Shop owner fights off robber

2010-12-21 00:00

A LOCAL businessman was left with scratches and bruises on his neck and face after a man attempted to rob his Pietermaritzburg CBD shop on Sunday morning.

The 63-year-old businessman, who declined to be named for fear of more attacks, said he managed to fight off his attacker in a desperate struggle that lasted more than 10 minutes.

He had been involved with the business in Church Street for the past 50 years.

He said the attacker, who entered the shop at about 10 am, ran away without stealing anything.

He has now laid a charge of conspiracy to assault against his 22-year-old employee who was present when the attack took place. The employee is a Malawian immigrant.

“This man conspired to have me attacked so that he and his friend could rob me,” said the businessman.

He said the temporary employee, who he hired about eight months ago, “always demonstrated signs of dishonesty”. He said these signs become even stronger on Sunday before the attack.

“When we opened the shop my [employee] kept on talking to someone over the phone … despite that I don’t allow it to happen.”

He said at about 10 am his employee called him to the storeroom to show him that bags that were left upside-down.

“As I was busy paying attention to what [the employee] was showing me I saw a man running into the shop. He grabbed me by my neck and throttled me. But I managed to punch him on the face while screaming for help,” he said.

He said during the commotion his employee ran out of the shop and returned shortly after the attacker had left.

Police spokesperson Warrant Office Joey Jeevan confirmed that the businessman’s employee has been charged with assault and attempted robbery. Police are also investigating suspicions that he is an illegal immigrant.

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