Robbers douse man with petrol

2012-10-12 00:00

A CHINESE businessman had petrol poured over his arm and was set alight by robbers after he refused to co-operate with them during a robbery in Greytown yesterday.

Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said four men entered the shop and held the owner at gunpoint, demanding cash.

When he refused to show them where he kept the safe, they poured petrol on him and set him alight. He then co-operated and opened the safe.

He sustained burn injuries to his arm, but did not need hospitalisation.

Naicker said the men took an undisclosed amount of cash in a money box and fled.

He said the robbers are still at large.

Another Greytown businessman, who would not be named for fear of victimisation, said the local business community was living in fear following a spate of robberies. Last month, he was also held up and robbed.

He said he had provided the police with video footage of the robbery, which clearly shows the robbers’ faces, but the men had still not been found.

About R100 000 in cash and R65 000 worth of airtime was stolen during that robbery.

Greytown Community Policing Forum deputy chairperson Bhekuyise Dlamini expressed shock at yesterday’s incident.

“We do have crime, but not this kind where you’d burn someone.”

He told The Witness that the crime usually reported to them was mugging.

Dlamini said business owners and bank representatives seldom attended CPF meetings.

Newcastle Chinese Chamber of Commerce chairperson Alex Liu said most Chinese businessmen in South Africa do not speak English, making them vulnerable.

He said most victims of crime do not bother opening cases due to the language barrier.

“Our members are concerned about their safety and security,” he said.

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