Robbed and shot after prayer meeting

2014-10-31 00:00

THE sister of a Winterton businessman who was shot during a robbery last year, yesterday wiped away tears while describing how she’d raced him to hospital.

She found out shortly afterwards that he had died.

Anne Grewan gave evidence yesterday at the trial of Nhlanhla Gumbi (36) and Siyethemba Mfeka (20).

They face charges of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition, arising from an incident when Rajoo Grewan (41) and his wife, Philile, were accosted at the gate of their smallholding, Sophia’s Rust, on June 7, 2013.

Both pleaded not guilty before Judge Thoba Poyo-Dlwati and an assessor.

Anne Grewan testified that the Grewan family were involved in various business ventures in the Winterton area and lived near one another.

Her brother, Rajoo, who owned a restaurant, lived at Sophia’s Rust with his wife and teenage son.

On the night in question her sister-in-law had attended a prayer meeting at their mother’s house.

Her brother later fetched her from there, and the couple left for home.

About 10 to 25 minutes later the family received a message that “something has happened to Rajoo”.

Grewan, her mother and a pastor drove to her brother’s property.

En route she saw a group of people gathered. Her brother’s wife was among them “hysterical and crying”.

“She told me they got held up and that they took Raj into the mielie lands,” said Grewan.

Grewan said she and others set out to look for her brother. While driving she saw vehicle tracks going into a mielie field where she saw her brother lying on the ground.

“I stopped and ran to him …I thought maybe they’d hit him or something.

“That’s when I saw the bullet hole in his shoulder,” she said.

They put her brother in her car and drove to Emmaus hospital.

“We were told that his injuries were quite serious and they were going to transport him to Pietermaritzburg.

“But before that they told us he didn’t survive,” she said wiping away tears.

The state alleges the accused (and other attackers) ambushed the couple at gunpoint as they arrived at the farm and stopped to open the gates.

Grewan, who allegedly had a firearm, resisted.

He was allegedly shot during the struggle and thrown out of the vehicle into a plantation.

His wife was forced to accompany the robbers to the house and unlock it.

After ransacking it, the men fled in the couple’s Toyota Hilux bakkie with jewellery, cellphones, cash, a pellet gun, a firearm and 9mm ammunition.

The trial continues.

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