Newcastle man killed in business robbery
Durban - THE owner of a hardware and grocery store in Utrecht, outside Newcastle, has described his family’s pain after his son-in-law was shot dead during a business robbery.
A video of the robbery, which took place earlier this month, has been circulating on social media.
Saeed Koli said it was his son, Huzaifah Koli, 25, and his son-in-law Siraj Bhula, 33, seen fighting off the armed robbers in the video.
Koli said five armed men entered the store and dispersed in different sections.
“Two came to one section of the shop and asked my son-in-law Siraj Bhula for money. He gave them whatever money he had, and the one robber went outside,” he said.
He said while normal business was carrying on, three robbers went to the cashier section and asked his son for money.
In the video, one robber is seen grabbing a cashier while the other tries to grab Huzaifah.
“At first, my son thought he was joking because it’s a small town with a small community where everyone is friends, but when he realised what was happening, he started fighting,” said Koli.
Koli said Siraj, who was helping out in the shop, came running when he heard a loud noise which resembled a gunshot and managed to hold one of the robbers.
“They chased them out and my son thought everything was over and he came back into the shop while Siraj was by the door. The robber came and shot Siraj in his chest,” he said.
Koli said his son-in-law died
“My daughter is devastated, she has three children. Our whole family is devastated,” he said.
He said although the town is small, in the past couple of weeks, two people were shot at a petrol station, and another business was robbed.
“The situation is bad here in our area. Things like this never happened before, and it’s almost like this is happening every day now.”
Newcastle 911 Community Policing Forum’s Mornè Potgieter said they were still tracing the suspects and working on information.
“They are all still currently at large, but we are following up on information and working on the case,” he said.
KZN police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said charges of murder and robbery were opened at Utrecht police station for investigation.