A december with empty fridge? Stokvel ended in tears after members were robbed R280k

A group of 31; unemployed women; from an area called Madipeleka; Vryburg in the North West; were robbed of an amount of R280 000.

After saving money for months; it was time for the women to gather and receive their hard earned cash. The money which helps with various expenses before and after Christmas; was their only hope.

None of the women were prepared for thugs to walk in wearing balaclavas and armed to the teeth to rob them. The man are believed to have only uttered “It’s time;” meaning it was time for the women to hand over the money they had saved.

This is obviously an inside job. How did these tsotsies know that the money was being divided among the stokvel members; on this particular day; time and venue?

These women hustled and put aside the little that they had; in order to provide for Christmas expenses; school fees; university registration fees; school uniforms and food.

Every year end; we are inundated with stories similar to this one. Most of these women are from rural areas; and are not privy to banking Apps; bank transfers and the like; hence they fall victim to unscrupulous thugs.

The local newspaper learned that there were five thugs who were armed and wearing balaclavas. They walked in and demanded the money from the women; who had gathered to receive their saved portions.

A stokvel member; Eva Pharasi said that one of the men walked in and said; it was time. He then whipped out a gun and told them to lie down on their stomachs.

Two men started walking around; among the women grabbing the cash and stuffing it in a bag. It is not clear whether they brought the bag with them; or it was already at the scene of crime.

Another stokvel member; Mamsie Telekelo said; she tried to hide an amount of R10 000; which was on her; under the sofa; but they caught her.

According to Telekelo; they continued to search each woman and took all the money they had on them. Soon after they stole Eva’s vehicle and sped away in it.

Eva told the local newspaper that; she had deposited all the money she had into the stokvel; with the hope of paying his seven year-old son’s school fees for the whole year. The remainder was going to cover registration fees at university; for her daughter.

Eva told the local newpaper that; in the past; the stokvel really worked for them because it enabled her to extend her house.

The spokesperson for the SAPS in the North West; Sergeant Colonel Amanda Funani; confirmed the incident and that the police are investigating.

A case of armed robbery and car hijacking has been opened by the North West police. The police were able to arrest two suspects aged 36 and 41; who have appeared at the Kgomotso magistrates court on Wednesday.

They were remanded in custody and will appear before court again on 24 November 2021.

– Tingting1105