Heist on R21 leaves one dead and one critical, Kempton Park
One person was killed and another seriously injured and their motor vehicle was left riddled with bullet holes after an attempted robbery on the R21 near Emperors Palace on Tuesday 19 March 2019. According to the Boksburg North SAPS spokesperson Constable Justice Ramaube, a gang of robbers started shooting at the victims’ motor vehicle as it was travelling along the R21 towards Kempton Park. “The driver apparently subsequently lost control of the vehicle after he and his passengers suffered gunshot wounds in the shooting. Officers found a small box containing gold in the victims’ vehicle,” said Ramaube. It is believed that the robbers, who are still at large, were targeting the gold. Police are investigating the shooting.
According to Shawn Herbst, media liaison officer Netcare Limited, Netcare 911 responded to reports of a shooting on the R21 just before noon. “The patients were assessed on scene by advanced life support paramedics and found to have sustained critical injuries. One of the adult males sustained a gunshot wound to the head and the other male was found with gunshot wounds to his upper torso. Once stabilised, both patients were transported by various ambulance services to hospital for further treatment.”
The victims were later named as Francois Swart and Dale Collins. Swart succumbed to his injuries in hospital the following day.
Collins sustained a broken pelvis, fractured leg, damaged ankle, burns on his leg and a torn bladder, according to his family. “He lost a large amount of blood and had to get multiple transfusions during and after his first surgery,” the family said in a statement. “On Friday, a second operation was performed where doctors attempted to repair his bladder. His infection count rose but doctors were able to stabilise it quickly.”
Collins was placed in a medically-induced coma for the first five days but has since drifted in and out of consciousness. “He opened his eyes for the first time on Monday and doctors seem happy with his progress,” said the family. He remains vulnerable to infection and his doctors are concerned about his blood pressure. Despite not having medical aid, he was not transported to a government hospital. “He requires specialist care which is why it is imperative he remains where he is to make a full recovery,” the family said.
Collins’ family and friends will try to rally together to raise funds for to ensure his recovery. They plan to take part in the Warrior Race on 6 April, in honour of both Collins and Swart, who had both planned on taking part.
Tributes from the strongman fraternity continue to pour in for Francois Swart. Tristen O’Brien, who describes the late strongman as family, said, “I met Francois at the gym when he was 19: a young man hungry to learn and move forward. We quickly became rather close and he also started working for me. He became what I can only describe as family.
“He joined my team and was coached by my coach, Rory Scheepers, as well. He was known for his giant heart, almost anyone you speak to will tell you the same thing.”
Swart was also a security guard at one of O’Brien’s night clubs. “He spent his last night with me, training and then we went for a meal together. His car is still parked in my driveway. Just a senseless loss to a man with an incredible future,” added O’Brien.
Boksburg strongman star JP Steyn said, “I knew Francois quite well. We both played rugby, him for the Pumas and I for the Falcons. “We started our strongman journey together as well. We did our first competition in Bloemfontein and I supported him during SAs, Arnolds and all the other strongman meetings.”
Apparently two other vehicles, a Ford Ranger and Renault, were also caught in the crossfire of the attempted robbery. The driver of the Ford Ranger, who was from Pongola and on his way to Pretoria, told this publication that he heard a loud bang, before swerving to the right to pull over. He thought it was a tyre that has bust. In the process, the Toyota Land Cruiser, which was driving behind him, crashed into the left side of his vehicle and continued to drive away from the gunmen. “I then realised that the people in the two Golfs had shot my rear left tyre and were actually chasing and shooting at the fleeing Toyota Land Cruiser. I thought I was going to be killed,” said the driver.
Gauteng police launched a manhunt for the gang who tried to rob the gold the security guards were transporting. "We have launched a manhunt for seven to 10 men who shot at a vehicle transporting gold. The people who were transporting the gold were injured," police spokesperson Kay Makhubele said on Wednesday.
Source: Boksburg Advertiser and Times Live