Surgery robbery: Doctor, receptionist and saleswomen held up on Saturday afternoon

2010-03-15 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG doctor Faizel Akoo was still in shock yesterday in the wake of an armed holdup at his surgery in Pietermaritz Street, during which a gun was held to his head on Saturday afternoon.

Akoo told The Witness he, his receptionist, Sisiwe Myamya, and a saleswoman from an adjacent furniture store, Keshnie Maistry, were forced into a toilet on the premises and were told to remain there while the robbers ransacked the offices. Both women are very traumatised.

The robbers escaped with a laptop and desktop computer, a large sum of money, ultra-sound equipment and an ECG machine, which have a total value of just under R100 000, as well as the doctor’s wallet and cellphone.

Akoo said there were four robbers in all, none of whom wore balaclavas. “They were just brazen, coming in during the day and not covering their faces and taking whatever they want,” he said.

One of the assailants was a man who had visited the furniture shop — which has an entrance leading into the surgery — earlier last week, posing as a customer.

“He came again on Saturday and spoke to the sales lady and while they were talking he pulled out a gun.

“He knew exactly where I was sitting. He just banged the door open and said, ‘Sit down doctor’. He even knew I was the doctor… then he put the gun to my head and he told me to look down. I looked down... I wear glasses and I tried to get a glimpse of him and then he ruffled me a bit.”

Akoo said the gunman “pushed” him around and threatened to shoot him in the head if he did not listen to him. “He kept asking where is the safe, but I don’t have a safe.”

Akoo said he offered the man his wallet, which he took, as well as car keys, but he did not want those.

Three other men, all of them armed, then entered and began ransacking the premises.

They came across his brief-case containing money, and forced him to open the combination lock.

His receptionist was accosted in the dispensary and also threatened at gunpoint. When she started screaming and crying, she was told to “shut up”.

After he and the two women were ordered into the toilet one, of the robbers periodically came to check that they were still there. When the robbers left, the doctor pressed a panic button. B

By yesterday evening, no arrests had been made.

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