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'They burnt them like wood'


Wednesday, December 14, 2016
By Rapula Moatshe


Hassan Dahir, Suhub Adan Dool, Ileh Abdi and Deep Goot, family and friends of the Somali shopkeeper killed in a Gomora shop. 
Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/Pretoria News

Pretoria - They made a gaping hole on the roof of the corrugated-iron tuck-shop, jumped in, poured petrol on them and set them alight.

This was how residents of Gomora informal settlement, west of Tshwane, on Tuesday described the gruesome incident that resulted in the death of a Somali national and two suspected robbers.

Angered, members of the community hunted down the four suspects and killed two of them. One of them was apparently kicked and beaten, then stoned to death.

Ahmed Badah was a shopkeeper and slept inside his tuckshop. He was sleeping with his brother Abdull Shugri in the early hours of Tuesday when the thugs struck.

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Petrol was poured over them and they were set alight. Badah died while Shugri survived and is fighting for his life in Bougainville hospital.

Badah’s brother Hassan Daahir said the perpetrators attacked the two, tied them up with wire, doused them with petrol and set them alight.

“They took petrol and burnt them like wood. They took their money and fled,” he said.

Community leader William Maila expressed anger about the grisly attacks, and said the community had decided to take the law into their own hands because crime was getting out of control.

“The people had vowed to drive the nyaope smokers out of this place because they are the cause of crime,” he said. Maila said the community was alerted about the incident by a resident who blew the whistle after hearing the hysterical sounds of someone in great pain.

Relatives and friends of the dead men gathered at the tuckshop to mourn and pray to God to save the life of the brother. Maila said that when residents left their houses to go to the scene, they came across a man hiding in the nearby bush. He ran away as soon as he saw them.

Residents gave chase and caught him, forcing him to show them where the alleged killers stayed. He took them to Zama Zama informal settlement.

Maila said the community supported the Somalis because their businesses were of great help to them. “The malls are far, and we rely on them for help, especially to buy groceries,” he said.

Somali national Sadik Mukhtar Maumin said he was grateful to those in the community who stood by them in trying times. “They came here to call the police and organised transport to fetch the two brothers; it was really comforting,” he said.

Police spokesman Bonginkosi Msimango said two cases of business robbery and murder had been opened.

“It is alleged that the neighbour was woken up by someone saying the foreigner’s shop was burning. They went to assist in putting out the fire and one person said the victims were attacked and the other was still trapped inside,” he said.

After the fire was put out resident found one victim with his hands and legs tied up, he said.

He was severely burnt and died at the scene.

One of the alleged perpetratrors was stoned to death and the other’s shack was set alight while he was inside. He died from his serious wounds in the Kalafong Hospital.

No arrests had been made by late Tuesday night.



 





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