Dramatic ATM bombing encounter recalled

Left: JP Visagie and girlfriend Vicky Orban. Photo: Gopolang Chawane

A security officer recently wounded by ATM bombers in the east of Pretoria recounted his ordeal this week.

“As soon as we reached complex entrance they opened fire,” said Jean-Paul Visagie of the security firm Bull Security .

He spoke of the crucial seconds when men with automatic rifles opened fire after bombing an ATM at the Cornwall shopping centre in Elardus Park.

“We responded to the two large bangs with two of our vehicles,” he said.

“A security officer from the shopping centre came running and alerted us that an ATM was bombed.”

Visagie said the two response vehicles immediately went for the entrance. As they were about to enter the shopping centre, shots were fired.

Visagie’s vehicle was in front and it felt like they had driven into an ambush. He tried to reverse but the vehicle’s engine was hit.

“Shots were aimed directly at us by the attackers and we immediately retaliated. Bullets were flying,” he said.

“My car wouldn’t reverse and I was hit [shot]. Another bullet through the windscreen grazed my head, went through the driver’s headrest and lodged in the rear of the vehicle.

Visagie said he did not remember being in pain during the dramatic shootout.

A bullet went through Visagie’s left forearm without touching any bone.

He said the group shooting was clearly intent on disabling the security vehicles in order to make their getaway.

“Myself and officer Johnson Brown took cover as our vehicles were being riddled with bullets,” Visagie said.

“As the perpetrators fled the scene we radioed for help.”

Medics and police arrived on the scene shortly afterwards.

“I was taken to hospital and don’t remember much after that,” Visagie said.

Police had since launched a manhunt for the group linked to the ATM bombing. They were travelling in three vehicles

Spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo said investigations were continuing.

He confirmed that a group opened fire on Bull Security officers after bombing a Standard Bank ATM around 02:40 last Tuesday.

Also read:

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Tshwane metro police catch dumper red handed

Tshwane Metro police arrested for armed robbery

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