One man was killed and another was injured during an armed robbery at Giant Sweets and Chocolates shop in Epping on Monday.
Five robbers shot the front wheels of a G4S cash transit truck parked outside the store, then shot and killed an HR manager andwounded a G4S security guard who were transporting boxes of cash to the truck.
They fled in a hijacked car with one box of cash. The amount of money that was stolen is not known.
“It all happened very quickly,” said the store owner Mohammed Karriem, who was not present at the time of shooting.
The man who was killed was Liaquat Kasker, 59, who served as an HR manager for staff at the busy store but his fellow employees remember him as much more.
“He helped everyone he worked with,” said merchandiser Ronani Mlonyeni, who was inside the shop when the shots were fired.
“He gave employees bread, he asked everyone how they were in the morning.”
Kasker is survived by his wife, who also works at Giant Sweets, and his two sons.
At 3.30pm, nearly four hours after the robbery, Kasker’s body had still not been removed from the scene where a forensics team was working.
The G4S security guard, a 37-year-old man whose other details had not been released yesterday afternoon, was shot in the neck and leg.
He is receiving treatment for his wounds at Vincent Pallotti Hospital in Pinelands.
Once the shots were fired in the parking lot, customers and employees inside the store panicked.
A woman ran out of the store with her boyfriend and son, jumped the boundary over to a factory next door, and dislocated her knee in the process.
“It was mayhem, panic and confusion,” said Mlonyeni. “But at the end, everyone was just sad.”
Employees and customers leaving Giant Sweets were tear-stained and grave, mourning the loss of a much-loved employee.
“He didn’t deserve this. He was at the wrong place at the wrong time,” said cashier Sadiqa Parker.
The hijacked vehicle, a white Honda Ballade, was found three hours after the robbery parked at 23 Rifle Range in Thornton.
Mlonyeni said it seemed like a well orchestrated crime. “The robbers shot the truck wheels, moved precisely.
“It’s sad that this is a never- ending story, these robberies. “I doubt they will catch the guys who did it.”
Adiel Parker, who has relatives working in the store, said he had never thought Giant Sweets was situated in an unsafe environment.
“We have 5 000 customers every day,” said store owner Karriem. “Loyal customers. We need to prevent things like this.”
Five suspects are under investigation by police. - Cape Times