Two women brutally stabbed at popular tote

2012-04-05 00:00

A SUSPECTED robber killed a tote employee in downtown Pietermaritzburg yesterday morning by repeatedly stabbing her as she counted money at work.

He also stabbed a colleague who came to her rescue after hearing her cries for help and inflicted serious injuries.

The deceased, Mogombal Gharib (44), was also the victim of another attack two months ago near her work, according to a relative Dan Gharib.

She had been employed for the past 25 years at the Tab Gold betting shop in Pietermaritz Street.

“Yesterday, [Tuesday] was the anniversary of her husband’s death.”

He claimed Gharib had told her employer after her previous attack that security needed to be improved.

“There is no security guard nor are there cameras.

“Even the doors do not lock properly but the management did nothing.”

Gill Simpkins, the spokesperson for Gold Circle betting group, under which Tab Gold falls, declined to comment on the security issues, saying police were investigating the matter.

She added that the premises would be closed for two days.

A large group of people which included colleagues, friends and family of both women gathered at the scene weeping.

Some customers at the tote, however, were more concerned about when the tote would reopen so they could place bets and check results.

Police spokesperson Thulani Zwane said the man who killed Mogombal gained entry to her office posing as a telephone technician.

Gharib had been busy counting money. A struggle ensued and she was stabbed five times in the back. She died on the scene, said Zwane.

Gharib’s colleague, Mavis Myeza (47) — who was outside at the time — heard her screaming and rushed to help.

She was stabbed in the chest and twice in her arm.

Last night Shubnum Ismail, spokesperson for St Anne’s Hospital, said Myeza was in a stable condition.

The suspect fled from Tab Gold and Myeza managed to stagger into a shop next door for help, said Zwane.

He added that when police arrived at the scene, money was still lying around on a table where Mogombal had been working.

Police also found a bag containing work tools and duct tape.

Gharib’s killer was believed to have been there the day before to inquire about the phones, Zwane added.

Police are investigating a case of murder and attempted murder.

Late yesterday, Gold Tab management visited Gharib’s family and offered to pay for the funeral.

• thamsanqam@witness.co.za

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