Robbers kick woman in head

2009-06-29 00:00

“I discovered that it is actually not that sore to be kicked in the head,” was how a Pietermaritzburg business woman humorously described her ordeal after being robbed of her employees wages last Thursday.

However, Sheila Twycross (44) said business people need to be warned about the three smartly dressed thugs driving in a small silver car, who are believed to have pounced on another businessman a week earlier.

Twycross believes she and her business partner of 20 years, Susan Musgrave, must have been tailed by the robbers while in the Standard Bank in Hayfields, where they had withdrawn the money.

While both women went up to the tellers, according to Twycross, the men knew exactly who had the money when they came for it.

“After the bank we went out for coffee at Cafe Boyde. We have since discovered that they followed us there. They apparently sat at different tables and ordered bran muffins. But we were obviously oblivious to it all.”

Twycross and her partner own two companies, Kleenline and Select Services. They offer office cleaning services and manufacture chemicals in one business and offer nursing services to old age homes in another.

She said the cash payment was a favour to their factory staff, who prefer to be paid in cash. But she confessed that from now on there will be no more of that.

Twycross said they left the restaurant at around 10.20 am and arrived at their Mkondeni offices at around 10.30 am.

When they walked into the office, which was occupied by staff members and one customer, the men attacked.

“One guy remained in the car. One stood watch at the door and I was approached by the third guy.”

However, when he came for her bag, Twycross was determined not to give in without a fight in an attempt to protect her employees’ wages.

“I fell to the ground in a foetal position. I curled up into a ball and gripped that handbag with everything I had.”

But when the thief could not get to the money, he started kicking her.

“My partner tried to stop him but the guy at the door pulled out a gun and kicked her in the stomach,” she said.

Describing her emotions after the robbery, Twycross said she feels mostly anger, though she understands that crime in this country mostly emanates from poverty.

“I’m not traumatised since it was not personal. They didn't look like they were going to hurt us and the kicking was as a result of frustration at not getting the bag. We are fortunate to be alive, but I’m cross with myself for putting my staff in danger. Someone could have been hurt.”

She added that you never know how you will react in a situation until you are in it and believes her reaction was instinctive.

Her wallet, identification document, cheque book, bank card and her Nokia cellphone were all lost. No arrests have been made, but police are calling for anyone with information to contact Detective Captain Neleen Maharaj at 033 845 7713 or 084 851 7809. To call anonymously, call call crime stop at 08600 10111.

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