Quick car & even quicker thinking

Killarney Rosebank Gazette – May 18, 2017

A vigilant driver was able to escape a hijacking recently on Central Street in Houghton.

According to the director of Vision Tactical Yaseen Theba, CCTV footage shows a Porsche driver entering the driveway of an office park when hijackers pull up behind him on May 13.

In the footage, one hijacker jumps out of the passenger side of the vehicle and walks towards the Porshe, pointing a firearm.

The Porsche driver quickly reverses out of the driveway and slams into the back of the hijackers’ silver BMW, before speeding away. The surprised hijacker is seen dithering, unsure of what to do next.

Theba confirmed to the Gazette that a few days after the incident, the hijackers’ vehicle was found between Alex and Midrand. However, he indicated that even though the car was found, there have been no arrests.

The spokesperson for Norwood Police Station, Captain Elliot Tshiyhase, confirmed the incident but said a case of pointing a firearm was opened, not an attempted hijacking.

Tshiyhase said the case is currently under investigation by Norwood police.

Providing safe return from airport

The Star Page 5 – 23rd May 2017

THE RISE in crimes committed around OR Tambo International Airport, including people being followed home from the airport and robbed, has spawned an interesting and lucrative business.

Vision Tactical is a security company that began in October 2014, which provides private security to homes and businesses in Houghton, Killarney, Norwood and other suburbs in northern Joburg.

Vision Tactical Owner: Yaseen Theba , speaks about the burgeoning crime of being followed back home from the airport.

Recently, the company expanded its security services to include airport escorts, because according to the company’s owner, Yaseen Theba, clients started becoming nervous about coming back from the airport and asked for vehicles to be stationed on driveways outside their homes for safety purposes.

“Then certain people felt nervous about landing at night or early mornings and asked if we could provide a guard inside the car that was going to pick them up.

“But we prefer using our own vehicles to follow our clients, because in the event something happens, we have our rifles and guns in the car.

“If it’s a family pick-up, we don’t like to have firearms in the vehicle when there are children. We prefer following a vehicle and ensuring that a family get home safely,” Theba explained.

Last Monday, a man was shot dead just outside OR Tambo International Airport’s drop-off area, in what was believed to have been a botched hijacking.

HAPPY ABOUT THE SERVICE: Dharmisha Makan speaks about her experience being followed back home from the airport.  Picture: Nhlanhla Phillips

It was this report that convinced Dharmisha Makan to use the escort service for the first time when she and a friend came back from India last week.

“As two women travelling on our own, we definitely felt safe just to know that we’re being followed by a security company that we are familiar with, as they do the guarding at our complex.

“They followed both of us to our homes and we felt safe. So did our family members, who knew we were going to make it home safe,” Makan enthused, adding that she would “definitely” use the service again.

Theba added that he was aware the police were trying to curb the crime of airport followings by doing stop and searches of cars leaving the airport.

“Then certain people felt nervous about landing at night or early mornings and asked if we could provide a guard inside the car that was going to pick them up.

“But we prefer using our own vehicles to follow our clients, because in the event something happens, we have our rifles and guns in the car.

“If it’s a family pick-up, we don’t like to have firearms in the vehicle when there are children. We prefer following a vehicle and ensuring that a family get home safely,” Theba explained.

Last Monday, a man was shot dead just outside OR Tambo International Airport’s drop-off area, in what was believed to have been a botched hijacking.

It was this report that convinced Dharmisha Makan to use the escort service for the first time when she and a friend came back from India last week.

“As two women travelling on our own, we definitely felt safe just to know that we’re being followed by a security company that we are familiar with, as they do the guarding at our complex.

“They followed both of us to our homes and we felt safe. So did our family members, who knew we were going to make it home safe,” Makan enthused, adding that she would “definitely” use the service again.

ON ALERT: A panic button was activated while The Star was patrolling with Vision Tactical in Houghton. It took the response unit roughly three minutes to react, but it turned out to be a false alarm.   Picture: Nhlanhla Phillips

Theba added that he was aware the police were trying to curb the crime of airport followings by doing stop and searches of cars leaving the airport.

But he said some of his clients were apprehensive about the police because of reports that officers – or people disguised as law enforcement personnel – were also part of criminal activity around the airport.

This has to do with the brazen airport heist in March, where more than R20 million was stolen by robbers who, it is believed, included police officers and airport security personnel.

“There are times when people get nervous about being questioned by police.

“People are nervous about sharing information with police at the airport because they are living in fear due to the reports about officers being involved in some of these crimes,” Theba said.

“So, if they know that they are dealing with a security company that they know and trust, they feel a lot more comfortable to talk to the police. That’s what we are trying to do – making people feel a lot safer.”

The company, Theba said, employed only highly skilled personnel, such as Boloka “Bravo 7” Diale.

He is a commander within Vision Tactical, and told The Star he was trained in special weapons and tactics, or Swat, and previously worked for the US Embassy and a cash-in-transit company.

Asked what the scariest part of the job was, Diale asserted: “For me, there is no scary part, because I am used to it. Maybe if I was starting out it would be scary, but right now it’s like having bread with tea.”

VISION TACTICAL LAUNCHES DRONE SUPPORT

MEDIA STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friday – 12th March 2017

VISION TACTICAL LAUNCHES DRONE SUPPORT

Vision Tactical has launched Drone capabilities delivering air support to security and emergency services. It is being used by tactical teams and response officers to respond to incidents of crime, search for missing people and monitor traffic around road accidents.

We have identified the use of technology to enhance and improve on traditional methods of responding to emergencies. Vision Tactical currently uses the DJI Phantom 4 drone and the Parrot Bebop Drone, which is controlled by a close ground support package. The success of this advancement is the proactive real-time intelligence it provides during rapidly evolving situations such as shootings, robberies, hijackings, rescue operations and other high-risk missions.

Trials and consultations are ongoing to develop more guidance for how Vision Tactical will use drones more effectively to help keep our clients safe offering an aerial perspective of scenes.

“We remain committed to embracing new technologies to deliver high-quality, cost effective services and protection” – Yaseen Theba, director of Vision Tactical.

ENQUIRIES:

Yaseen Theba

Cell 064 400 0000

www.visiontactical

Learn how to survive the chaos of a violent protest.

We find ourselves in tense times currently and many people are not happy with their circumstances. Couple that with ‘powers-that-be’ who wish to agitate (divide and conquer) in an attempt to control an outcome. Sad to say, but recent changes in our country have made it necessary for people to learn how to survive the chaos of a violent protest.

Avoidance is probably the first step, with social media now providing an excellent way of tracking this.

In a large crowd, the energy of mass emotion can be contagious and rapidly spiral out of control. It often will only take one person to set a chain reaction in motion of high emotion or chaos. Recent protests may have become violent by agitators who have been planted there to set things in motion.

Stay calm and keep your emotions in check. Violent protests & riots coincide with intense emotions that boil to the surface, but if you want to survive one you would be better off keeping your own emotions in check. In the heat of the moment, your adrenaline and survival instincts will kick in, but try to think rationally and pursue safety in a methodical manner.

Avoid confrontation. The presumption here is that you have not intended to participate in a choas, so do not engage with others. Keep your head down, while at the same time looking for safe exit, but maintain situational awareness.

Mob or Herd mentality is sometimes a fear-based reaction to peer pressure which makes individuals act in order to avoid feeling “left behind” from the group.

People in a violent mob will believe they cannot be held responsible for violent behavior because they perceive the violent action as the group’s (e.g., “everyone was doing it”) rather than their own behavior. When in a large group, people tend to experience less individual responsibility. Typically, the bigger a mob, the more its members lose self-awareness and become willing to engage in dangerous behavior. When people feel that their behavior cannot be traced back to them, they are more likely to break social norms and engage in violence. Group violence is most likely to occur when the group is large, and people are able to remain anonymous.

Do not be singled out – just keep moving without engaging. Even if your emotional state wants to challenge the protest or the looting, don’t do it. There’s absolutely nothing to gain – you are not going to change anyone’s mind at this point…

Walk. Don’t run. Don’t stop. If you run or go too quickly, you might attract unwanted attention.

Move inside and stay there. Typically riots happen in the streets, or somewhere outside. Being inside, especially in a large and sturdy structure, can be good protection to wait it out. (though beware of potential looting)

Keep your doors and windows locked. Don’t watch the riot from windows or balconies. Move to inside rooms, where the danger of being hit by stones, bullets, ect is minimized. Try to find at least two possible exits in case you need to evacuate the building in a hurry.

Stay on the sidelines. If you’re caught up in a chaos, don’t take sides. Try to look as inconspicuous as possible, and slowly and carefully move to the outside of the mob. Stay close to walls or other protective barriers if possible but try to avoid bottlenecks of people. These are areas where the crowd can be squashed into a tight place, such as passages, pillars, high fences and walls that go on for a long way.

It’s hard to tell the victims from the violent protestors in a chaotic environment, and if you approach the police for help at that time, they may mistake that for intent to harm. This tip might seem a little counter-intuitive at first, but it really is a smart move during a violent protest. Whether or not you are involved in a protest, be careful of how you approach authorities – try to ensure you are not seen as a threat.

Once you are personally safe (with or without your vehicle) call family or friends to let them know where you are, and what is happening.

If you’re caught up in a car, stay calm. Remain inside the car unless your car becomes a focus for the riot, in which case it risks being torched, smashed or rolled over. Calmly and swiftly leave it behind and get to safety if that happens. If people seem to block your escape route; use your hooter, and carefully drive through or around them at a moderate speed, and they should move out of the way. Driving towards police lines can be interpreted by the police as a preparation to use the car as a weapon against them. DON’T DO IT.

Move away from the riot. The more time you spend in the midst of the chaos, the greater your chance of being injured or killed. That said, in most circumstances it’s better to move out of a protest and choas slowly. It can also be dangerous to move against a crowd, so go with the flow until you are able to escape into a doorway or into a street away from the crowd. Think of crowd movement like currents in the ocean. In a large riot, the crowd in the middle will be moving faster than the people on the perimeters. As such, if you find yourself in the middle, you should not try to move in a different direction, but follow the flow and slowly make your way to the outside. This requires patience in order to work properly.

Watch your footing in a mob situation. If you stumble and fall to the ground you’re likely to be trampled. This is especially dangerous in stadiums and other enclosed areas, where many unfortunate victims have been crushed to death. If you fall down, pull yourself up into a ball. Protect your face, ears and internal organs. In this position you are a smaller object that can be avoided. You will receive less damage if you are stepped on. If others trip on you they will help create a larger “pile” that rioters will avoid.

If you’re with your family or a group of friends when the chaos breaks loose, make sure to stick together.

If at all possible, try to agree to a good meeting place to regroup at ahead of time. Your time is better spent looking for an exit instead of trying to find people who’ve gotten lost.

When a riot breaks out, one of the most common crowd dispersion tools used by police or military is tear gas.

Note: ‘Tear Gas’ is technically a micro-pulverized powder dispensed with a pressure sprayer, or various grenade-like canisters. If it is in the eyes, to clear the eyes have the victim lie down, turn his head to the side and wash the eyes with water or saline. You are removing the micro-pulverized powder from the eyes and face and not washing it over into the other eye.

Keep emergency numbers stored in your phone on speed dial. This is a good idea in general – they are always handy in an emergency:

  • Vision Tactical
  • 084 222 2222
  • SAPS
  • 10111
  • Emergency Dial (Cell Phone)
  • 112
  • ER 24
  • 084 124

 

#ORTamboHeist: Three accused get bail

Lindi Masinga
Johannesburg – Three men alleged to be involved in the heist at the OR Tambo International Airport in March were granted bail – collectively amounting to R30 000 – by the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court on Monday.Sibusiso Mnisi, Prince Dube and Thando Sonqishe are facing charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances for their alleged involvement in what is considered one of South Africa’s biggest heists.

Magistrate Amukelani Msineki granted Sibusiso Mnisi R50 000 bail and he has to report four times a week to the Kempton Park police station.

He is not allowed to leave Gauteng until the matter is finalised unless he gets permission by the investigating officer.

Earlier, the magistrate said that Mnisi’s defence council had to prove that there were exceptional circumstances that made him qualify for bail. She said that the state and defence had agreed that the charges he was facing fell under schedule five on the Criminal Procedure Act. Mnisi, 39, made his bail application on March 31. He told the court that he was a maintenance worker and earned R7 000.

In his affidavit Mnisi denied being involved in the heist and that there was no evidence linking him to the crime. He said that his admission statement was made under duress.

Investigating officer Colonel Mabina Mahlangu alleged that Mnisi supplied the cellphones that were used by the suspects to communicate. Mnisi said that he had no previous convictions and the state did not bring forward any information of previous misconduct.

Magistrate Msineki said that there was no reason to suspect that Mnisi had any previous convictions. She said the accused had strong emotional ties in South Africa as his family was based in the country. He has no passport to travel outside the country.

The magistrate added that the admission statement could be used during the trial stage and that investigations were still under way and further evidence could emerge. “There’s nothing that links the applicant, except the admission statement.

The state did not show this court how the applicant was involved,” Msineki said.

The magistrate granted Prince Dube R150 000 bail including conditions of reporting Monday to Friday and twice on weekends and that he had to surrender all his traveling documents. During judgement, Msineki said that Dube denied being involved in the heist and that there was no evidence linking him to the crime. In his affidavit dube said he earned R400 000 per month.

Later in court the accused said the amount was in fact his annual income.

“Colonel Mahlangu found that he had four previous convictions and it was contradictory to Dube’s affidavit which said that he had two previous convictions.” Dube’s defence said that he couldn’t remember all his convictions as they happened many years ago.

The investigation officer found that Dube was not a documented citizen and that he was from Zimbabwe.

The accused has four previous convictions of which he only disclosed two. Mahlangu said the accused was most likely to evade trial and commit other crimes.

However, the magistrate said setting strict bail conditions could prevent Dube from evading trial. She said that the state had not given evidence or documents proving that Dube was a Zimbabwean or that he was illegally residing in South Africa.

“The identity number provided was used to find his previous convictions, it was used by SARS to find the various companies he owns.” Msineki said that the state’s case was doubted as Dube was merely linked by an admission statement.

“There’s nothing that links the accused to this case and that he was on the scene on commission of the offence. A SBV uniform was found in his possession, not a SAPS uniform.” Msineki said that the investigation officer said that the money found could be linked to the crime, but there was no evidence directly linking it to the heist.

Due to technical difficulties, the full judgment of Thando Sonqishe could not be read. The magistrate granted Thando Sonqishe bail of R100 000 and he has to report to the Midrand Police Station seven days a week and that he has to notify the investigating officer if he wished to leave the province. Court was adjourned to Tuesday.

Fight fire with fire, Mbalula tells the police

Acting national police commissioner Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane, right, welcomes the newly appointed Police Minister Fikile Mbalula, centre, and his deputy, Bongani Mkongi, in Pretoria. Picture: Bongani Shilubane

Pretoria – New Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula urged members of the SAPS on Tuesday to fight fire with fire.

The former sport and recreation minister said the relationship between the department and criminals would be like “chalk and cheese”.

“We are not going to be soft on criminals. Police officers must fight fire with fire,” he said.

Mbalula made this promise during a parade to mark his official welcome to the Police Ministry at the SAPS Academy in Pretoria West.

He was accompanied by his deputy Bongani Mkongi.

“When President Jacob Zuma appointed us, he said we must mobilise our people to work with the police to fight and defeat crime,” Mbalula said, adding fighting and beating crime was their mandate.

“No police officer will die in vain; anyone who kills a police officer will be met with fire. I am not saying shoot-to-kill, but shoot back. You have guns; use them to protect yourselves and communities.”

Mbalula urged communities to work together with the police to fight crime. He also urged the police to be honest and not be on the payroll of criminals. “Minister Gigaba (finance minister Malusi Gigaba), said the police budget must be increased so we can fight crime,” he said.

Mbalula was also critical of the tendency by communities to destroy infrastructure during protests.

He said students and every citizen were allowed to protest, but should not destroy property.

Mkongi called for police officers’ salaries to be increased. “If we want to beat the negative morale of police officers, we must pay them well so they could do their jobs.”

Acting national police commissioner Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane said SAPS members were willing and committed to take guidance and direction from Mbalula in the execution of their work.

Mbalula said he would focus on places like Sunnyside as criminals had captured the city.

He said they planned roadshows to get first-hand experience on challenges faced by police.

Pretoria News

Police not coping, says David Makhura

February 26, 2016.Gauteng Premier David Makhura at the media briefing at the Gauteng Legislature in Johannesburg.picture:FREDDY MAVUNDA © Financial Mail

Johannesburg – Police men and women were not coping in the fight against crime in the province, Gauteng Premier David Makhura said as he delivered the State of the Province Address (SOPA) on Monday.

“The trajectory on crime remains negative. From Sophiatown to Soshanguve, Kagiso to Katlehong, Khutsong to Evaton, Elodrado Park to Rossettenville, Olievenhoutbosch to Tembisa… our communities are terrorised by gangsters, drug lords and rapists. Murder and robbery remains excruciatingly high, violence against women, children and members of the [lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and intersex] LGBTI community remains out of control,” Makhura told MPLs in Randfontein, west of Johannesburg.

“Our police men and women are not coping. They are not getting the leadership they require from the top management, mainly due to infighting among the leaders of our law enforcement agencies.”

The provincial government a new policing plan through to try and turn the tide on crime in Gauteng. The plan included the establishment of specialised units closed down by former national police commissioner, Jackie Selebi between 2000 and 2006.

“I want every station, cluster and indeed the provincial commissioner to report every eight weeks about crime reduction targets. We want to see real progress in closure of drug dens and the arrest and prosecution of drug lords. I want to see serious decline in crimes perpetrated against the most vulnerable in our communities such as women, children, the elderly and the LGBTI community,” he said.

Turning to the recent torching of houses purported to belong to drug lords in Johannesburg’s Rosettenvile and in Pretoria West, Makhura said urged leaders to handle the issue of migrants carefully.

“I have always been clear that everyone is welcome in Gauteng, the home for all. We are South Africa’s most cosmopolitan and Afropolitan province. I have personally participated in marches and said very clearly that I am against xenophobia. I would like to call on all leaders to handle the matter of migrants with a great deal of sensitivity and care. In any country, migrants and refugees are very vulnerable people,” he said.

“We must never try to stigmatise or criminalise all migrants and foreign nationals because this will have devastating consequences that would lead to the death of innocent people. The whole world is grappling with this issue right now and let us deal with this matter in way that would not fan the flames of xenophobic violence.”