Supermarket employee stabbed to death in front of customers at Eastern Cape mall

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
A shop employee was killed in an apparent act of gender-based violence, according to police.
A shop employee was killed in an apparent act of gender-based violence, according to police.
Gallo Images/Die Burger/Jaco Marais
  • A Checkers employee died after she was stabbed multiple times by a man who entered the store on Sunday morning.
  • The suspect suffered injuries during a clash with mall security and is under police guard in hospital.  
  • The Shoprite Group said it was arranging trauma counselling for her family, as well as staff and customers who were in the store at the time.

Trauma counselling is being arranged for employees and customers who witnessed an employee being stabbed to death inside Checkers at Balfour Park Mall in East London on Sunday morning. 

A man entered the store as if he was a customer before screams were heard coming from an aisle, Eastern Cape police said.

Guards and colleagues of the 36-year-old woman saw her running from the aisle and heading towards the tills, chased by the suspect who allegedly continued stabbing her.

"It is alleged that approximately 08:30, police attended to a complaint of a stabbing and on arrival, they found a 36-year-old female lying on her back in a pool of blood with multiple stab wounds on her upper body," said police spokesperson Captain Hazel Mqala.

Mqala added security guards tried to intervene, however, the suspect ran out of the shop with knife in his hand.

"They apprehended him and handed him over to police. The murder weapon was also recovered." 

She said during the fracas, the suspect was assaulted, and a security officer also sustained a stab wound.

The Shoprite Group, which owns Checkers, described the incident as gender-based violence. 

READ | Seven family members gunned down while mourning slain relative

In a short response to News24 questions on Monday, the supermarket group said: "Trauma counselling has been arranged for the family, all store employees and customers who were in the store at the time of the incident."

It added it was assisting the police with all available information.

The group did not answer detailed questions around the security at the store, among others. 

While it referred further questions surrounding the circumstances of the attack to the police, the group described the attack as an act of gender-based violence.

"Gender-based violence and femicide tears our society apart and destroys the lives of too many women and children unnecessarily."

The alleged knifeman, who could be seen in a video with the blood-stained knife and clothes, is under police guard in hospital. 

READ | Cop probed after shooting colleague he thought was a criminal

The 31-year-old man sustained injuries when he clashed with mall security guards trying to stop him from fleeing the shopping centre on foot. 

The guards disarmed and apprehended the suspect in the mall's parking lot before handing him over to the police.

Mqala said: "Security guards acted in self-defence, and he sustained injuries. He is currently in hospital under police guard."

The man was still in hospital as of Monday afternoon.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What are your thoughts on the possibility of having permanent Stage 2 or 3 load shedding?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
I'll take that over constant schedule changes
13% - 1282 votes
Why are we normalising Eskom’s mess?
72% - 7164 votes
I've already found alternative ways of powering my home/business
15% - 1488 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.