Four suspects armed with firearms gained access to the premises by breaking a hole in a devil’s fork fence
AN ARMED robbery at the Child Welfare offices in Kimberley in the early hours of yesterday morning has left staff traumatised and fearing for the safety of the 35 children housed at Sinothando Children’s Home, which is situated on the premises.
The armed robbery took place at the Child Welfare premises in Ethel Street, Galeshewe, at around 1am yesterday morning.
During the incident, four suspects armed with firearms gained access to the premises by breaking a hole in a devil’s fork fence.
Two of the men then held a security guard at gunpoint and blindfolded him with a balaclava, while the two other suspects broke into the organisation’s financial office.
The four suspects stole two laptops before fleeing on foot.
The security guard managed to alert a caregiver living on the premises, who said that she was so traumatised by the security guard’s emotional tears that she was almost too scared to open her door for him, fearing the robbers might still be on the premises.
Child Welfare manager Esme Hartney said yesterday that the incident was not the first armed robbery to take place at the Child Welfare offices in Kimberley.
“On a previous occasion, armed robbers used the same modus operandi, and also held a security guard at gunpoint,” she said.
Hartney added that Child Welfare was an NGO rendering much-needed services to children and families and robberies were placing the organisation in “a vulnerable position”.
“Being an NGO that does not generate its own funds, robberies like these place the organisation in a vulnerable position, which can lead to service delivery being seriously compromised.”
She called on the community to take ownership of its resources, “which serve to improve the quality of life in their communities”.
Other employees expressed concern about the 35 children residing in the children’s home, saying that the children would have been left severely traumatised had the armed men gained access into their dormitory rooms.
Police spokesperson, Sergeant Majang Skalkie, yesterday confirmed that the Galeshewe police were investigating a case of armed robbery after four unknown men threatened a security guard with a firearm at Child Welfare in Galeshewe.
“It is alleged that the incident occurred between 1am and 8am yesterday. Two laptops and a security gate were stolen, with a value of R12 250.
“At this stage no suspects have been arrested,” Skalkie said.
“We appeal to the community who may have any information that could lead to the arrest of the suspects to please contact the Galeshewe SAPS on 053 807 6012 or 053 807 6000.”