Pakistani businessman killed in his shop at Hlokozi

2011-08-30 00:00

IT took police and rescue workers five hours to retrieve the body of a murder victim from a cliff in the Highflats area on Sunday.

The body of a Pakistani national, Muhammad Naeem (24), was recovered in wet and misty conditions that made the operation extremely dangerous.

Naeem was murdered on Tuesday night in his general store in the Hlokozi area during a robbery. On Wednesday a customer went to the store and found the door open and no one inside. The store looked as if it had been robbed. The customer phoned the police.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Zandra Wiid said it was established that the owner and some items from the store were missing.

“Police and a rescue team started a search for the missing man, who lived in the store, but without any success.”

On Friday police arrested four men in connection with the business robbery. After questioning the suspects led the detectives to a cliff near the shop.

“The suspects indicated that the body was lying at the bottom of the cliff.”

Staff from three divisions — police search and rescue, Med Evac and International Medical and Rescue Technologies — worked from 7 am to noon on Sunday to bring Naeem’s body to the edge of the cliff.

“Rescue workers had to set up a tripod, using ropes and other high-angle equipment, to retrieve the body from a 30-metre cliff where the suspects had hidden it,” said Wiid.

A post-mortem held yesterday found that blunt force trauma to the head was the cause of death.

The four accused — Bright Dumisane Ngema (24), Nkosikhona Mtembu (18), Nkosikhona Eric Nzimande (25) and Nkosinathi Mkhize (28) — appeared in court in Phungashe in Highflats yesterday on charges of murder, business robbery and kidnapping.

The case has been adjourned until September 6 for a bail application.

The body of the deceased is on its way to Pakistan for burial.

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