At around 9pm, two “unsuspicious men” entered the Chadni Supermarket in Balhambra Way, Northdale, holding Ariful Islam and customers at gunpoint.
Speaking to Public Eye, Ariful Islam said that the men entered the shop as customers around 7.30pm purchasing cigarettes and a cool drink. “They entered, walked around the shop. I did not make anything of it, because that is what customers do,” he said.
Later on, the men returned to purchase more items. “One of the men walked up to me to the counter and wanted to purchase R20 Cell C airtime,” he continued.
As the unsuspecting shop owner bent down to open the counter to retrieve the airtime, the man pulled out a gun, pointing at Ariful Islam as the other accomplice closed the supermarkets doors, also pulling a gun out and pointing it at the customers in the shop who were playing a game of pool.
The two assailants demanded cash from the shop owner and customers, while threatening to shoot the hostages if they did not comply with their demands.
Recalling the incident, an emotional Ariful Islam said, “I quickly emptied the cash register and gave him the money. I did not want anyone to get hurt”.
Unsatisfied at the R6 000 cash received from the cash register, the robbers proceeded to ransack the shop making away with 1 kg box of cigarettes, airtime said to be valued at R2000 and twelve cellphones from the customers at the shop.
Radley Govender of RZS Protection Services said that security vehicles have been deployed in the area to monitor the situation and they would work with police to find the suspects.
Mountain Rise SAPS Captain Gay Ebrahim said the matter was swiftly attended to at around 9.30pm but the suspects are still at large. Investigations continue.