‘Stop the flow of blood’

2018-12-11 14:50
Jahir Uddin (left) and Saimon Haq Kajol holding up Sohed Uddin’s bloodied shirt. Sohed was shot in both legs during a robbery in Lincoln Meade on Sunday.

Jahir Uddin (left) and Saimon Haq Kajol holding up Sohed Uddin’s bloodied shirt. Sohed was shot in both legs during a robbery in Lincoln Meade on Sunday. (Nokuthula Khanyile)

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Two months after he arrived in South Africa to join his brother in business, a Bangladeshi businessman, Sohed Uddin, was shot and seriously injured by robbers at the shop in Lincoln Meade.

On Monday, his brother, Jahir Uddin told The Witness how he found Sohed lying in a pool of blood unable to move after armed robbers shot him in both legs.

Sohed (36) arrived in the country in October, with prospects of a better future, yet on Sunday, three armed robbers barged into the store he co-owns with his brother in Grimthorpe Avenue.

The robbery rocked the quiet suburb at around 5.30 pm.

The robbers fled with an undisclosed amount of cigarettes, R12 000 in cash and two cell phones.

Bangladesh Community Committee president Saimon Haq Kajol called for the police and community police forum to take action.

“Enough is enough with the flow of blood. We are worried about the shooting of innocent people and urge communities and business owners to work together to combat crime,” said Haq Kajol.

He said last month, a Bangladesh shop owner was gunned down in Newcastle.

Haq Kajol said foreign national tuck-shops owners were soft targets for robbers during the festive season.

Recalling the traumatic ordeal, Jahir said he was in the toilet inside the store when the men, who masqueraded as customers, walked in.

“We had five people in the shop, including my brother. When the three men walked in, my brother thought they were customers, but they pulled out their guns, and demanded money from him and when he told them he did not have any [money] they shot him in both legs.”

Jahir said the three men walked in and pushed the customers inside before locking the front door and ransacking the cigarette stand and the till.

Jahir said when he heard gunshots, he locked himself inside the toilet.

“I knew it was a robbery but I thought they were just firing shots into the air to scare my brother off.

“I didn’t think they were shooting him, otherwise, I would have come out. I would have let them shoot me instead, he said.

“We have had robberies here before. They come in, take whatever they want and leave. No one has been hurt before,” he said.

A devastated Jahir said they have been held at gunpoint twice since he opened the shop in 2015.

Sohed, from Bangladesh, had only been in the country for two months.

Jahir said it was only after the gun wielding criminals had left that he went out to check if everyone was fine.

“I found my brother lying on the floor behind the counter bleeding. There was so much blood I thought he was dying.

“We were both crying, he spoke to me in Bangla and told me he was ‘finished’.

“I picked him up from there and checked where he had been shot.”

He said it was the first time he had witnessed such a scene. “I’m devastated,” he said.

Jahir said one of the bullets was still lodged in Sohed’s right leg.

Yesterday, he was set to be transferred to a hospital in Durban where he would be operated on. “His bone is broken, he is suffering and in pain in hospital. I’m glad he is alive,” he said.

Jahir said following yesterday’s incident, he no longer felt safe.

“I don’t have any problem with any of the residents here. Even when the poor walk into my shop I give them bread and milk. I don’t know why this happened.

“I do not fight with anyone. I’m just trying to make an honest living. Why did they have to shoot my brother?” he said.

Alexandra police station spokesperson Captain Kholeka Mhlongo said no one has been arrested yet.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime
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