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Durban -

A man who had to duck bullets while chasing a robber in the Durban central business district has been praised for his bravery by the victim.

Plainclothes police eventually caught the robber, while two others who held up a Yusuf Dadoo (Grey) Street shop on Thursday got away.

Mohammed Sharif, 30, was reading the paper in a neighbouring shop when three gunmen entered Al-Arafath General Dealer.

Sharif heard a call for help from the owner, Kamrul Hasan, as the gunmen were making off with R25 000 in cash.

His initial thoughts were that it was a row with disgruntled customers.

“As I came to the entrance of the store, I saw three men leaving. I approached the first guy, while Kamrul was shouting from inside the store,” said Sharif.

“When I saw the gun in his hand I realised this was a robbery in progress.”

Two of the robbers walked briskly down Dr Yusuf Dadoo Street, while the man who Sharif had approached ran into Charlotte Maxeke (Beatrice) Street.

Sharif gave chase as the robber ran into a nearby arcade and Fountain Lane.

By that stage, three other men had joined the chase.

“While running, he turned around and opened fire on us in the middle of the street. We took cover next to a car. He then continued and turned left at Teachers Centre. We continued our chase, and as we got into Ingcunce Road (Albert Street), he fired another four shots at us.

“He continued back into Beatrice Street when he slipped and fell. Two men from the nearby taxi rank apprehended the robber as he lay on the ground.”

Hasan said he had been cleaning the shop at about 10am when the three had entered.

“One stood at the entrance, while two of them approached me. They pulled out their guns and pointed them at my chest. They asked me to give them all the cash, or else they were going to kill me.

“I showed them where the cash was kept. They scooped the cash and put it into a shoulder bag, and then they left.

“That’s when I saw Mohammed. He was very brave to chase after them and try to help me,” he said.

A distraught Hasan said it was the first time he had been held up in the four years he had owned the shop. - Daily News