Restaurant customer shot dead trying to protect waitress during armed robbery
Mthatha - A customer at a restaurant in Mthatha was shot dead on Friday night when he tried to protect a waitress during an armed robbery, after which other customers overpowered, disarmed, and detained the robber, the South African Police Service (SAPS) in the Eastern Cape said.
A 25-year-old man faced charges of business robbery and murder after three unknown gunmen stormed into a restaurant at the Savoy complex in Mthatha at about 9pm, Brigadier Thembinkosi Kinana said in a statement on Saturday.
It was alleged that the suspects approached the cashier's desk and pointed firearms at the staff, and "all the employees took cover in the restaurant". One of the suspects followed a waitress to a table where a 49-year-old customer was seated and pointed the firearm at the waitress.
"A struggle ensued between the suspect and the customer, who tried to rescue the waitress. A 49-year-old man was shot and killed by the suspect during that struggle. The other two suspects held the cashiers at gunpoint and managed to flee with an undisclosed amount of money.
"The third suspect was arrested by the customers and disarmed. His 9mm Luger pistol with [the] serial number scratched and 12 rounds of ammunition were seized."
He would appear in the Mthatha Magistrate's Court on Monday, Kinana said.