Mall to review security measures after Sandton man's death
Johannesburg - The Pineslopes Boulevard shopping centre in Fourways said it had reviewed CCTV footage following the death of Dumisani Maaga, who was killed after a robbery at the centre.
It said it was also reviewing its current security measures and had resolved to assign addtional security personnel at entrance and exit points following the death of a patron at the weekend.
Maaga had been waiting for transport at about 11pm on Saturday night when a suspect snatched a cellphone from one of his friends and fled in a white Toyota Etios. The 32-year-old Lonehill resident tried to apprehend the suspects and chased them along with his two friends. He somehow managed to enter the getaway vehicle, a white Toyota Etios, which escaped with him onboard.
He was discovered dead on Witkoppen Road, about 200 metres from the Fortress Reit Limited owned shopping centre. The shopping centre is understood to be managed by Excellerate JHI.
Police said Maaga had suffered head injuries and died on the scene. His killers are yet to be found.
Maaga, who is survived by his two-year-old daughter Xiamora, and partner Crystell Page, had been expecting his second child. They lived together in Lonehill, Sandton.
The telecoms sales executive was also set to start a new job on Monday.
Llewellan Vance, a spokesperson for the family and a friend of Maaga for over five years, said on Wednesday that they were demanding the shopping centre to beef up security after Maaga’s death.
Vance said they were calling on the centre to invest in facial and number plate recognition technology to improve security for all patrons.
"We don't want this sort of thing to ever happen again," said Vance, who had been with Maaga earlier on Saturday night.
Maaga’s friends described him as a “infectious personality” and a “great people’s person”, who loved his family and supported his friends.
In an e-mailed statement to Independent Media, the owners and management of the Pineslopes Boulevard, said the centre had 24 hour security and Fidelity was contracted for armed response.
They said all night venues at the centre had their own security.
“We also have a comprehensive CCTV surveillance system on the premises and have increased our involvement with the local community policing forum, the result of which has seen the police increase the frequency of visits to the centre.
“CCTV footage has been reviewed and handed over to the relevant authorities who are investigating the matter. We would like to discourage members of the public from attempting to apprehend anyone involved in apparent criminal activity,” said management.
Pineslopes Boulevard also revealed it was reviewing its security measures and had resolved to assign additional security to entrance and exit points.
“We are also looking into the feasibility of erecting a monitored boom at the exit. However, this is a challenge as it has the potential to increase congestion in and around the centre, which could have the unintended consequence of inadvertently creating additional opportunities for criminality. We are currently discussing this with our security service provider and will make a decision in due course,” said management.
The management of the mall also said there had been no violent crime at the centre in the past month, but conceded there had been instances of petty and cellphone theft.
“We take the safety of our patrons extremely seriously and continuously review the security measures we have in place. Unfortunately, given the high prevalence of crime in South Africa it is impossible to guarantee that our facilities will never be affected by the scourge of crime,” said management.
They said they had been affected by pickpocketing and theft at the shopping centre.
Maaga will be buried on Saturday in Johannesburg.
The Sunday Independent