Crime out of control in absence of security<br><br>
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Crime out of control in absence of security

Postby Emilio » Wed, 2006-04-26 10:53

Crime out of control in absence of security

'A-Team' terrorises CBD
April 25, 2006

By Samona Murugan, Bhavna Sookha & Sherlissa Peters

Several chain stores in central Durban have been robbed on successive days as criminals become ever more brazen because of the absence of security guards, who are currently on strike.

Staff who have been appointed makeshift security guards have been threatened, assaulted and stabbed in the attacks.

The effect of the security strike has also been felt at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) - where students have become regular victims of muggings and had their cars broken into - and in Pietermaritzburg where businesses have temporarily shut down after regular robberies.

In Durban, the notorious "A-Team" - a gang of women accompanied by a few men and named for their slick operation - has returned, emboldened by the security strike, to unleash their brand of terror on businesses.

The team of about 30 women, aged between 25 and 45 years, all armed with knives, bursts into stores and help themselves to clothing and other items, while staff, overwhelmed by the sheer weight of numbers, can only stand and watch. They usually make their get-away in waiting taxis.

"We don't stand a chance against these criminals with the guards on strike - we are outnumbered by this A-Team," said the manager of Milady's in West Street, who did not want to be named.

The manager of Jet in West Street, who would also not be named, said: "A cashier who was stationed at the door last Tuesday was pulled outside and stabbed by a group of armed men thinking he was a security guard."

Desperate times have called for desperate measures and management is now stationed at the front entrance of most stores in the city.

A Jet staff member, who is now stationed at the door, is terrified and fears for his life.

"I am quite scared to stand at the door. It is not even my job, but I have to do it. We have turns to stand guard, but I feel that at any minute I am going to be attacked," he said.

"We were hit on Tuesday and on Wednesday and there is nothing that we can do besides step aside," said Milady's manager.

"We need police patrolling the streets. Last week, during a robbery, Chubb Security was alerted. When they responded to the alarm, a police officer actually gave them a parking ticket. The police should be concerned about the crime rather than issue parking tickets in the city," she said.

"We reported the robbery to the police on Tuesday and only received a response on Friday, but by then we had been robbed twice more," she said.

Gus Brand, general manager of The Hub in West Street, said the store had been broken into yesterday morning and several units of stock had been taken.

"This is the second time in two weeks we have had a break-in and, with our daily shoplifting incidents, the situation is escalating out of control. We have closed off our store's entrance in Smith street, which makes it a little easier to control access into and out of the store," said Brand.

Rape case
The DUT has also been negatively affected by the strike, with recent increases in muggings, car thefts, burglaries at residences and even a case of rape being reported on one campus.

"The increase in crime on the campuses can be attributed to the nationwide security strike. The majority of our security guards are on strike," said university spokesman David Sedumedi.

Several students have embarked on a stay-away from lectures and tests as they fear for their security.

"Cars have been broken into and stolen and students are mugged on a daily basis. I was robbed of my cellphone and handbag last week. It is not safe anymore," said marketing student Natasha Govender.

"Management has decided to suspend the academic programme from yesterday, and lectures will resume on Tuesday, May 2," said DUT spokeswoman Nomonde Mbadi.

In the CBD, an outraged yet fearful shop owner said: "The city has become a crime-ridden place. We need visible policing on the streets, that is the only way to stop this gang," he said.

Nicol Square Community Policing Forum's Nicky Gounden said crime was spiralling out of control and that the police were aware of the situation.

He confirmed that the A-Team was back in action and that they were moving around the city centre.

"The city is not secure anymore. Crime is becoming a serious problem," he said.

Metro Police spokesman Alex Wright said officers were on duty in the CBD but that they could not be expected to do the work of security guards.

"Parking is a huge problem in the city and we have briefed our parking enforcement officials to be on the lookout for criminals in the area," he said.

In Pietermaritzburg irate business people are calling for an end to the ongoing security strike after an increasing number of robberies and shoplifting incidents in the CBD.

Langalibalele Street cellphone shop owner Ismail Bhamjee said he had been robbed of cellphones and accessories by brazen criminals since the strike began.

"They walk into the shop and just demand goods from you in full view of everyone, and we give in because you never know if they are going to take out a gun and shoot you," he said.

Bhamjee said he had lost close to R5 000 in stock and is so disheartened by the situation that he has closed his shop until the strike is over.

"No one wants to shop anymore. They are too scared without the presence of security, as they should be. Our security guards need to come back to work," he said.

On Friday, half the businesses in Church Street closed early after hearing rumours that a mob was running riot through the city. Police spokesman Supt Joshua Gwala said Morkels furniture store was robbed at gunpoint.

He said two men were arrested and a television set recovered.

Gwala said another armed robbery took place at Access Business Commu-nications where cash and cellphones were taken.

"The SAPS Dog Unit responded and caught two suspects while they were still in the shop. The third suspect escaped with goods and a firearm," he said.

Restaurant owner Gavin Delmar said his staff were robbed at gunpoint while reporting for work on Saturday morning.

"They were all waiting outside for me to open up, when they were confronted by three armed men and forced to hand over their wallets, jewellery and cellphones," he said.

Delmar added that if the strike does not end soon and guards are not back at work, he would be forced to protect his staff, customers and premises himself, "by whatever means necessary".

Church Street businessman Jona-than Naicker said his business was robbed of two television sets and a sound system when six armed women and two men held him and his staff up.

"I lost more than R40 000 in assets. Surely something can be done to protect our businesses.

"The criminals are calling the shots because they know we are vulnerable. Our city is in a state of anarchy," he said.

Msunduzi Municipality spokesman S'khumbuzo Mpanza said the council was aware of the problems being experienced and have already decided on a plan of action.

"Council is taking these complaints very seriously. Measures will be taken to alleviate the problem," he said.
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Location: Sandton, South Africa

Crime out of control in the absence of security

Postby Emilio » Wed, 2006-04-26 10:54

Reference to the article "Crime out of control in absence of security" April 25 2006

The writer/journalist of the above article quite possibly is a fraud. There is no crime in Durban CBD. The Firearms Control ACT "guarantees" that there will be no crime. Gun Control laws are always marketed by government and the anti-gun lobby as "crime fighting".

So then? Why is there crime rampant in Durban?

Unless of course, there is the other side of the coin...

Gun Owners of South Africa's (GOSA) National Co-Ordinator, Charl Van Wyk has repeatedly stated time and time again in press releases that "Criminals prefer un-armed victims" "Criminals prefer soft targets" "Gun control does not equal crime control". Unfortunately, such comments fall on deaf ears including the media. Gun Free SA is often taken seriously and is given top billing by the print and television media.

The sad situation in Durban right now, in the absence of security guards, is that there is a perception among criminals that retail stores and civilans and students are all "soft-targets". It does not require a PhD in Science to figure that one out. It also does not require an Einstein to figure out that the anti-gun lobby clearly has lost the plot.

Ja well. Live and lean. Live and learn.
Crime = disease.
Guns = my immune system.
Gun control = HIV/AIDS.
GOSA = ARV drug of choice
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue, 2006-02-07 05:29
Location: Sandton, South Africa

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