Three people pretending to want to hire the Arupa Temple Hall in Bayview for a function, turned out to be robbers who held up the staff at gunpoint on Thursday, 25 January.
Ward Councillor in the area, Ganas Govender said a woman wearing a punjabi entered the hall under the pretence of hiring it.
‘While the office staff were speaking to her, two men rushed into the offices and held up the two staff members.
The staff, a husband and wife who also live on the property and they keep the temple finances.
“The robbers demanded cash and valuables. They tied the couple up and made off with cash from the temple and the resident’s personal possessions. The couple was unharmed but traumatised,” Govender said.
A security guard from a neighbouring school saw the men leave and ran to the temple and found the couple tied up.
“It is sad to note a religious organisation that does so much for charity was held up. The community must be extra vigilant especially during this time of prayer at temples when devotees are vulnerable to criminal elements. The courts should impose harsher sentences on robbers as a deterrent. Fortunately the couple was not harmed,” Govender said.
Bayview SAPS Communications Officer Colin Chetty confirmed the incident.
A case of armed robbery has been opened at Bayview SAPS. Anyone with more information can contact 031 405 72 04.
Chetty added that faith-based organisations should step up and re-assess security measures at their premises especially where they have halls for hire. “They should go through the hiring process on appointment basis only at specific times and have security present during these meetings,” advised Chetty.