Security guards demand firearms

DESPERATE MEASURES: CIT security personnel embarked on marches around the country yesterday to expose their plight. PICTURE: ROBERT TLAPU

THOUSANDS of security guards in various parts of the country yesterday called for the government to review the Firearms Control Act as they increasingly come face-to-face with death as incidents of cash-in-transit heists rise.

They said they also wanted industry bosses to purchase stronger and smarter cars that would not be easily penetrated by thugs.

In Gauteng, marchers went through the streets of Johannesburg, some with placards on which was written “Give us permission to kill thugs”.

Spokesperson for the Motor Transport Workers Union Hlasinyane Motaung said the aim of the march was to highlight the challenges the officers on a daily basis.

“Our members are complaining that criminals are armed with heavy calibre guns while they were only allowed to go around with pistols,” he said.

Motaung said the lives of their members were at risk because of employers’ selfish interests.

The march comes hot on the heels of several cash-in-transit attacks across the country which has left some officers injured.

A representative from the department accepted the memorandum on behalf of community safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane.

Hlasinyane said one of their demands was that the Firearms Acts to be reviewed to allow cash-in-transit security guards to carry higher calibre firearms.

“We also want the industry bosses to purchase vehicles which would withstand bombings,” he said.

The officers have said that if their demands were not responded to, there will be no money in the ATMs.

“We are tired of our bosses giving us pistols while we have to fight against AK47s,” one worker said.

Police Minister Bheki Cele said they would be introducing the execution of a high-density stabilisation intervention.

The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union has also called for tough action to be taken against the syndicates in the cash truck attacks.

The South African Banking Risk Information Centre today said the number of cash-in-transit heists for the first six months of 2018 had seen a marked increased compared to 2017, with 159 robberies reported.