‘Concerned consumer’ ANTHONY TUFFIN of Plett entertained us no end with his sharp observations, which we gladly share with readers as a life-and-death-serious - if delightfully tongue-in-cheek - cautionary note…
The armoured car pulls up to the curb. Two heavily-armed men step out. Team member Two, big and burley, a 45 magnum pistol clutched in his steely grip, hammer cocked, is ready for any sign of attack.
Team member One, Commando Joe, automatic machine rifle, two ammo magazines taped together for maximum fire power, is ready for battle.
Both are wearing top of the range protective gear, bulletproof vests, webbing that French Foreign Legion soldiers would have killed to own.
Number Three, The Cash Man, enters the front entrance of the bank to do the drop. Radios crackle into life. “All clear here, hoe lyk dit daar?” asks Commando Joe. “Skoon,” replies Number Two.
This isn’t the film set of “Boetie op Manoeuvres”; I’m at a bank in Plett, queueing with five or six other loyal bank customers waiting to use the ATM machines.
I’m wearing my favourite Beach Boys T-shirt and board shorts, while 80-year-old Mrs Smith sports her best floral frock.
No protective gear for any of us, no sir, we’re just plain folk, all hoping to do our banking transactions in relative safety.
Commando Joe is tucked in behind a pillar, Number Two standing in the corner. We’re his human shield, his steely eyes peeled for any sign of attack.
How safe are we standing here, Commando Joe and Number Two both being prime targets in the event of a cash heist mere inches from us? One hears of innocent bystanders injured and killed in the crossfire. Hello! Recipe for disaster…
Commando Joe, Number Two, and The Cash Man finish their business at the banks and move off, only to double back their armoured car smack-bang outside the main entrance to Pick n Pay.
Number Four, the driver, sweats his butt off in the armoured car, ignoring all the motorists trying to squeeze past while Commando Joe and Number Two take up positions between the crowded old-age bench and Oom Piet eating the pie he just purchased.
The Strombolis Village bus is parked in the disabled parking, Yahoo, it’s pensioners day - slow-moving targets in the event of a cash heist!
Are there special laws allowing cash-in-transit vehicles to park where they like?
If I double-parked outside the main entrance, mommy going in to do shopping and me standing next to my bakkie with my 12-bore shotgun firmly in my grasp, I would surely be knee-deep in the dwang.
The cash should be collected behind the scenes, like all the shop’s other deliveries and collections, thereby keeping innocent folk out of harm’s way.
Banks should have an area where the handling of loot by cash-in-transit companies is done behind secure gates. Criminals target banks, supermarkets, and areas where big bucks get collected.
Why should we as innocent consumers be in the line of fire in the event of a heist? It was our money in the first place, so should we really be expected to suffer a second robbery?