Chairperson of Chatsworth Community Policing Forum, Jakes Singh has urged religious organisations to step up security in and around their premises.
This after a temple in Mobeni Heights was held up by armed robbers last night. It is believed the incident occurred while language classes were taking place at the Laksmi Narayan Temple in Mobeni Heights.
The incident on Wednesday night followed a robbery last Monday when the congregation at the Maha Shiv Mandir on Hippo Road in Sea Cow Lake was robbed at gunpoint.
Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane said five men walked into the temple in last night’s incident and robbed those inside at gunpoint. They took cellphones, wallets and handbags.
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A temple official, who did not want to be named, said about twenty students of all ages were attending classes to learn Sanskrit, an Indian language, when the attackers walked in.
“They told learners to sit on the floor and not to look up at them. The robbery was quick and nobody was injured. However, everybody is in a state of shock,” he said.
According to an official, a guard who was on duty, was shoved into a corner near the entrance and had a woollen hat pulled over his face.
Ashwin Trikamjee, president of the South African Hindu Maha Sabha, said it was a sad reality that law and order had been diluted to the point where people’s safety was threatened in places of workship.
“The long arm of the law needs to re-establish itself if the present state of affairs is going to be halted.
“In the absence of this, it is a sad but harsh reality, that the incidents will continue unabated.”
He said that places of worship would now have to consider employing armed security to protect worshippers.
“Religious institutions are soft targets for robbers. Nobody attends services with any kind of threat in mind, security is non-existent for all the right reasons. The robbers clearly see them as soft targets.”