WATCH | 'You must take a life, or they take yours': CIT security officers recount horror stories
Cash-in-transit security officers risk their lives carrying millions of rands on a daily basis.
Despite the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown, SA Banking Risk Information Centre stats show a 34% increase in attacks on cash-in-transit trucks in 2020 compared with 2019.
After nineteen years in the industry IziCash security officer Dirk Kotzee experienced his first heist.
“It's a bad experience because you see the guys coming with firearms and you know you must take a life, or they take yours,” Kotzee says.
Kotzee was shot through his ankle during an attempted heist in August.
In August, 19 CIT vans were attacked and in September another 12.
Cross-pavement attacks jumped from two in April to nine in August and another 15 in September.
IziCash CEO, Albert Erasmus says criminals are playing catch-up.
“October and November are usually the heist peak, but this year it began in August and has not stopped. The syndicates are playing catch-up after the lockdown,” he said.
IziCash's Phillip Shaw has survived eight heists between 2019 and 2020.
Brought to tears by recounting the incidents, Shaw says he prays on a daily basis for his life and the lives of his colleagues. Recently he watched a colleague be killed.
“They shot him once in the chest. When he fell, they shot him three times in the head. There is no mercy. Robbers go out to kill everyone on the van,” Shaw said.
With heists on the rise after SA's move to level-1 lockdown, cash-in-transit officers face a turbulent time ahead.
PODCAST | A war is raging: cash-in-transit heists escalate