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MANZINI – A family has come out to claim that one of the two people shot during a botched armed robbery in Ngwane Park on Monday night, was their son who was walking home.

On Monday night, just before an eatery at Ngwane Park closed for the day, armed robbers entered it and brandished a gun before jumping over the counter to demand money from the workers. Within the shop, there were four employees and one of the directors, who had to take refuge within the shop. According to sources, as the robbers entered the eatery, a pair of them was said to have jumped over the counter to where the cash register was and demanded money. Initially, it was believed to have been five robbers who were involved in the armed robbery, but sources claim there were four. It was said one of them was carrying a gun while another was brandishing a knife and demanding that the director surrender any cash in his possession.


While that was happening, it was gathered that police officers who were in close proximity to the complex where the eatery is, entered the shop and announced that it was surrounded. During that period, it was supposed that one of the armed robbers retaliated by firing at the police officers. The sources claimed that the law enforcers responded as well and two people were shot. At the time of the incident, it was believed two of the robbers had been shot. However, some sources claim that actually one of the armed robbers was injured. Emphasising on the shooting within the eatery was a number of places, wherein the walls were chipped as they had been grazed by the bullets exchanged by the police and armed robbers. The chipped walls included a section at the centre of the entrance of the eatery and also above the counter.

The sources claimed that as the robbers realised that they were outnumbered; one of them ran to hide in the eatery’s bathroom and was later joined by another. However, sources claimed that the police were able to apprehend all four who were within the eatery. The sources supposed that the robbers had camped nearby, for the eatery to be void of customers, before they engaged in their mission. On the other hand, other sources claimed that there were seven robbers in total, as one was in the getaway vehicle, while a pair was on guard, monitoring any prevailing threats. The sources claimed that when the situation became intense and those who were not inside the shop realised that their prospects of coming out alive from their mission were slim; two of them drove off and left their counterparts behind.

The sources claimed that during the shootout between the police and the armed robbers, another person was shot and his family has come out to claim that he was not part of the robbery.
He was shot in the head and died instantly, according to his family. At the scene where he died, headphones were found near the patches of blood spatter, which was covered with sand.
Also, there were fragments of tissue presumably from the impact of the bullet, when it pierced through his body. The pools of blood were about a metre away from the pavement and about 60 metres from the eatery.

Meanwhile, the father to the deceased said his son was aged 25 and was killed about 50 metres from their business establishment at Ngwane Park. He said on Monday, his son had been working with his uncle in Nhlangano, installing closed-circuit television (CCTV) for their clients. The parent to the deceased, who is of Tanzanian origin, said after his son’s work was completed in Nhlangano, they returned to Manzini early. “They returned early and as we were having challenges with our compressors at the tyre shop, we closed early and he walked his uncle to his place of abode past KaZakhali School,” he said. The parent supposed that as his son was closer to their business establishment, he was shot in the head and died instantly. The father, who was in the company of family members, including the uncle to the deceased was working with, said they had gone to the police to establish what might have happened.

He said on Monday night, he had tried dialing his son’s mobile phone for an extensive period but it rang unanswered. This, he said, worried him as his son usually did not return home late. The father said the police informed them that his son was part of the suspects and had been supposedly found with a toy gun. This, he refuted and said was far from the truth.

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