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2023/11/01      |  Written By:  Colonel D Mdhluli   |   Province:  Mpumalanga

Nelspruit: 31 October 2023 -  The festive season is at hand and the Police in Mpumalanga urge members of the public to guard against criminals who are eager to do whatever they can, to get hold of their savings. The warning comes prior to the festivities whereby members of Social Clubs and other similar groupings gear up to share large sums of money that they saved throughout the year accordingly. Sadly, during this period (like in the past years) when the money is shared or immediately thereafter, perpetrators often pounce on their victims.

As a result of such incidents, the SAPS continue to advice the public against carrying large sums of cash for the purposes of sharing but rather consider other means such as electronical transfer of the cash into individual accounts  as a method of distribution amongst Club members. Though one may desire to have a feeling of some kind of excitement when physically carrying large sums of cash in their hands. However this trend often puts them in a vulnerable position of being targeted by criminals. Having cash transferred electronically into one's bank account may assist in preventing incidents of similar robberies that were previously reported in the past years in relation to stokvels.

In one of such incidents at Masoyi a nurse was sadly shot and killed by a suspect who attacked her during the time when women belonging to a stokvel group gathered at a certain house to share money among themselves. They were reportedly robbed of their cash when two armed suspects showed up. Ms Jabulile Mdluli (30) was fatally shot during the incident which took place on Saturday, 10 December 2022 just before midday at Dingindoda Section in Mshatsa near Masoyi outside White River.

Some of other practices by members of these clubs may also pose danger to them and these include withdrawals of large sums of money to purchase groceries. It is advisable to make a quotation of what needs to be purchased from the retailers, then make electronic transfers instead of paying in cash.

It is much possible that some of these robberies could be well orchestrated by greedy people who may join the stokvels with the intention to connive with criminals to rob their fellow members. The intention of alerting the public about the subject matter is not to discourage people from forming groups to save but the purpose is to encourage them to do that safely and safeguarding their hard earned cash.

The management of the SAPS in Mpumalanga urge community members to be vigilant and refrain from sharing information that may work against them, compromising their safety and that of their properties. If need be, people should think twice before blowing a horn on their acquired personal belongings.