“I had to report to work daily to teach new recruits while I still had a stiff neck and was covered in bruises.”
CASH-In-Transit guard Riaan le Roux is still an angry man after he was held at gunpoint, punched and dragged underneath the cash van before his employer fired him with a R7000 settlement.
Trauma and dejection still linger in his voice as he relives the January 4 trauma that cost him his job as a technical support officer for G4S Solutions in Kuruman, Northern Cape.
He had been working for the company for close to two years before he was expelled for gross negligence for failing to inform his superiors about the malfunctioning door latch of the armoured vehicle he had been driving on the day robbers made off with R3million.
Added to the charge, was a mix-up in his delivery stops on the day, which exacerbated the loss.
In his defence Le Roux claims work pressures, and that the company did not give him training to do extra work, including that of driving cash vans and being a crewman, which requires special skills.
He claims his superiors knew about the problematic door.
He was found guilty on both counts and fired.
Jimmy Bouwer, branch manager from Klerksdorp who chaired the hearings, said LeRoux could have handled himself better as he knew company policies and procedures.
He said he neglected his duties by not checking the safety of the vehicle before it left the yard and had not shown remorse for the loss.
Le Roux, however, found recourse months later when he launched a grievance with the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), where instead of re-employment, he opted for the R7000 settlement the company offered.
“I could not see myself working for that company after the sh** treatment they subjected me to after the robbery. I dedicated almost two years of my life bending over for them.”
Le Roux was booked off sick for two weeks but claims the company would not give him time off or trauma counselling. “I had to report to work daily to teach new recruits while I still had a stiff neck and was covered in bruises.”
He said he only managed to find work in the trucking business recently and earned a quarter of the R11 000 salary he got from G4S.
“I’m better off where I am now. I rather get paid peanuts than being subjected to a highly dangerous job that is thankless,” Le Roux said.
A total of 159 cash-in-transit heists have already been recorded this year, said Kevin Twiname, head of service delivery at the SA Banking Risk Information Centre.
He was speaking at a press conference attended by Police Minister Bheki Cele, Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole and head of Hawks Seswantsho Godfrey Lebeya in Centurion yesterday.
Although he could not divulge how much had been stolen to date, Twiname said the industry had already lost about R67 million from more than 60 armoured vehicles written off during heists. Each vehicle costs R1.1m to R1.4m.
Cele said they had arrested 14 suspects within 24 hours of launching their strategy to curb heists on Monday. The 14 included the second most wanted kingpin from a list of 20 in the country.