Angrymob kidnap and stab shop man

2015-12-02 06:00

FUELLED with rage, a 100-strong mob of Ethiopian nationals stormed a Pietermaritzburg wholesaler on Saturday, kidnapping and stabbing a fellow Ethiopian from the premises in a two-and-a-half-hour ordeal.

It is believed the attack erupted because of missing stokvel money.

The furore started at about 8am as the businessman was removing packets of money from his bakkie at the Phoenix Cash and Carry parking lot in Victoria Road, when about 20 men ganged up on him.

Pushing, pulling, shouting and waving their hands at the businessman, the gang grew larger as the ruckus continued.

According to Phoenix security manager Alan Vadivelu, guards tried to contain and reason with the mob, but they persisted.

“Three of the men were carrying firearms so we were on high alert,” Vadivelu said.

As the businessman made his way into the shop, the gang, now almost 100-strong, pushed through security and spilled into the shop.

According to an eyewitness, people in the crowd alleged that they had invested money in a stokvel run by the businessman, who had reported the money stolen.

The crowd believed the man had instead used the money to expand his own business.

According to Vadivelu, after a long and heated discussion, the businessman was asked to leave the premises by security.

When the man got into his bakkie and tried to drive off, about 20 vehicles closed in on the roads surrounding the wholesaler, blocking off all exits.

It is believed the businessman then fled his vehicle, taking refuge among wooden crates on a neighbouring property.

When the mob caught up to him, they allegedly beat him with sticks and sjamboks before shoving him into the back seat of one of their vehicles and speeding off.

The rest of the crowd, according to Vadivelu, “ripped apart” the man’s bakkie. “They ripped off the door, ripped the seats and smashed the windows with bricks,” he said.

According to Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Mthokzisi Ngobese, when police eventually caught up to the vehicle in which the man was taken, they found him in a pool of blood.

“He was found with multiple stab wounds and rushed to hospital,” he said.

Three men, the businessman’s alleged kidnappers, were arrested. They are due to appear in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court soon.


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