Is Leo Prinsloo the bravest person you know?

There’s something about those white South African guys that seems to make them much thicker-skinned than the rest of us. Perhaps it’s the fact that they live in a much more violent country than most, with South Africa’s crime rate being one of the highest in the world. Or maybe it’s because so many of them seem to work as mercenaries across the continent, taking on dangerous and high-stakes jobs that would make most people quiver in their shiny Timberlands!

It’s known that much of the white-dominated armed forces of South Africa were left with little to do after the collapse of Apartheid, which resulted in a huge increase in private military recruitment. Given the volume of wars occurring across Africa in the 90’s, there was a real need for such highly trained military personnel, with companies like Executive Outcomes forming to supply the manpower.

Whatever the reason, these guys are known for their toughness and resilience, and one such individual who in recent years gained international attention is Leo Prinsloo. His reputation proceeds him. If you’ve been asked to personally protect King Charles III, the Kardashians, and Nelson Mandela, you’re clearly no shrinking violet.

Prinsloo is a former member of the South African Police Service’s elite Special Task Force, a unit that deals with high-risk operations such as hostage situations, counter-terrorism, and violent crime. The 52-year-old is also a tactical firearms instructor and the founder of the Edge Shooting Academy, which trains individuals in advanced shooting techniques. But it’s not his impressive resume that has people talking – it’s his incredible display of bravery and skill during an attempted heist that has earned him the title of “badass MF”!

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Attempted heist and Prinsloo’s heroics

On April 22, 2021, Prinsloo was driving an armoured cash-in-transit Toyota Land Cruiser in Pretoria, South Africa, when he and his partner, Lloyd Mtombeni, were ambushed by a group of armed criminals. The attackers opened fire on the vehicle, attempting to force Prinsloo and Mtombeni to stop and hand over the mere US$100,000 worth of mobile phones they were transporting. But Prinsloo had other plans.

As the AK47 bullets popped, Prinsloo remained calm and collected (despite his heart probably beating at 200 bps!), expertly manoeuvring the armoured vehicle to evade the attackers. He can be heard in the dashcam footage telling his partner to “phone Robbie, phone Josh” – presumably to call for backup – while continuing to drive and evade the criminals. At one point, Prinsloo even manages to ram one of the attacker’s vehicles off the road while maintaining his composure and focus.

Eventually, the attackers realized they were no match for Prinsloo’s skill and determination and decided to flee the scene. Thanks to Prinsloo’s quick thinking and bravery, he and his partner were able to escape unharmed, and the cache of phones they were transporting remained safe.

Public reaction and praise for Prinsloo

Once the dashcam footage of the attempted heist went viral (more than 60 million views across a few videos), people worldwide were quick to praise Prinsloo for his incredible display of courage and skill. Many have called him a hero, while others have dubbed him a “badass MF” – a well-deserved title, considering the dangerous situation he faced and the calm, collected manner in which he handled it.

Prinsloo’s actions have also shone a light on the dangers faced by those working in the cash-in-transit industry in South Africa. According to the Institute for Security Studies, cash-in-transit heists have been on the rise in recent years, with criminals becoming increasingly brazen and violent in their attempts to steal large sums of money. That, alongside their ability to bribe the security forces and local police. Prinsloo’s heroics serve as a reminder of the bravery and skill required by those who work in this high-risk field, and the importance of proper training and preparedness in the face of danger.

Of course, the keyboard warriors (likely the same ones that would cry for pointing out Prinsloo’s race) were quick to put down Prinsloo’s partner, Lloyd Mtombeni – as if they’d have reacted better in such a situation. Mtombeni can be seen in a state of shock when it all kicks off, but he doesn’t panic and appears to remain incredibly calm, the exact behaviour required by Prinsloo, with whom Lloyd’s life was firmly in the hands of. How would you have reacted listening to the pops of AK47 bullets going off around you and you’re the target?

What can we learn from Prinsloo?

Prinsloo’s incredible display of courage, skill, and composure during the attempted heist is a testament to his training and experience as an elite Special Task Force member and a tactical firearms instructor. His actions serve as a powerful reminder of the importance of remaining calm and focused in high-pressure situations, and the value of proper training and preparedness.

For those of us who may not face life-threatening situations ever in our lives, there are still valuable lessons to be learned from Prinsloo’s actions. His ability to stay calm under pressure, think quickly, and make decisive actions in the face of danger are qualities that can be applied to various aspects of our lives, whether it’s dealing with a difficult work situation or navigating a personal crisis. And, when you think you’ve had a bad day, just remember how much worse April 22, 2021, was for Prinsloo and Lloyd.

Let’s not forget to mention the car/weapon that seriously contributed to the pair’s survival. That armoured Toyota Land Cruiser survived a dozen or so shots from close range, not to mention the other vehicles ramming it. So the next time you’re on a road trip through Afghanistan or Iraq, you know what car to rent!

Is Prinsloo the bravest person you know of? It’s certainly possible, especially as Batman isn’t real! His incredible display of courage and skill during the attempted heist has earned him international praise and admiration, and his actions serve as a powerful reminder of the importance of remaining calm and focused in high-pressure situations. While most of us will never come close to the level of danger Prinsloo faced, his story can still inspire us to cultivate our resilience, determination, and ability to stay composed under pressure, whilst keeping everything in perspective.

OpinionWorld News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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