Sandton Fire Station cancels all children's parties

This comes after a group of 35 children & 40 adults were held at gunpoint during a party at the weekend.

The Sandton CBD in Johannesburg. Picture: Aki Anastasiou

JOHANNESBURG - The Sandton Fire Station has cancelled all children's parties planned at the venue until further notice.

This is response to an armed robbery at the station on Saturday during which dozens of parents and children were held up at gunpoint.

Police are investigating after three armed men stormed the venue, raising serious concerns around safety there.

But EMS' Nana Radebe says security guards did try to stop the perpetrators and firefighters were out responding to an accident.

"We did hand over CCTV footage to the police and they are busy investigating. One of the security guards was assaulted during that robbery. When those people entered, the security guard tried to fight them and he was assaulted."

The fire station is so popular as a venue for children's parties, that it's booked for the next few months.

But now management has cancelled all planned parties until further notice.

One mother says her son's birthday party was due to be held there this coming Sunday but she received a call this morning.

"They all just sounded totally shell-shocked; they are dumbfounded. They said nothing like that had ever happened before and they sounded pretty dismayed."

Parents who were held up at gunpoint on Saturday have raised concerns about why security was so poor at the venue and whether the party was intentionally targeted or the result of an inside job.

A group of about 35 children and 40 adults were held at gunpoint during the party - jewellery and other valuables were taken from them.

Parents say they feel violated that they were targeted while at their most vulnerable.

Meanwhile, J ohannesburg Emergency Services has dismissed suggestions of an inside job.