“Where is the safe?” Zweli hisses, a gun pointed at the teller.

She gets frightened just by looking at the man with a balaclava on his face. She tries to be strong but these robbers kill people daily in South Africa.

The bank teller trembles and takes the keys out from the drawer. Two masked robbers dressed in black walk around in the bank, checking if anyone does anything suspicious. A few people lay on the floor on their bellies. The robbers don’t notice a cleaner hiding behind the cardboard near the teller’s counters. No one sees him. He quickly hid when the robbers entered the bank. He had come to make tea in the kitchen when he saw the three men.

The safe is in another room, a few metres from the corridor. He follows the bank teller, a lady in her mid-thirties wearing a State Bank uniform, a navy skirt and stripped shirt. She puts her hands up.

Zweli keeps the AK47 machine gun pointing at the bank teller. She opens the safe and stacks of money are inside. The safe is made of steel, no one can break in without locking it. Some have codes and many robbers use bombs to explode it.

“Sbu, come take this idiot,” Zweli shouts.

“OK,” Sbu answers through a corridor.

He comes running, holding his pistol pointing to the ground. Zweli pushes the lady to him, grabs her by her neck while she lifts her hands, begging for her life. Tears flood her face, she wonders if the robbers will leave her alive. They would kill her if she refuses to open the safe, it always happens in South Africa, the criminals have no mercy.

“Tell Melusi to come quickly,” he says loudly.
He opens the big black plastic bag which was in his pocket and quickly puts the cash in it. Melusi joins him. Suddenly the alarm goes off. They don’t understand who has done it because the guards are still lying on the floor.

“Damn it, we have to go,” he shouts, grabbing the plastic bag of money.

Zweli and Melusi run to the counter and the alarm rings louder, echoing in the whole building. Police will be on their way. They run out of the bank, Sbusisio tries to follow but the cleaner hits him with a chair on his back and he falls to the ground. His eyes go blur for a minute and his back is in pain.

He feels dizzy and opens his mouth to call for help but Zweli and Melusi are already gone. He gains his balance while the cleaner is talking to the people.

“It’s going to be OK, the police are on their way,”

Sbusiso takes the pistol and hits the cleaner on his head. He falls to the ground with blood coming from his nose. The people lie on the ground again petrified. Sbusiso grabs his gun and runs for the street. Sirens go off again and again, drawing closer to the bank, it’s the police.

Zweli and Melusi wait for Sbu in a car parked in the next street. Police cars pile up in front of the bank. Sbusisio hides himself near a Jeep on the corner when he catches a glimpse of a police car. He creeps like a frog on the ground till he has gotten into the next street.

He removes his balaclava when he hears voices nearby. A couple with a baby are walking in the street, the couple doesn’t suspect him but they rush to see where the sirens come from. Zweli and Melusi are waiting for him. He quickly jumps in the car and it drives off fast. They don’t observe that the cleaner has followed them.

The cleaner follows Sbusisio and screams when he sees him jumping in the car. The police follow them, driving at full speed. Zweli speeds off in the street as people crossing the road hurry out of the way. Zweli see the police cars on the rear-view mirror and he drives at 150km p.h. He wants to get out of town so he can be on the highway and maybe lose the police.

The three thieves have never faced a situation like this and they know if the police follow their trail, it’s the end for them.


Tell us: Do you think the police will catch the robbers?