived on the scene in minutes and tried to resuscitate Van Niekerk but they could not bring him back.

He said one of the suspects had been shot by Van Niekerk's partner Neila Botha.

The suspect was in a critical condition and Jooste was not sure if he would live.

Three of the five suspects fled over the back wall. Another was shot and killed on the scene.

‘All the young guys looked up to him’

Van Niekerk had been poached from another security company and had only been working for Bull Security for about four months.

"He was one of our best officers," said Jooste.

He said Van Niekerk was a real family man.

‘"That guy lived for his children and his wife."

Jooste said Van Niekerk could always be counted on and was affectionately known as "oupa" because he was the oldest member of the team.

"All the young guys looked up to him. If they needed advice they went to JP."

Jooste said Tuesday's incident was traumatic for the whole team who were on the scene and trauma counselling had been organised.

He said there had been a lot of support from the community, with many people dropping off flowers at Bull Security's office.

Flying squad in critical condition after shootout

Police are searching for at least five gunmen following the incident on the Golden Highway.

PRETORIA - Gauteng police say a member of the Flying Squad is in a critical condition after gunmen opened fire on the vehicle she was driving in on the Golden Highway.

Police are searching for at least five gunmen following the incident this afternoon.

The police’s Lungelo Dlamini says members of the Flying Squad attempted to pull over a suspicious white BMW with tinted windows.

“The occupants of the vehicle fired several shots with assault rifles, a member was wounded and taken to hospital.”

Dlamini says the member sustained wounds to her upper body.

Pictures from the scene show a police vehicle with at least 18 bullet holes in the bonnet and windscreen.

Crimeairnetwork tweeted that the bound men were thrown into the water.

Durban man beaten, shot as he fights off home invaders

Durban - An elderly Westville homeowner grappled with balaclava-clad home invaders before he was beaten and shot in the buttocks on Monday.

Two gunmen confronted 62-year-old Pat Reddy as he prepared to leave his Strathay Road home.
"I was at my door and I had my laptop in my bag. As I was walking out there were two men on top of me, one of them had a gun," he said.
"When I tried to defend myself they hit me on the head with the butt of the gun. At that point I lost my vision because there was blood in my eyes."
The police’s Moses Maphakela says they searching for three men.
Reddy said one of his attackers had repeatedly threatened to shoot him.
"I don’t know what it was, but I reached a point where I decided to take them on. That is how frustrated I have become. I told him to shoot me if he wanted.

"I don’t know what it was, but I reached a point where I decided to take them on. That is how frustrated I have become. I told him to shoot me if he wanted.

"This is the third time I have had intruders on my property, but this is the first time they have managed to get inside," Reddy said.

After subduing Reddy, the two men pushed their way into the house and held his son and nephew at gunpoint, raiding the house for electronic equipment and other valuables.

"I had got up and gone to my wife who was outside by the washing line. When they were leaving they fired one shot [that] ricocheted off a wall and hit me in the buttocks.
"This is the third time I have had intruders on my property, but this is the first time they have managed to get inside," Reddy said.

"I am just happy that my family is alright," Reddy said.

Reddy was treated at the scene by Rescue Care paramedics, before being rushed to hospital.

Baby Reunited with Family after Hi-Jacking

Police say around three men, armed with scissors, made off with the vehicle and the baby.

JOHANNESBURG - Police have recovered a stolen vehicle hijacked with a baby inside it and reunited the child with the family.
Police say around three men, armed with scissors, approached the car in Bryanston, north of Johannesburg, this afternoon where they made off with the vehicle and the baby.
The car was dumped two hours later along Bryanston Drive.
The police’s Moses Maphakela says they searching for three men.
“This afternoon about three suspects armed with scissors hijacked a Nissan Tiida in Bryanston; they took the car with the baby inside.”
(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)
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Opinion: A Crime to Focus the Mind

Mandy Wiener asks what point we’ve reached when human beings consciously target children at a party?

The sad reality of living in South Africa, where incidents of crime are alarmingly common, is that very little shocks us anymore. Our news bulletins and newspapers are packed full of crime stories that cover the full spectrum of offences. And those are only the ones deemed ‘newsworthy’ enough to actually make it into the reports.

In the past year, we have woken up to news that the captain of our national football team was shot dead. We have listened to reports about toddlers being slain in the crossfire of gang warfare. We have watched as armed gunmen have sprayed bullets in busy shopping centres, members of the public nothing more than the collateral damage of brazen greed.

But sometimes a crime will be committed that will garner sufficient public outrage to make us pause in our tracks for a moment and recalibrate how we see the world. Our perspective will be forced into shifting. On the face of it, that crime may not be the most harrowing or tragic or bloody, but it will cause something in us to stir.

For many, the armed robbery at the Sandton Fire Station this past weekend was such an incident. Three men with guns walked into the venue and held up around 30 parents and 40 kids during a children’s party. They stole jewelry and other valuables before fleeing in a car. No shots were fired and no one was wounded or killed, but the impact of the crime was tremendous.

The reason for this is that we feel most vulnerable when we are with our children. When you are in the context of a kiddie’s party, surrounded by sticky sweets and shrill laughter, your guard is dropped. More so, when you are in the environment of a fire station where you should be safe in the protection of those whose job it is to protect you. For that innocence to be unexpectedly shattered by armed men waving guns in your child’s face is incomprehensible.

What point must we have reached as a society when human beings consciously and with premeditation target children at a party? It is almost impossible not to draw the inference that those criminals must have targeted the fire station because they knew that there was a kid’s party underway. The fire station is booked up for weeks and there would be no other reason for them to want to hold up firefighters. This means they had to know that they would be pulling their weapons on the most innocent in society and thought nothing of the consequences. It would have taken one absent minded move by a skittish father, one hysterical decision by a protective mother, one panicked moment that could have seen one of those men pulling a trigger.

In the days after the robbery, some parents began making alternative arrangements for parties they had planned at the fire station. One mother I know created a Whatsapp group on Monday to update friends about a new venue for her son’s party - it was supposed to be at the fire station at the end of November. She insisted she simply wasn’t going to gamble with safety. Another mom I spoke to said she didn’t want the criminals to win so she was going to go ahead with a party for her seven-year-old son there this weekend. Her argument was that she had been a victim of a robbery at her house in the past and the chances of being hit at home were as likely as those of being targeted at a venue. But she planned on hiring in extra private security guards to man the gates and ensure the kids were protected. Where have you ever heard of private guards being hired to stand sentry at a children’s party? In drug cartel ravaged Colombia maybe.


Because of the current news cycle, it is hard not to juxtapose this incident against that of Khulekani Mpanza, the suspect who was ‘executed’ by police officers in Krugersdorp a fortnight ago. The response by many to news of the fire station robbery has been that officers are justified in killing criminals and that they acted appropriately in shooting Mpanza. It shows just how difficult it is to maintain our humanity in light of such an incident.

In the days after the robbery, some parents began making alternative arrangements for parties they had planned at the fire station. One mother I know created a Whatsapp group on Monday to update friends about a new venue for her son’s party - it was supposed to be at the fire station at the end of November. She insisted she simply wasn’t going to gamble with safety. Another mom I spoke to said she didn’t want the criminals to win so she was going to go ahead with a party for her seven-year-old son there this weekend. Her argument was that she had been a victim of a robbery at her house in the past and the chances of being hit at home were as likely as those of being targeted at a venue. But she planned on hiring in extra private security guards to man the gates and ensure the kids were protected. Where have you ever heard of private guards being hired to stand sentry at a children’s party? In drug cartel ravaged Colombia maybe.


Some might argue that this robbery has only garnered the reaction it has because the victims are white and middle class, the venue being in Sandton. That may be partly so, but it is undoubtedly an incident that will resonate with any parent who has attended a child’s party on any given weekend irrespective of class or colour.

We may have forced ourselves into becoming desensitised to crime - it is a coping mechanism necessitated by the fact that we simply cannot internalise every hijacking and home invasion. But perhaps it is appropriate for us to feel something in response to this particular incident. Sometimes we need to be shaken to our core so that we can be recalibrated and reminded of how not okay something like this is. It is not acceptable for us to live in fear of gunmen holding up our children at a party at a fire station and it is important for us realise this.

Mandy Wiener is a freelance journalist and author working for Eyewitness News. Follow her on Twitter:@mandywiener

Gang attacks two couples - rapes wife, drowns husbands

Johannesburg - A gang of men accosted two couples, raped one of the women and then forced them to watch their husbands being drowned in a lake at Rhodes Park in Kensington, Johannesburg.

Gauteng police spokesperson Lungelo Dlamini said the two couples were walking in the park around 19:00 on Saturday when they were attacked by a group of 12 men.

"They tied up the husbands and threw them into the water. One of the wives was also raped."

Dlamini could not confirm a report that the husbands had to watch both wives being gang raped before being thrown in the lake.

He said divers found the men's bodies at around 23:00.

No arrests had been made yet.

Intelligence Bureau said on Twitter that the 12 men raped both women in front of their husbands before forcing the women to watch their husbands drown.

Crimeairnetwork tweeted that the bound men were thrown into the water.

JHB Woman gunned down in case Of mistaken identity

The JHB woman was killed, allegedly by police, in what’s believed to be a case of mistaken identity.

JOHANNESBURG - A Johannesburg woman has been killed allegedly by police in what’s believed to be a case of mistaken identity in Phomolong in Rabie Ridge on the East Rand.

It’s understood the officers were chasing a suspected stolen vehicle from Edenvale last night.

The four policemen, including two private security officers, then came across the victim who was dropping off her brother in the same area and started shooting.

The woman is believed to be the wife of a policeman stationed in Sandton.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate’s Grace Langa said, “They saw the victim in a car, they fired shots at that car and she died on the scene.”

You are a miracle sir, doctor tells man as bullet misses his heart

Pretoria – “I don't want to call myself a Christian because I don't go to church but I will tell you what, the Lord saved my life,” says Pretoria resident Huyter van Graan of the night his world changed forever.

Van Graan was shot in what police believe was an attempted hijacking on Saturday, August 29. His doctors told him his survival is “nothing short of a miracle”, he told News24 on Monday.

The 39-year-old had been working at Pinkie Fest at Marks Park, Emmerentia, where his company had been responsible for a few screens at the event. Van Graan headed home once his duties were done for the evening.

But the drive home took a sinister turn as he reached the Jan Smuts on-ramp onto the M1 highway after 23:00 in his Toyota Fortuner.

Shot

“I was driving on the road and next thing I heard a shot. As the glass broke I knew there was something [wrong],” Van Graan said. “As I heard it, I realised I've got some problems.”

Van Graan knew he had been hit somewhere and thought he could make it home. “I drove more or less as fast as I could.”

But almost 20-30 minutes after the initial shot, Van Graan was struggling to stay on the road. He reached the Allandale off-ramp on the edge of Midrand but could drive no further as a result of blood loss.

His car hit the barrier separating either side of the N1 highway, where it came to a halt.

A tow truck driver called an ambulance from the scene. “They were fantastic, they phoned my wife and then they met me at the hospital.”

Van Graan was taken to Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, where doctors managed to stabilise him, putting him on life support at one point in the early hours of the morning. He was later moved to Milpark Hospital.

Collapsed lung

“At about 08:00 the next morning I had stabilised and they let me go. At Milpark, they actually didn't do an operation.

“They did scans and X-rays and then they saw the route of the bullet and the biggest problem that I had [was] the vortex of the bullet came past my left lung. I think I had some blood in that lung and around the lung, so they had to use a draining pipe.”

It became apparent Van Graan had a collapsed lung and staff at the hospital “had a bit of difficulty getting the left lung to work”.

It would later emerge that the bullet which had entered the right side of this chest, missed his aorta by a millimetre.

“They said to me they couldn't figure out what the bullet's path was because it wasn't supposed to happen like that. It was crazy."

Doctors were baffled at how he had managed to survive and one at Milpark hospital would later tell him, "You are a miracle sir". On September 17, 18 days after the shooting, Van Graan was discharged from hospital.

Recovery

Asked on Monday how his recovery was progressing, he said “it's going very well”, and he expected to return to work next week.

“I did a bit of swimming yesterday [Sunday] and I can see my body is hurting today, so I'm on the comeback here. The only thing that pulled me through... [was] God's grace. I should've been dead, God gave me a second chance.”

Van Graan describes the staff at Milpark as “absolutely amazing”, and on reflection, he is not angry at anybody.

Instead, his world view changed fundamentally. “I've just got a love in my heart that I can't describe. What I got out of this incident is just amazing,” he told News24.

“I'm 39-years-old, I come from before 1994, out of that era. If there's any racism in my heart, it's gone. I got love in my heart for everybody.”

Durban man shot in pre-dawn driveway hijacking

Durban - An Asherville man was shot during a hijacking in his driveway early on Monday morning as he was returning from mosque.

Blue Security operations manager Brian Jackson said it would appear that the hijackers ambushed the man when he returned to his Tarndale Road home at around 05:30.

It is understood that he had driven into his property when four armed men blocked the motorised gate from closing.

“He was shot during the incident and a family member rushed him to a local hospital,” Jackson said.

“The hijackers fled in his car with stolen cash and the resident’s garage remote. The suspects were apparently seen in the area in a white Golf,” he said.

Jackson advised residents to be vigilant when arriving and leaving home in the morning and evenings, as driveways were hotspots for hijackings.

“Criminals stake out their victims before striking so it is important to vary your routes to work and home and to be aware of your surroundings before pulling into the driveway. Stop parallel to the verge and make sure there are no suspicious individuals or vehicles around you before opening he gate and turning to pull into the driveway,” he said.

Bedforview robbers attack Good Samaritan who came to their aid

Johannesburg - A security guard who unknowingly tried to help house robbers after they were involved in a car accident, was himself a victim of crime when they hijacked him of his official vehicle.

The Lion Gate security guard had rushed to the aid of the three men after their white BMW crashed at the corner of Kloof and Van Buuren roads in Bedfordview.

They returned the favour by shooting at him, dumping their car and taking off in his vehicle.

The guard was uninjured in the incident.

Minutes earlier, the gang had entered a house in Bedforview where they found the domestic worker inside.

They took jewellery belonging to her employer before fleeing the scene.

She too was unharmed.

Dlamini said the suspects were still at large.

Factsheet: SA’S 2014/15 Murder & Robbery Crime Statistics

The ISS looks at murder and robbery trends between 1 April 2014 and 31 March 2015 as recorded by the SAPS.

This factsheet provides an overview of murder and robbery trends between 1 April 2014 and 31 March 2015 as recorded by the South African Police Service. The Institute for Security Studies is using the recalculated figures released by the South African Police Service on 29 September 2015 for the years 2004/05 to 2014/15. The Institute for Security Studies takes no responsibility for the accuracy of these statistics.

A note about SA’s crime statistics

On the day of their release, these statistics were already at least six months out of date. That means that the current crime situation, particularly at local level, could be very different to that described by these statistics. For a guide on how to interpret crime statistics see the Africa Check Factsheet. For more factsheets, infographics, interactive maps, analysis and graphics on crime visit the Institute for Security Studies’ Crime Hub.

Murder has increased

Murder is an important crime to monitor because unlike other crimes, the number reported is probably close to the actual number committed. The murder rate is one indicator of a country’s stability – the higher it is, the less stable a country is likely to be.

Murder is defined in South African law as the unlawful and intentional killing of another human being.

The murder rate has increased for a third consecutive year after it more than halved for the first 18 years after democracy.

Every day, 49 people are killed and 48 people are victims of attempted murder.

Incidents of murder increased by 4.6% from 17,023 murders in 2013/14 to 17,805 in 2014/15. Two more people were murdered per day than in the previous year, and six more per day than in 2011/12.

Using Statistics South Africa’s 2014 mid-year estimates, the murder rate in 2014/15 was 33 per 100,000, up from 32.1 in the last reporting period.

South Africa’s murder rate is more than five times higher than the 2013 global average of 6.2 murders per 100,000.

Attempted murder cases increased by 3.2% from 16,989 in 2013/14 to 17,537 in 2014/15.


Robbery has increased

Robberies occur when perpetrators threaten or use violence in order to steal belongings. Common robbery is defined as the unlawful and intentional forceful removal and appropriation of movable tangible property belonging to another. When perpetrators use a weapon or there are “aggravating circumstances”, it is record as “aggravated robbery”. The police refer to robbery as “violent property crimes”.

Most types of robbery increased over the past year.

‘Aggravated’ robbery, which is the most serious kind, increased from 118,963 cases in 2013/14 to 129,045 cases (by 8.5%) in 2014/15.

The aggravated robbery rate increased from 224.5 per 100,000 people in 2013/14 to 239 per 100,000 people in 2014/15. This is an increase of 6.4%.

Increases in the sub-categories of aggravated robbery are as follows: -- Every day on average 207 cases of street robbery were reported to the police. Street robberies increased by around 9.7% compared to the previous year.

- On average 56 households were attacked each day in 2014/15. House robberies occur when armed gangs confront people while they are in their homes. House robbery increased by 5.2% to 20,281 incidents. For the first time, this crime passed the 20,000 mark.

- An average of 53 businesses (including schools and churches) per day or 19,170 in the year reported being robbed in 2014/15. Compared to 2013/14, business robbery increased by 3.2%. This crime has consistently increased in the past 10 years. It is 421% higher now than in 2004/05.

- Vehicle hijacking increased by 14.2% to 12,773 incidents. This means that 35 motor vehicles were hijacked every day on average in 2014/15. This is of particular concern given that organised crime syndicates probably commit most of these crimes.

- Truck hijacking increased by 29.1% from 991 incidents in 2013/14 to 1,279 incidents in 2014/15. Organised crime syndicates also generally perpetrate this crime, which together with the increase in vehicle hijacking suggests that organised crime is on the rise.

- After seven years of consecutive decreases, cash-in-transit heists decreased from 145 in 2012/13 and 2013/14 to 119 in 2014/15. Bank robberies decreased from 21 robberies to 17 in 2014/15.

The number of “common” robberies increased from 53,505 cases in 2013/14 to 54,927 cases (by 2.7%) in 2014/15. Common robberies are typically recorded when the police receive reports such as “smash and grab” incidents against vehicles, or when criminals grab handbags or items from people walking on the streets.

Street robbery primarily affects the poor and typically occurs as people travel to and from work, school or shops. In the years when street robbery decreased, other more serious robberies namely carjacking, house robbery and business robbery (which the police call the “trio crimes”) increased substantially.

According to the police, improved visible policing did reduce street robberies. The increased visibility was the result of the almost 70,000 additional police officials who were hired between 2002/03 and 20011/12. However, the police believe that the greater number of officers on the streets contributed towards robbers targeting houses, businesses and vehicles instead.

This fact sheet was prepared by Gareth Newham, Lizette Lancaster, Johan Burger and Chandre Gould of the Institute for Security Studies. Follow the ISS on Twitter: @issafrica

Bystander shoots, wounds armed robber in Joburg

Johannesburg - A bystander, who witnessed a robbery taking place on Witkoppen Road, shot and wounded one of the attackers, Gauteng police said.

Two people who were on their way to buy a car on Thursday, were robbed near the McDonald's on Witkoppen Road, Honeydew police spokesperson Warrant Officer Daniel Mavimbela said.

The two had gone to a bank to withdraw cash and were on their way to a car dealer near the Waterford Centre. Douglasdale, when they were held up by three armed men.

The robbers has stopped them in the road, and not at the McDonald's as earlier reported.

A bystander, who was watching the incident unfold, fired shots wounding a 27-year-old suspect.

The bystander also shot at the VW Polo the suspects were allegedly travelling in. They managed to flee the scene in a white BMW, but abandoned it and hijacked another vehicle on Witkoppen Road, which was later also abandoned.

Police were on the hunt for the suspects on Thursday afternoon.

Mavimbela stressed that reports that the McDonald's was robbed were "very incorrect". The car dealer is in a complex across from the fast food outlet.

The couple's money - reportedly R45 000 - had not been recovered yet.

"As technology improves and we find new ways to stop criminals, they in turn adjust their methods of attack."

Sadack said last week his neighbourhood watch in Seatides, north of Durban, found concrete blocks purposefully placed in the middle of the road.

"This was intended to make drivers stop, thus leaving them vulnerable. We've also noted eggs being thrown on windscreens. This obscures vision once wipers come on. Stone throwing from bridges is also quite the issue."

Sadack also warned motorists not to stop.

"These distractions are meant to give them a chance to hijack or rob you. Don't ever stop. Drive to a public place or a police station. Always stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings," he said.

Motorist attacked on N3 Marlboro off-ramp

Johannesburg – A motorist was stabbed and robbed of his wallet on the N3 in Johannesburg on Wednesday morning, paramedics said.

He pulled over due to engine problems near the Marlboro off-ramp when he was attacked, ER24 spokesperson Russel Meiring said.

The man sustained stab wounds to his arms and hands and called paramedics, who found him sitting near his car. He was taken to a local hospital.

KZN woman returning from prayer meeting shot by hijackers

Durban - A Chatsworth woman was shot during a botched hijacking in Shallcross on Sunday night.

Blue Security operations manager Brian Jackson said the woman had returned from a prayer meeting with her family just before 21:00 when hijackers ambushed her in Madho Road.

“Four hijackers accosted her in her driveway and shot her once in her leg before they were disturbed by a neighbour.

“There were reports a neighbour fired warning shots to distract the hijackers, but the details around the shooting are sketchy at this stage. The suspects fled the scene in a white VW Polo,” he said.

Jackson said the woman was taken to hospital in a stable condition. He advised residents to be vigilant when arriving home and leaving for work as most hijackings occurred in driveways in the morning and evening.

“Check for any vehicles lurking near the entrance before you turn in and keep your car parallel to the gate so you can’t be blocked in and can drive off easily if you notice anything suspicious. If you feel uneasy about anyone near your property, rather drive on and call the police or your security company,” he said.

“If you notice there is a suspicious vehicle following you home, drive past your house and go to your nearest police station or call your security company for an escort. Hijackers and robbers sometimes follow their victims from a petrol station, bank or shopping mall before striking,” he added.

Alleged robber killed in highway shoot-out

Benoni - An alleged robber was killed in a shoot-out with police on the N12 highway in Benoni, on the East Rand, on Tuesday morning, Gauteng police said.

- Were you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos.

Lieutenant Colonel Katlego Mogale said two others were shot and wounded, and four others were arrested.

She said the flying squad was given information that a group of robbers would be driving through the area, and as they attempted to stop the vehicle, the alleged robbers opened fire.

"The police returned fire, fatally wounded one and wounding two. Four others were arrested."

ER24 earlier put the number of the wounded at three, saying they were found "lying around a light motor vehicle which had parked on the side of the road".

"Assessments showed that all three men had sustained numerous gunshot wounds and were in a critical condition," ER24 said.

The injured were transported to Tembisa Hospital.

94.7 station manager survives robbery

Johannesburg - Ravi Naidoo, the station manager for 94.7, survived an armed robbery in Bryanston, Johannesburg, on Thursday.

Spokesperson for the station Pippa Rowles said he was attacked by three armed people in the driveway of family friends in Bryanston.

"He is physically unharmed," she said.

His phone, laptop and iPad were stolen.

Sandton police are investigating.

Earlier, he had tweeted a congratulatory message to the Shout campaign to create a safer South Africa saying: ''Well done & Congrats @dannykmusic @KabeloMabalane, you guys are rockstars & I applaud your hard work #SmileforShout''.

He had tweeted that he was at the launch of the latest phase of the campaign.

Shooting at Menlyn Park

Pretoria - An alleged robber was shot and three others arrested following an armed robbery at Menlyn Park shopping centre in Pretoria early on Monday afternoon.

The man was shot outside the Checkers at the centre just after noon, according to an emergency services source speaking on condition of anonymity.

Gauteng police were not aware of the robbery.

Netcare 911 spokesperson Chris Botha said paramedics arrived on the scene and found a large police presence.

"Medics were taken to a man [who] had sustained serious gunshot wounds. After he was stabilised at the scene they transported him to a local hospital for the care he required," he said.

Last week Sunday, armed robbers targeted both Centurion Mall and the Mall@Reds in Centurion within two hours of each other in the morning.

At Centurion Mall, robbers made off with R300 000 worth of cellphones from a Vodashop retailer, while at the Mall@Reds, five armed men robbed the centre's Edgars branch.

On August 5, three armed men attacked the Campus Square shopping centre in Auckland Park, Johannesburg, taking jewellery worth thousands of rands.

The same centre saw a Cell C store robbed on July 22.

There are people in the mall with guns

Johannesburg - A car washer at Clearwater Mall described a deadly shoot-out at the shopping centre on Tuesday as a scene from an action movie.

"It was like a movie, you know, those action movies where people shoot one another?" Mandla Khumalo told News24.

Two suspected robbers were killed.

"We were standing there in that area, it was past 09:00. We didn't see the robbery vehicle but while we were standing there, we saw a private security vehicle and they drove to where the robbers had parked and blocked them in.

"We just saw people getting out of that car and running in different directions. Then we lay on the ground. The police hadn't arrived yet... It was the private security that shot those people, they [security] had AK47s."

‘What can I do?’

He said he and other people got up off the ground after about five minutes and moved to the other side of the parking lot.

"We were watching as they were shooting because they were running in different directions," Khumalo said.

"Some of my female colleagues went home; one of them fainted. I'm also not okay, but what can I do? I have to work."

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Katlego Mogale said a group of men attacked a truck delivering Apple goods to a store in the mall.

"They confronted the courier and held them at gunpoint."

She said that as the group were offloading the goods into their own van, officers pounced and a shoot-out ensued.

Two dead

One suspected robber died at the scene while another died on the way to hospital. Two others were wounded, and another two were arrested.

Mogale said the goods were worth an estimated R1.2m.

Dominique Fourie who works at the FotoFirst store inside the mall told News24 about the commotion.

"At first we saw people running past the shop, and then we heard the gun shots - there were three of them. And then people started screaming: 'There's people in the mall with guns'," she said.

"We got down and got to the back of the store and stayed there. We took all the customers with us."

They waited at the back of the store for about 15 minutes before coming out.

"We heard that there were guys with guns and they robbed the iStore delivery van... we heard that police had apprehended a few and then shot a couple of other guys. That's when we knew how serious the situation was."

She said they left the shop open while hiding.

"We were like, leave the store open. Let's get the others to safety. If they are going to come in, they going to come in and let them have free rein [rather] than let anyone get hurt. "

6 602 firearms lost, stolen from police in five years - Afriforum

Johannesburg – A total of 6 602 firearms were lost and stolen from the police in the past five years, civil rights group AfriForum said on Tuesday.

There were 3 576 firearms stolen and another 3 026 reported lost between January 2009 and June 2014, the organisation said in a statement.

The bulk of those lost (1 073) and stolen (835) were recorded in KwaZulu-Natal.

The figures were obtained via a Promotion of Access to Information Act application to the police’s credit management division.

However, the police have refused to disclose the type and calibre of the weapons, information AfriForum intended approaching the courts to secure.

It also wanted to know the status of the investigation for every lost and stolen firearm since dockets had to be opened for each, AfriForum's community safety head Ian Cameron said.

“The police are of the opinion the request may cause prejudice to the defence, security or international relations of the country.”

The province with the second highest tally of lost firearms was Mpumalanga (592), followed by the Eastern Cape (360) and Gauteng (352).

Almost 400 firearms were stolen from the head office in Pretoria.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-General Solomon Makgale could not immediately be reached for comment.

Crime Line head Abramjee targeted by hijackers - report

Johannesburg - Crime Line head Yusuf Abramjee was the target of an attempted hijacking on Friday, according to a report.

Eyewitness News reported that Abramjee was leaving a conference at the University of Johannesburg when armed men approached him and sought to take his car.

Abramjee sped off, but the hijackers got into a white Toyota Tazz and followed him

“A high speed chase followed and we went through many parts of Johannesburg," Abramjee told EWN.

"They then came towards Braamfontein and along the way two of the gunmen jumped out, fired a shot in my direction and luckily they missed. They’ve now disappeared into Hillbrow.”

Police were looking for the hijackers' car, which had no number plates.

“I’m unharmed, but once again it shows the crime situation is something which I say again is out of control,” he said.

Johannesburg Motorists Face 'Rock Placers' Nightmare

Several motorists have complained about rocks being placed on the M2 highway in Jo'burg.

JOHANNESBURG - The Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) says it has received a number of complaints from motorists about rocks being placed on the M2 highway.

A motorist has told Eyewitness News he was travelling along the highway just after taking the offramp from the N3 late at night when his car hit a rock hidden in a plastic bag.

Two other cars have also been damaged.Jacobus Myburg was travelling on the highway with his mother when he noticed the bag in the middle of the road.

He says he was unable to swerve out of the way.

“As I went over it, I realised that it’s not just a plastic bag anymore, it must be something else.”

He said he had stopped to warn other motorists about the rocks when he was confronted by a man.

”As I picked it up I saw one of those, I just call them 'rock placers', next to the road and he was on his stomach and got up and was really angry at me for picking it up.”

Myburg added other vehicles were also extensively damaged.

The JMPD says it will increase night patrols.

Bryanston couple shot while protecting daughter from robbers

Johannesburg - A Bryanston husband and wife both got shot while fighting off robbers and trying to protect their 9-year-old daughter, a report said on Thursday.

The Citizen newspaper reported that Barbara Edwards screamed for help when she and her husband, Norman, were accosted by three armed robbers on their property on Wednesday morning.

Edwards told the daily her daughter was in the car and fought one of the suspects as the car went from the driveway to the garage.

Edwards was shot once, and her husband was shot three times, before the men ran away.

Their daughter was not harmed.

"They were trying to get us into the house. She moved the scene outside and that was when their plans were foiled. My wife saved us," said Norman Edwards.

On Wednesday, Netcare 911 paramedics reported the shooting incident on College Avenue.

"Both patients were treated at the scene and transported to hospital or further medical care," spokesperson Santi Steinmann said.

Four Suspects Nabbed For Unlicensed Firearms On N1

It is believed the group were on their way to a robbery when traffic officials stopped the vehicle.

JOHANNESBURG - The Johannesburg metro police have arrested four suspects carrying unlicensed firearms on the N1 south along William Nicol Drive.

Police say they were conducting a regular stop and search when they found two weapons on the men.

It is believed the group were on their way to a robbery when traffic officials stopped the vehicle.

Spokesperson Edna Mamonyane says the men are being detained at the Douglasdale police station.

“The four men were arrested, the officers are busy with them to find out where they were going to rob or what their intentions were.”

Gunmen storm Umhlanga business park

Durban - Laptops were the order of the day for a gang of gunmen who stormed an Umhlanga business on Tuesday.

The heist, which saw gunmen escaping with computers as well as a projector and other electrical equipment, is the latest in a string of robberies at the plush Ridgeside Office Park.

Police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said that a security guard at the office was the first victim of the gang when he was held at gunpoint and bundled inside.

“It is alleged that a security guard was accosted by four armed suspects while he was on duty at his workplace,” he said.

“The suspects made off with four laptops, a projector and a hi-fi system. No arrests have been made at this stage,” Naicker added.

He said that detectives from the Durban North police station were on the case.

Two weeks ago, two members of a gang targeting Durban businesses and stealing computer equipment were arrested after a high-speed chase and shoot-out with police in Pinetown.

At the time, detectives were attempting to link the group to a spree of four business robberies on the same night.

During the exchange of fire, two suspects managed to escape and are still being sought by police.

Security guard wounded in KZN firearm heist

Durban - A security guard providing protection for municipal vehicles in Umlazi was shot five times on Tuesday in an apparent armed robbery, KwaZulu-Natal police said.

The guard remains in a critical condition in a Durban hospital.

Major Thulani Zwane said guards had been escorting a city fleet car when they were surrounded by six armed men.

On Wednesday, the guard was still in a critical condition in a Durban hospital.

“They were approached by six men at gunpoint who demanded that they hand over their firearms," Zwane said.

“The suspects took two firearms and shot the security guard five times on the body and arms before fleeing the scene.”

Zwane said that when the shooting was reported, police sprang to action, deploying officers from various units to the area to try and cut off the escape of the gunmen.

“The Umlazi Tactical Response Team, Crime Intelligence, Durban Central Tactical Response Team, Umlazi K9, NMTU, as well as Umlazi and Folweni members followed up information and arrested three suspects at Umlazi C section.”

“Three unlicensed pistols and ammunition were found in their possession. One of those recovered firearms belonged to the security guard. A case of armed robbery, attempted murder and possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition were opened. The suspects might be linked to other criminal cases committed in the area,” Zwane added.

Royal Security confirmed that the security officer had survived the shooting and had been rushed to hospital, but could not be drawn to comment further.

Brothers shot defending mother in Benoni

Johannesburg - Two men were shot while defending their mother during an armed robbery at their house in Brentwood Park, Benoni, on Wednesday, Gauteng police said.

"This morning at about 03:00 at unit 48 in Mashoba Lodge in Brentwood Park, Benoni, two men armed with firearms entered the premises by breaking the front door with a crow bar," Lieutenant Nomsa Sekele said.

"The owner, a woman, heard a noise in the passage. As she walked into the passage to see what was happening, she saw the two suspects fighting with her sons. Both her sons had already been shot."

The sons, aged 53 and 47, were taken to hospital for further treatment.

Netcare 911 spokesperson Santi Steinmann said the 53-year-old was airlifted to hospital in critical condition. His brother sustained serious injuries and was taken to hospital by ambulance for further treatment.

Sekele said the robbers only took the woman's handbag, which contained some money and documents.

No arrests have been made. Police were investigating.

SA Cops Are Dying On The Streets Like It's A War Zone

Six police officers have been killed over the past seven days bringing to 54 the number killed this year.

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma says police officers are dying on the country’s streets like it’s a war zone.

The president was speaking in Katlehong after visiting the family of slain Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) officer Simon Mabatamela, who was shot dead in a robbery in Rosettenville last week.

Zuma says the number of police officers killed this year demonstrates the abnormality of the crime situation in South Africa.

He was shot dead while stumbling across a robbery in progress at the Junction Mall in Rosettenville, last week.

Last week alone, six police officers were murdered bringing to 54 the number murdered since the start of the year.

The president says he’s deeply concerned by the spate of cop killings.

“You could almost think that there is war, where you could count so many people who are being killed. I think it indicates the abnormality of the security situation.”

He says government will act strongly against such criminals.

“That is a serious indication of undermining the authority of the state, particularly if you attack the police, you are attacking the state.”
Zuma says more must be done to remove illegal firearms from the streets.
It’s understood two suspects walked into Pick n Pay and took a security guard’s firearm before making off with a money box.
The suspects apparently panicked and shot the officer.
Police said Mabatamela, who was in his JMPD in uniform, had entered the store to buy something when the robber shot and killed him.

Robbers 'dressed as cops' strike twice in KZN

2015-07-15 10:51

Durban - A gang of house robbers posing as police officers struck twice - in Durban and in Umkomaas - on Tuesday night.

The group of men dressed in police uniform and driving what appeared to be a marked police vehicle, allegedly stormed the homes within hours of each other.

KwaZulu-Natal police are now investigating the incidents.

According to well-placed police sources, the first robbery took place in Bonela in Durban.

“It was reported that four men wearing full SAPS uniform and using a dark coloured double-cab bakkie which was fully marked in SAPS signage, had effected a house robbery,” he said.

“The victims were unable to identify whether the markings on the car could be linked to a specific police station but they were certain that it looked like a police car.”

In another incident, four men in police uniform stormed a house in Umkomaas, south of Durban.

“Again the gang of house robbers was dressed in uniform and brandished weapons. Along with a range of valuables, the suspects stole a car in the attack.

“We are now obviously investigating whether there is any possibility that the two cases could be linked because the modus operandi is so similar,” he said.

Police spokespeople were not immediately available for comment.

Man injured in Sandton shoot-out dies - report

2015-07-23 21:05

Johannesburg - A man who was shot several times during a robbery in Sandton on Thursday afternoon has died, Eyewitness News reported.

Standard Bank chief economist Goolam Ballim told EWN that his 50-year-old brother, Adam, had succumbed to his injuries.

Gauteng police could not immediately confirm the death to News24.

They said earlier that he had opened fire on his four attackers after they approached him and his wife.

"It is alleged that the victim was parking his vehicle at a rental company when he was approached by four suspects, two of whom were armed," Lieutenant Colonel Katlego Mogale said earlier.

"Realising the suspects were armed, he fired shots at them. The suspects [in turn] fired shots at him, injuring him."

Mogale said the men stole the wife's watch before fleeing the scene.

It was reported earlier that the shooting happened near a Pizza Hut on Rivonia Road in Sandton.

Four killed in Joburg shoot-out

2015-07-23 20:53

Johannesburg - Two hijackers and two security guards have been killed in a shoot-out in Rosettenville, Johannesburg on Thursday evening, police said.

"It is alleged that a courier truck was hijacked near Selby and taken together with its escort vehicle to Kibler Park, where the suspects exchanged vehicles," Lieutenant Colonel Katlego Mogale said.

"They took the shipment of cellphones into a white BMW and a black Nissan Navara."

Mogale said the hijackers were later confronted by security guards in Rosettenville and a shootout ensued.

"During the shooting, Johannesburg flying squad members who were on patrol, heard the shots and responded," she said.

"A heavy exchange of fire took place, after which two suspects and two security guards were fatally wounded.

"Police arrested three suspects, recovered five unlicensed firearms and recovered the two vehicle that the suspects were using.Further investigation revealed that the white BMW was reported hijacked in Hammanskraal and the Nissan Navara was hijacked in Florida."

The three were expected to appear in court soon on charges of armed robbery, attempted murder, possession of suspected hijacked motor vehicles, possession of suspected stolen property and possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition.

Airport robbers linked to 16 crimes

2015-06-24 08:49

Johannesburg - Two robbers, who were shot dead in a driveway in Pretoria at the weekend, have been linked to 16 other crimes, Gauteng police said on Wednesday.

On Sunday, two men, Tyson Mdluli, 43, and Benson Kalusi, 40, were shot and killed and the third suspect, whose identity cannot be disclosed at this stage, was wounded in a driveway in Pretoria Moot after following a woman home from OR Tambo International.

The two, who were killed in a shoot-out after the police acted on a tip-off and caught them red-handed in the driveway robbery, have been linked to various other crimes.

"Kalusi was awaiting trial for nine crimes and he has been linked to four other cases through fingerprints in the Johannesburg and surrounding areas committed between 2006 and 2013," said Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo in a statement.

"Tyson Mdluli was awaiting trial for three crimes also in the Johannesburg and surrounding areas committed between 2011 and 2013.

"In most of these cases, the suspects have been involved in armed robberies and other cases such as attempted murder and possession of suspected stolen property."

The third man will face several charges, including murder, armed robbery and attempted murder.

Man wounds hijacker near Alex

2015-06-20 19:15
Johannesburg - A man shot and wounded one of three armed hijackers in London Road near Alexandra at about 13:00 on Saturday.
The 40 year-old man, who was travelling with a 7-year old child, was stopped by three suspects who pointed a firearm at him and demanded his vehicle. He got out of the vehicle and asked the suspects to release the child, said police spokesperson Mack Mngomezulu.
He then fired shots at them and wounded one. Two others, who were armed, fled the scene on foot. Police are looking for them.
The wounded hijacker is under police guard in hospital.

No arrests in Telkom executive robbery

2015-06-09 17:27
Adam Wakefield, News24
Johannesburg - No arrests have yet been made in connection with a driveway robbery in Craighall, Johannesburg, where a Telkom executive was held-up, with her 4-year-old son who was in the backseat of the car at the time, Gauteng police said on Tuesday.
"The case is under the investigation but at this stage no arrests have been made," spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said.
CCTV footage emerged of the executive manager being held up at gunpoint in her driveway last week after picking up her son from pre-school. Watch the footage below.
The robbery happened last Thursday at around 12:48 when Jacqui O'Sullivan noticed a suspicious-looking BMW near her gate.
Upon entering her driveway, she was tailgated and one of the three armed perpetrators got out and robbed her at gunpoint.
This is the second time O'Sullivan has been robbed at her home in the past 18 months.

A screengrab from the CCTV footage showing the robbery at the executive's home. (Suppled)

Former Miss SA: Robber tried to bite my ring off my finger

2015-06-07 14:16

Ahmed Areff, News24

Johannesburg - Robbers tried to bite an engagement ring off the finger of former Miss South Africa Lorna Potgieter-Rossetti during an attack in Johannesburg on Saturday morning.

"It was in Randburg. I was on my way to a friend's birthday lunch when I stopped my car on the side of the road to check the address and to write out the birthday card," the 52-year-old 1984 pageant winner told News24.

"From the corner of my eye I saw the men coming."

She said one of them then pointed a gun at her.

"It all happened so quickly, but I was calm and put up my hands. I apologised and said 'I'm so sorry'."

She said they told her to open the car, which she did.

Hit on the head

"The first thing that happened was one of them grabbed my hand and tried to rip off my ring from my finger," Potgieter-Rossetti said.

"I said, 'I'll give it', but then he bit my finger. I eventually got it off and told them 'I promise to give you everything'."

The men then demanded money.

Potgieter-Rossetti said she had withdrawn money earlier and had put it in an envelope in her handbag.

"I said, 'take the money, but please leave my handbag'. One of them then hit me on the head."

The teenager came back after about ten minutes, saying he had spotted them behind a bush.

Arrest

Randburg police responded quickly, and one of the alleged robbers was arrested a short while later while getting into a minibus taxi.

"It was a horrible experience, but they only took material possessions. Thank God, it could have been worse," she said.

"It was my original engagement ring, but my life is worth more than that. I would [now] rather wear a cubic zirconia ring than have someone bite my finger.

"People always say how you should react in situation like that - I stayed calm. Even though they had guns I didn't feel they were going to shoot me.

She said the 17-year-old found her bag on the ground, but her money, her purse and her pair of readings glasses, which were in a leather case, were taken.

Police could not immediately confirm the incident on Sunday.

Two arrested over murder of Mozambican lawyer

2015-04-13 20:50

Maputo - Two men have been arrested in connection with the murder last month of Mozambican academic and lawyer Gilles Cistac, police said on Monday.

Police spokesperson Arnaldo Chefo identified them as Mozambican nationals Manuel Lucio and Arsenio Nhaposse and said they had appeared in court and remained in custody. He gave no further details.

Cistac, a central figure in a debate about the creation of autonomous states in Mozambique, was on his way to work in a taxi when a car carrying four men pulled alongside and one of them opened fire, shooting him dead.

He had told reporters in February the creation of autonomous regions would be allowed under the constitution.

The main opposition party Renamo has called for its politicians to govern regions where it won more votes than the ruling Frelimo party in elections last year. It has also proposed that Mozambique be divided into two countries.

There have been concerns in recent years that Mozambique, which has attracted billions of dollars of foreign investment after making huge coal and gas finds, could slip back into conflict after former rebel group Renamo withdrew from a 1992 peace deal that ended a 16-year civil war.

Police searching for Killarney robbery suspects

2015-05-21 19:07

Adam Wakefield, News24

Johannesburg - Police are searching for a group of robbers who shot at and robbed a woman in Killarney, Johannesburg, on Thursday afternoon, Gauteng police said.

"It is alleged that the victim was driving from Hyde Park towards Killarney when she was blocked by an unknown number of suspects driving a black VW Golf," spokesperson Lungelo Dlamini said.

"The suspects jumped out of their vehicle and fired shots at the driver. She was robbed of several items including a Rolex watch, handbag, earrings and an undisclosed amount of cash."

The robbers then drove away in the VW Golf.

A case of attempted murder and robbery was being investigated.

The robbery happened on the corner of Anerly and Oxford roads.

Dlamini said anyone who had information on the robbery should contact police.

Motorist shot in upmarket Joburg suburb

2015-05-27 18:40

Jenni Evans

Johannesburg - Three men shot and wounded a woman driving through Johannesburg's upmarket Dunkeld West on Wednesday morning, police said.

Warrant Officer Moses Maphakela said the incident happened at 10:00 when the men, travelling in a silver Audi A4, began following the woman.

They shot at her, hitting her in the left leg, before driving off.

''We have opened a case of attempted murder and attempted car hijacking and are looking for the men,'' said Maphakela.

Police are trying to establish whether they wanted her car - which was not taken - or were possibly looking for jewellery.

Netcare911 said when they arrived on the scene they found the woman, in her late 40s, sitting on the side of the road. They treated her before taking her to hospital.

Hijackers gun down mother in front of children

2015-04-21 07:22

Naledi Shange, News24
Johannesburg - A 33-year-old woman was shot and killed in a hijacking outside her daughter's school in Bram Fischer phase 4, Gauteng police said on Tuesday.

The woman was with her 7-year-old-son and was picking up her 12-year-old daughter from the Soweto school on Monday afternoon, said Lieutenant Kay Makhubela.

"The daughter got into the car and as they got on the road, they were confronted by two men with guns," said Makhubela.

"The mother was shot and thrown out of the car with her kids," said Makhubela.

She died on the scene. The children were unharmed.

Several hours later, police found her Toyota Corolla abandoned in Dobsonville extension 3.

Police were investigating a case of murder and armed robbery.

Hijack tragedy narrowly averted

2015-03-13 05:00
Johannesburg - A potential tragedy was narrowly averted after a vehicle carrying a three-month-old baby was hijacked in Naturena, in Johannesburg, on Thursday.

A tracking device in the vehicle was activated and police informed.

Mediaweb's Chad Fichardt said police spotted the vehicle within minutes and gave chase. When the vehicle was stopped, there was no sign of the baby.

He said the baby was eventually found in Eldorado Park.

A witness claimed to have seen the baby being flung out the window of the moving vehicle. However, the baby had sustained no injuries.

One suspect had been arrested, police said.

Dramatic Pretoria hijack attempt caught on camera

2015-01-22 13:15
News24

Pretoria - Dramatic cellphone footage has emerged of a hijacking attempt outside a Pretoria nursery school on Thursday morning.

Netwerk24 reported that five men posing as police officers tried to hijack a Chinese couple driving a black BMW X5. The hijackers were dressed in police uniforms and drove a white BMW with a blue light.

Shots were fired during the hijack attempt, which took place as parents were dropping their children off at the school.

A parent at the school filmed the hijack attempt and loaded it onto YouTube.

According to The Citizen, the incident happened at the corner of Rubenstein and Helois roads in Moreleta Park.

An abandoned vehicle was later found in Tembisa, containing police vests and jackets, a blue light and two R5 rifles. Police believe it was used in the hijacking attempt, The Citizen reported.

Cops, criminals in Sandton highway shootout

2015-05-20 13:35
Naledi Shange, News24

Johannesburg - A shootout ensued on the M1 South near the Grayston offramp in Sandton on Wednesday, said police.

Police officers patrolling the area spotted a red Volkswagen near Sandton City which they tried to stop and search, said Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini.

The vehicle however sped off.

"A chase then ensued. Occupants of the vehicle fired shots at the police and police shot back until the driver lost control of the vehicle on M1 after Grayston on-ramp," said Dlamini.

One suspect jumped out of the vehicle and fled on foot.

The second suspect, a 28-year-old man, was arrested on the scene.

"A pistol and several [rounds of] ammunition of an AK47 rifle was found inside the vehicle. It is suspected that the vehicle is stolen," said Dlamini.

The man was charged with attempted murder, possession of an illegal firearm and ammunition and possession of suspected stolen vehicle.

The search continues for the other suspect.

It was reported that no one was injured.

Body of hijacked Cape Town businessman found

2015-05-31 19:49Adam Wakefield, News24

Johannesburg - The body of abducted Cape Town businessman Imraan Daya has been found in Mitchells Plain in Cape Town, Western Cape police said on Sunday.

"This office can confirm that the vehicle of a 27-year-old man was hijacked in Lansdowne on Friday evening by armed male suspects," spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut said in a statement.

"His body was discovered yesterday [Saturday] in the Wolfgat Nature Reserve in Mitchells Plain after he was shot. The circumstances surrounding the murder are being investigated and no one has been arrested as yet."

The crime scene left traffic badly backed up on the R300 and surrounding roads with many on social media complaining about traffic standing still on the nearby Vanguard Drive.

The suspects fled on foot and no cash was taken, Van Wyk said.

Daya was buried on Sunday

Man missing after Joburg hijacking

Johannesburg - A man is missing after apparently being shot during a hijacking in Johannesburg, Gauteng police said on Saturday.

The man and a woman were driving in a Toyota Hilux on their way to OR Tambo International Airport on Friday and were confronted by gunmen when they stopped at a robot, spokesperson Kay Makhubela said.

The hijackers took the Hilux, tied up the woman and put her in their kombi.

She later told police that the hijackers shot the man during the hijacking.

"It is not clear if he was killed. He is nowhere to be found," Makhubela said.

Some of the hijackers drove off in the kombi with the woman still tied up but were involved in a car accident in Naledi, Soweto.

After the crash, in which no injuries were reported, the hijackers fled the scene and the woman was found and untied. She was not physically harmed.

Members of the flying squad spotted the Hilux near Zola, Soweto, and gave chase.

There was a shoot-out between the hijackers and police, during which one of the suspects was wounded.

He was taken to hospital, where he remains under police guard.

Police were still searching for three more men in connection with the crime.

Source: News24

Tourism minister escapes dramatic hijacking

Johannesburg - Gauteng police are on the trail of three hijackers who attempted to hijack Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom outside his Johannesburg home.

Netwerk24's Jody Nel reported on Thursday that Hanekom arrived at his Kensington residence at about 19:30 on Monday night. Three men driving a Golf 5 pulled up and attempted to steal his official vehicle, a Mercedes Benz.

According to police, one suspect carrying a firearm got out of the Golf and ordered Hanekom's driver out of the car. Shots were fired and Hanekom's bodyguards managed to fight off the hijackers.

Nobody was injured in the incident and the hijackers fled the scene. The car was slightly damaged.

Police do not believe that Hanekom was specifically targeted, and are treating it as a normal attempted hijacking.

Eyewitness News reported that a 9mm pistol was left behind at the scene, and it is in the possession of the police.

Source: News24

Global leader in armoring teams up with leading SA motor retailer.

International Armoring Corporation have joined forces with the establishment of Armormax, a company dedicated to the armoring of motor vehicles utilizing the latest in high tech lightweight opaque and transparent armor.

IAC, based in Utah in the USA, is a world leader in the design and manufacture of both light armored and fully armored vehicles. With facilities around the world they count the Pope, world leaders, high profile celebrities and businessmen amongst their clients.

Utilizing the latest in lightweight armoring technology, Armormax will be able to armor select makes of luxury vehicles currently available in SA to a B4 level. A B4 level of protection will enable the armored portion of the vehicle to withstand shots fired from a .44 Magnum at point blank range.(A .44 Magnum is one of the most powerful handgun calibers) “Given South Africa’s high level of violent crime and hijacking, there is a clear need for greater security in South Africa. Our product brings a level of security previously only within reach of the super rich or political elite, to the owners of luxury vehicles so popular in our country.” says Grant Anderson GM of Armormax SA. Analysis of hijackings in SA show that by far the majority of hijackings are committed with handguns, which in armoring terms are a relatively easy threat to negate.

Part of the uniqueness of the Armormax offering is the modular system we employ. After our risk assessment a client may decide that only the front door and window need armoring. Another may need a full armoring solution with all doors and glass being armored

The lightweight armor fitted to the vehicle has little effect on the performance and handling of the vehicle. A vehicle armored by Armormax will look the same as the original, with only the discerning few aware of its full potential. The lightweight transparent armor (ballistic glass) fitted to the vehicle is optically indiscernible from the original OEM glass.

Armor can be installed as an aftermarket product or at the time the vehicle is purchased. A customer can finance the armoring as part of the purchase price of the vehicle. For those with a higher security risk a B6 level of armoring is available.

SA's 'ticking time bomb' of vehicle crime

PART OF A TIME BOMB: International vehicle crime expert John Edmeston (inset) reports that South Africa has 'a ticking time bomb'of vehicle crime due to social conditions. MAIN IMAGE: Shutterstock ~ Shutterstock

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - The crime rate in South Africa is expected to continue to rise as economic andsocial conditions deteriorate – it’s a trend that is already shown in the sharp climb in truck and car hijackings.

That’s the opinion of John Edmeston, global CFO of Cartrack Holdings, who adds that as economic growthcontracts, unemployment figures grow and regard for the rule-of-law deteriorates, vehicle tracking and recovery companies believe, theft and hijacking for sale into the illicit local and cross-border markets will increase.

'SAVING A BUCK'

About 50% of stolen and hijacked vehicles are disposed of within South Africa, he adds, and 30% areexported to other countries while the rest find their way into chop-shops and the parts market.

“As long as cash-strapped consumersare prepared to look the other way to save a buck and fuel demand criminal syndicates will continue to operate and flourish.”

Official crime statistics show a 12.3% increase in carjackingto 11 221 reported cases, Edmeston says. His company’s truckhijacking stats increased by 16% in the financial year to February 2015.“This aligns with similar figures released by the Road Freight Association.”

ECONOMICS OF CRIMEThe association, he explained, reported 1150 truck hijackings across the industry during the same period – “a rapid and significant escalation”.

More reports, he added, are showing a direct correlation between the crime rate and economic and social conditions.“Car and truck hijackings are generally perpetrated by organised crime syndicates, thus the hijacking increases alsosuggest that organised crime is on the rise in South Africa.”

He pointed out that a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,Monitoring the Impact of Economic Crisis on Crime, shows crime increases during economic crises.The incidence of robbery, the report said, might double and homicide and vehicle theft increase.

Using data recorded by police in 15 countries, Edmeston claims,the incidence of robbery, homicide and car theft correlate with the possible effects of economic stress.In eight of 11 countries undergoing economic upheaval, a link between economic factors and crime could be clearly established.

He also pointed out that during the financial crisis of 2008/9 truck hijackings in SA soared by61% over 2006/7. During the recovery years of 2011/12 the number of incidents fell by 42%.

“Nevertheless we have to come to terms with the fact that crime, particularly organised crime,is an industry in itself and will thrive regardless of economics in an environment where controls and consequences are inadequate.”

SYNDICATES RIFE

Beyond the economic link to crime rates, Edmeston pointed out,various studies stated that many factors were driving this trend,among them youth gangs, drugs, alcohol and the availability of firearms.

“Gangs operating drug and vehicle theft syndicates are rife across South Africa,particularly in Gauteng and the Western Cape,” Edmeston said. “Exacerbating this,the perceived or real high levels of corruption, instability in our law enforcement agenciesand perceived low criminal prosecution rates also play a role in bolstering crime - criminals believe they can act with impunity.”

There was, he said, “a ticking time bomb” forecast of 10-million unemployed young South Africans by 2020;already the World Employment and Social Outlook – Trends 2015 report puts South Africa as having the world’seighth-highest unemployment rate and among the youth the figure is 52.5% - sixth, globally.

“Tackling youth unemployment has to be South Africa’s single most important focus; business and government must find common ground to defuse that bomb.”

ILLICIT SOLUTIONS

Edmeston believed large numbers of unemployed youth have been at the centre of unrest, service delivery protests and rebellions across Africa.

“Studies have shown that where there is widespread unemployment, there is the potential for an increasing proportion of the population to identify illicit solutions to their immediate problems.”

Lee-Ann Liebenberg traumatised after hold-up

Johannesburg - Lee-Ann Liebenberg was held up by three armed men in the driveway of her house, according to her Twitter account.

The South African beauty shared the shocking news on Twitter; "We were just followed home from Hyde Park shopping centre and help up in our driveway by 3 armed men MERC Benz BM 49PW. (sic)"

According to Lee-Ann the suspects followed them home from Hyde Park shopping centre.

Lee-Ann’s daughter, Gabriella, turns 1 today.

Lee-Ann shared this photo earlier today:
It's my 1st BIRTHDAY!!! "Guuuurl,do NOT touch my cake..." #CakeSmashParty ( *Thank you Aunty Sims for my beautiful French dress!💗) 14/4/14
LEE-ANN LIEBENBERG AND HER HUSBAND NICKY VAN DER WALT. (GALLO IMAGES)

AK47 wielding robbers bring Cape highway to standstill

Cape Town - An attempted cash-in-transit heist with robbers apparently brandishing AK47s brought traffic to a standstill on the R300 highway just outside Cape Town.

Western Cape police spokesperson Frederick van Wyk told News24 that several shots were fired as a gang of fourmen tried to rob a cash van on the highway just before the N2.

“Several shots were fired, [but] no injuries were reported, just damage to the [cash van].”

One witness said he saw four cars on the left-hand side of the road and three others on the other side.

The man claims they then ran over the highway with AK47s shooting at the cash van. Van Wyk said police were investigating the claims that AK47s were used.

The crime scene left traffic badly backed up on the R300 and surrounding roads with many on social media complaining about traffic standing still on the nearby Vanguard Drive.

The suspects fled on foot and no cash was taken, Van Wyk said.

Armoured cars: Safety for sale

JOHANNESBURG – Flashing blue lights and a convoy of black SUV's are a sure giveaway that bulletproof cars are passing.
Yet, most armoured cars on Johannesburg roads look almost identical to their “soft” counterparts.
“They look no different on the road. You may be driving next to armoured cars on a daily basis, you wouldn’t notice,” says Ryan Holmner, dealer principal at Infiniti Melrose.
Infiniti is the luxury car brand owned by Nissan. In South Africa, it is taking on more established German manufacturers by offering armoured cars, in three different models, at competitive prices.
“A client can go in and order a vehicle off the floor from Infiniti with full motor plan, warranty and everything,” says Grant Anderson, managing director of Armormax.
Armormax, an American company with several workshops around the world, uses military-grade plastics and bulletproof glass to safeguard vehicles against gunfire.
The two companies are partnering in a new venture offering South African motorists the option of three armoured Infiniti models off the dealership floor.

Rising demand


Anderson says the decision to offer shop-ready armoured cars is informed by crime rates in South Africa. Demand for bullet-proofing has increased steadily over the last four years.

|“We’ve been building vehicles for them [Infiniti] for a while now, and we literally can’t keep up.”


Holmner, who sells bulletproof cars from a dealership near Melrose Arch, says that over the last six months he has noticed increased interest in armoured cars from individuals and companies.
“This week specifically we had a fantastic week,” said Holmner on Friday, 30 January. “We’ve sold four armoured cars.”
“We’re not the first manufacturer to offer a factory armoured complement, but we certainly are different from a price point,” he explains.
“We have cars from German rivals, but they start at R2.5-million to R3-million.”

No set client


“There is really no set client: Mixed races, all genders, it’s really a mixed bag. I think people have always had the impression armoured cars are for presidents and royalty.
"That’s certainly not the case,” says Holmner.
While there may not be a “set client”, those buying bulletproof vehicles from Holmner have at least three things in common:
- they are based in Gauteng
- they have a budget of up to R3-million
- and they often buy an armoured car after a brush with crime.
“It is, a lot of the time, an impulse buy,” says Holmner. “Having said that, once they’ve bought, I’ve never had a client who regretted it.”
After an armed robbery, clients at both Infiniti Melrose and those who approach Armormax directly to armour a car they already own, are willing to fork out for bullet-proofing.
Anderson says one potential client contacted Armormax after he and his family were held up by armed robbers on William Nicol Drive three weeks ago.
He says the incident occurred in rush-hour traffic and criminals made off with cellphones, watches and other valuable items.
The client then contacted Armormax to enquire about bullet-proofing.

Any car, at a price


Asked if they can armour any car, Anderson says they can, at a starting cost of an estimated R500,000.
The Johannesburg workshop even armoured a 1960s Beetle for a very wealthy South American client, and they have revamped vehicles for heads of state on the continent.
Bulletproof windscreens alone can cost anything between R120,000 and R300,000 depending on the thickness of the glass and the kind of gunfire it can withstand.
Both Anderson and Homner have heard from clients whose lives have been saved thanks to car armour, especially bulletproof windows.
Armormax displays several glass panes of bulletproof glass involved in real-life armed hijackings, in which shots fired from handguns and semiautomatic rifles were deflected.
The responsibility of building safe cars is front of mind for the man who leads the build team at the Armormax workshop in Johannesburg.

Saved lives


“When I do armouring, I must do a proper job, because it’s the life of the person,” says lead technician Patrick Zenda.
Zenda adds he knows of people -- ADT security guards and clients' families -- whose lives were saved because of armour he and his team installed.
However, while Armourmax staff install bullet-proofing, they don’t drive armoured cars themselves.
Even director Anderson’s personal car is not armoured, though he says he is in the process of having it fitted with some bullet-proofing.
For the majority of motorists who cannot afford north of R500,000 worth of armour for their vehicle, Anderson says smash and grab tints are a good start and awareness on the road is key.
“Smash and grab is a good product. Really, that’s to stop a blunt object crashing through. It cannot stop a bullet.”
Being alert, meanwhile, “applies as much to a person who is driving an armoured vehicle as a person driving a non-armoured vehicle. You need to know what’s going on around you.”

Trade-ins at a fraction of the cost


Holmner says those willing to buy older cars can look at bulletproof trade-ins, starting at around R300,000, for cars that are eight to 10 years old.
While these models may not be as flashy as mint cars in the same price range, he says, they come with peace of mind.
“We’ve had one incident of a client, literally, it saving his life,” says Holmner.
He describes armed robbers ambushing a motorist who was entering the driveway of his Johannesburg home. When he noticed the robbers and began driving away they aimed their guns at his head, through his car window, and began to fire.
“Had he not had that armour, he wouldn’t be alive.

|“The whole body of the vehicle is in a sealed cocoon – the doors, the body, the undercarriage, the tyres, everything is completely secure.”


Anderson insists car armour is an effective delay tactic which buys motorists time to escape a high risk situation.
“Really, all an armoured car does is buy you ime to get out of trouble, and it does that very effectively.”
Car armour is an option for “everyday millionaires” who have the means to buy some peace of mind.
However, it remains an unfeasible option for the remaining everyday South Africans.

03 February 2015 - Unfortunately, hijackings and smash-and-grabsare an all-too-familiar reality for many South Africans.One car dealership in Gauteng is cashing in on the demand for safer vehicles . Video: eNCA

KZN police urge motorists to be vigilant

Durban – If you hear a loud bang while driving, do not stop.

This is the message from provincial police spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane on Tuesday referring to social media posts by Durban resident Greg McAlindin.

In his social media post this week, McAlindin describes how his wife Elnike was travelling along the N2 near Stanger last year when she heard a "loud bang".

"She was on her way to write an exam. She called me and I told her to drive to a public spot and check out her tyre. All seemed fine at first," McAlindin told News24.

However, once she came out of her exam room, Elnike noticed her tyre was flat.

"I advised her to go to a tyre shop and have it repaired. Once this happened, we were horrified to see a hole similar to a bullet in the rim," McAlindin said.

Zwane said there were no reported cases of the incident, but warned criminals were becoming increasingly creative.

"We would like to warn motorists to be vigilant and avoid stopping in isolated areas if possible. They should rather call the police for assistance on our Crime Stop number 08600 10111."

Northern eThekwini Coastal Sector community policing forum chairperson Nazir Sadack said creative criminals were becoming common.

"As technology improves and we find new ways to stop criminals, they in turn adjust their methods of attack."

Sadack said last week his neighbourhood watch in Seatides, north of Durban, found concrete blocks purposefully placed in the middle of the road.

"This was intended to make drivers stop, thus leaving them vulnerable. We've also noted eggs being thrown on windscreens. This obscures vision once wipers come on. Stone throwing from bridges is also quite the issue."

Sadack also warned motorists not to stop.

"These distractions are meant to give them a chance to hijack or rob you. Don't ever stop. Drive to a public place or a police station. Always stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings," he said.

Armored Vehicles

Armormax specialises in armoring of luxury vehicles for world leaders, high profile celebrities and businessmen amounst other clients. We have a wide range of vehicles that we armor from BMW, Mercedes, Land Rover and Lexus to name a few.

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Armormax uses patented, lightweight synthetic armor laminates, molded to fit the vehicle rather than modifying the vehicle. Contact us today to for a quote on what we can offer you on bulletproof cars and conversions.

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Contact us for more information on custom armoring solutions. We are based in Johannesburg ( SA) and have locations in Salt Lake City(
USA), London(UK) and Subic Bay ( Phillippines ).

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Welcome to the Home of Armormax

Put your most precious things in the safest place - choose Armormax

Thank you for visiting our website! Armormax SA specializes in the armoring of luxury vehicles to level B4 (High powered handgun) or a level B6 (High powered rifle e.g. AK/ R4/R1). If tragedy struck and you were to lose on of your loved ones, you would never forgive yourself. Especially if you knew you could have done more to protect them. Armormax provides and impenetrable barrier between your family and would-be attackers.

Utilizing the latest in lightweight armouring technology, your luxury vehicle will be able to withstand a level B4 threat (shots fired from a .44 Magnum at point blank range) when protected with Armormax. In addition neither your car's physical appearance nor the handling will be affected.

Armormax Pty (Ltd) ® is an affiliated company of www.armormax.com