Johannesburg - The murder of a Pretoria vet on Thursday appears to be the work of a gang targeting veterinary clinics across Gauteng.
The gang has a unique modus operandi, where a white female, who has a distinct mole on her neck, is used to gain access to the premises.
Once inside two black male accomplices join her. Then they take guns from her handbag and hold up both staff and clients, while she leaves and waits in the car. She then acts as the getaway driver.
This week the gang added murder to their list of crimes.
On Thursday evening three suspects entered the Jacaranda Animal Clinic in Pretoria Moot and in the robbery Dr Fred Malan was shot in the chest.
He died at the scene.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant Kay Makhubela said yesterday that so far no arrests had been made.
A gang fitting the same description robbed the St Francis Veterinary Hospital, in Edenvale, in October last year.
Kelly van Zyl was the receptionist at the animal hospital on the day of the robbery.
As with the Pretoria Moot incident, a white woman came to the security gate and asked to be let it.
“She had dark, curly shoulder-length hair and wore a baseball cap,” said Van Zyl.
“She said she had come to collect pet food, and then asked for the gate to be opened so she could ask the people she was with if that was the correct food.”
It was then, said Van Zyl, that two males entered the premises.
“They took guns from her bag and she then left and sat in the car. Thank God no one was hurt. They took cellphones watches, jewellery and cash,” she said.
Van Zyl believes that one of the gang visited the clinic a week earlier, probably on a mission to check the premises out.
The Kenvalley veterinary clinic was also robbed in October, also by a gang that fits the description of the three robbers who allegedly killed Malan.
There have been other robberies blamed on the gang. The Randburg Veterinary Hospital was one of them.
However, Makhubela said he was unaware of other robberies that were similar to the recent Pretoria incident.