Greytown businessman dies fighting

2009-06-03 00:00

A PROMINENT Greytown businessman died fighting when robbers, one of whom posed as a police officer, robbed him at his house on Monday evening.

Greytown Spar owner Muhammad Sayed (31) was killed after three men entered his house in York Road and demanded cash.

An intense shoot-out started between Sayed and the robbers when he realised that they were not the police.

“Sayed managed to get his gun and shoot at the suspects. Sayed was killed in the shoot-out, during which he wounded two of the three suspects,” said police spokesman Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram.

“All three suspects were seen fleeing from the scene … believed to be in a motor vehicle parked outside which was waiting for them with a fourth suspect.”

One of the suspects is believed to have died at Durban’s Addington Hospital, but the police could not confirm this.

Sayed had just arrived at his house from the family business in central Greytown when the robbers arrived.

“He was having dinner when the suspects confronted him. The possibility that the suspects followed him from the Spar cannot be ruled out,” said Budhram.

They asked the security guard if they could see him and believing they were the police, the guard opened up for them.

“As they entered, they drew guns and ordered Sayed, the guard and the two domestic employees to lie on the floor and took their cellphones.”

Sayed was then dragged by his feet to his bedroom where the intruders demanded cash. While the robbers frantically searched the room for money, Sayed saw an opportunity to defend himself and drew his gun and started shooting. His gun, a 9 mm pistol, was found at the scene, as was an SAPS-issue cap believed to have been worn by one of the robbers.

“The motive could be linked to robbery as the deceased and his father are businessmen in the area,” said Budhram.

Family members were removed from the crime scene yesterday, and the premises was sealed by the police as forensic experts combed the house for clues and evidence.

The family would not comment about the incident as they were still too traumatised and grieving.

Business was delayed at the Spar shop. “The shop opened at 11.30 am. We are devastated. Sayed was very friendly with staff. It’s a big loss for everyone,” one of the employees told The Witness.

Business owners said crime is rife in the small town. “We are trying to fight crime in this town; it’s difficult to do business and compete with criminals. Increased police visibility can create a safe environment,” Bo­xer store manager Rajen Pillay said. He conveyed his condolences to the family.

A management team from KZN Spar Retail Operations Department arrived at Sayed’s house to support the family. Senior retail operations manager Sean Komlosy, retail operations manager Lloyd Mentory and bakery specialist Fred Knoetze brought flowers for the family.

“We came from Durban to show our support and sympathy in this difficult time. It’s an unfortunate situation for business … ” said Komlosy.

A search for the suspects has been launched and police are following leads. It is believed that one of the wounded robbers was admitted to Addington Hospital yesterday morning, accompanied by a man in police uniform. The robber later died.

Investigating officer Detective Inspector Swami Pillay has appealled to anyone with information to call him on 082 556 1380 or Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

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