Taxi commuter killed in heist

Gershwin Chuenyane

Gershwin Chuenyane

A minibus taxi passenger died and 13 others were injured yesterday when three vehicles, including a cash-in-transit security vehicle, overturned during a daring mid-morning robbery on the Old Warmbaths Road.

A yellow Mercedes-Benz pushed the Pretoria-bound security cash van off the road by smashing into it just a kilometre from the Rooiwal intersection at about 9am.

The cash van, a minibus taxi and a 4x4 bakkie overturned as a result. A woman passenger in the taxi died and 13 other people, including two security guards, sustained serious and minor injuries.

Five suspects armed with assault rifles forced open the cash van and took an undisclosed amount of money. They used a black VW Polo as their getaway vehicle. It is not clear if any of the suspects were injured, but the Mercedes-Benz used to ram the cash van was bloodied inside.

Pretoria police spokesman Inspector Anton Breedt confirmed the incident, saying they had deployed a helicopter and several patrol vehicles to search the area for the suspects, but they failed to detect any sign of them.

A motorist, who did not want to be identified, told Sowetan he was caught in the middle of the robbery and has never been so scared in his life. He said it was like a Hollywood movie.

"At first I was annoyed that vehicles in front of me were driving at 60kmh on a national road. I even put pressure on the car in front of me. I then decided to overtake and that was when I got caught up in the robbery.

"I heard a loud bang when the Mercedes-Benz smashed into the cash van. Moments later I saw the men armed with rifles opening the cash van and taking something from it."