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Durban - Four friends and a relative were assaulted and one shot dead in a house robbery that lasted more than 30 minutes, on Friday night.
Umesh Ravilall, 44, died after he was shot twice in the chest.
Ravilall was at a relative’s home in Whittaker Avenue, Reservoir Hills, when six armed robbers stormed into the lounge.
His brother-in-law, Hagan Govender, said the two of them and a friend were watching television when six robbers armed with guns and a screwdriver entered the house through an open door.
He said the robbers ordered them to lie on the floor and began kicking them.
Their hands were then tied with cords after which the robbers demanded cash and a safe.
“They repeatedly assaulted us. They then dragged each of us into separate bedrooms. They wanted to know who the house belonged to,” Govender said. “It was my house, but they never gave us a chance to say anything. They were just shouting and screaming.”
He said during the robbery another friend and a relative unexpectedly walked into the house.
“They too were assaulted and tied up. All of us were robbed of our wallets and cellphones. When my relative and friend walked in the robbers panicked. They became even more aggressive.”
Govender said before they fled, the robbers took them back to the lounge, where they were made to lie on the floor.
They were covered with bed sheets and sofas were placed on top of them.
“They kept telling each other to shoot us. I really thought I was going to die. It was a terrifying experience. We did not even realise that Umesh had been shot,” Govender said. He said after the robbers left, one of the friends managed to untie himself.
“As we went through the rooms we found Umesh lying bleeding on the floor. He was moaning and groaning. He had sustained two gunshot wounds. He died about half an hour later.”
Govender said they did not hear the gunshot because the robbers had muffled the gunshot by using a pillow to cover the gun before they fired.
“We are lucky to be alive. These thugs were merciless,” he said. “When they took us into separate bedrooms I feared the worst. We are all terribly shaken by what has happened.”
A Sydenham police source confirmed the incident and said no suspects had been arrested.