Guard stabbed at city lodge

2011-03-30 00:00

THE fatal stabbings of a security guard at a Pietermaritzburg lodge in the early hours of yesterday left a receptionist who witnessed the crime traumatised.

Ntombifuthi Mthalane (23), a receptionist at the Value Lodge in West Street, said she could not believe her eyes when a stranger repeatedly stabbed Musa Zulu (26) at about 3.30 am. Zulu, who died at the scene of the attack, had worked for the lodge for about two years.

Police detained for questioning a 25-year-old guest at the lodge who was seen talking to the suspect for a while before the fatal attack.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joey Jeevan said Zulu was stabbed several times in the head, neck and chest.

Mthalane was doing her night shift when the incident happened.

“When I got home I tried to sleep, but every time I closed my eyes the picture of what I witnessed kept haunting me. He stabbed him so many times I lost count. I never seen someone being stabbed before, even now I’m still too scared,” she said.

Mthalane said the suspect, who is still at large, was walking up and down the reception area of the lodge when Zulu asked him what he was looking for. She said the man just kept quiet, which led to Zulu escorting him out of the premises.

Other staff members who reported for duty in the morning said they were met by a pool of blood and a large number police officers at the lodge, which was previously the Watson Hotel.

“The body had already been taken away. When we viewed the video footage of the attack we were also left traumatised. It shows this man repeatedly stabbing Musa,” said a worker, who declined to give her name.

Other workers said the footage shows the suspect talking to a guest, who had been booked into room 10 at about 10 pm on Monday, for a while. Later the guest walked up the stairs, apparently to his room.

“The man is seen walking up and down the reception area before he was confronted by Musa, who later escorted him out. Later the guest walked down the stairs and talked to the man again. Immediately thereafter the man entered and started to stab Musa,” said the worker.

Staff suspect that the guest and the man were planning to commit a robbery at the lodge.

Approached for comment at 5.30 pm, lodge management said they were not yet in a position to talk about the matter. Jeevan said the arrest of the attacker is imminent.

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