'Open up, or I will blow your head off' - Spur robbers tell manager

2017-08-03 11:44
The Ottawa Spur in Evendale where four armed robbers struck and made off with at least R20 000.(Netwerk24)

The Ottawa Spur in Evendale where four armed robbers struck and made off with at least R20 000.(Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg - "I am glad that everyone who was here last night is still alive," said a relieved Emmanuel Masuku, the manager of the Ottawa Spur in Edenvale's Karaglen Shopping Centre, after four armed robbers struck the restaurant on Monday evening.

They fled with at least R20 000 in cash, as well as cellphones belonging to customers and staff, Netwerk24 reported.

Police spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubele confirmed on Wednesday evening that one suspect had been arrested.  

According to Masuku, the robbers had nonchalantly eaten and had drinks before they struck.

"They came in and sat at different tables. Then they ordered food and drinks. The last guy sat on his own. I immediately thought he looked suspicious, but one thinks one is unnecessarily paranoid, so I ignored the feeling," said Masuku.

The suspect at some stage stood up and walked past Masuku towards the toilets.

"He all of a sudden stopped and asked: 'Do you know who I am?' When I looked at him surprisingly, he lifted his jacket ever so slightly and I could see his firearm. I immediately realised what was happening and that I had to keep my wits about me."

Masuku was forced to open the cash register, from which he had to take the safe's key. "I haven't a clue how he knew the key was in there."

The robber then forced him to go to his office and unlock the safe. "Open up, or I will blow your head off your shoulders."

Masuku also had to rip the CCTV from the wall and put it in the robber's bag. "He didn’t touch anything and forced me to do everything for him. I also had to give him my cellphone. He then forced me to lie on the ground while he packed the money into the bag."

Customers and waiters robbed

When the robber left, Masuku jumped up and went back to the restaurant area, only to find that the robbery was still in progress. He ran back and locked himself in the office.

The other robbers had forced about 20 diners onto the ground and robbed them of possessions such as cellphones. They also took some of the waiters’ phones, Masuku said.

Collette Maate was busy in the kitchen when one of the waiters stormed in and whispered "robbery". All she saw was the armed man walking with Masuku. "I couldn't see what they were busy with, but the way in which he was handling Masuku indicated that he was violent. I pressed the panic button," said Maate.  

Mduduzi Makhaya, a waiter, said he saw the robber start talking to Masuku and pointing to the weapon. "He forced me to sit in front of the counter and not make a sound. I got a big fright," he said.

"No one was injured," Masuku's relieved line manager, John Wisky said. 

"A woman fainted from shock, but there were no injuries."

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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