Armed robbery: Notorious panga gang not involved

Stock image :Mr Jacques Meiring of Bossies Community Justice along with his canine companion, Bossie.

MBOMBELA – Authorities have issued a warning to be on the lookout for two armed men who overpowered a family at Panorama Village yesterday. 

Around 20:00, the suspects held the Pienaar family at gunpoint while they were busy having dinner.  According to one of the victims, Mr Riaan Pienaar, the gunmen forced him to the ground and tied him up with a wire before assaulting him. “They asked me for cash and I told them where it was kept,” he said. One went upstairs but could’t find it. He came back down and took Pienaar’s wife Marga upstairs after which she showed him where the cash was.

The other suspect then took the rest of the family upstairs, tied them up and forced them to the ground. “I remember while myself, my two boys and my wife were lying on the ground, how they were arguing about something, but I couldn’t figure out what it was about. They spoke broken English to us, and because I have worked in Mozambique, I figured out that the language they spoke was a dialect used in northern Mozambique,” said Pienaar.

He added that the two men wore black overalls, with matching black safety shoes. The suspects saw headlights of an oncoming vehicle, and made a run for it. Bossies Community Justice (BCJ), Hi-Tech Security Nelspruit and the SAPS Flying Squad arrived shortly after the incident. Because they were wearing no gloves, police immediately tried to dust for fingerprints. At the moment the results are still unknown.      

Community members are warned not to approach the suspects as they are armed and dangerous. “I do believe that this is not the alleged ‘panga gang’,” said Mr Jacques Meiring of BCJ.

Though assaulted, the Pienaar family did not sustain any serious injuries but were extremely traumatised. The suspects fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of cash and other valuable items. 

Stefan de Villiers

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