A major retail store manager who had been preparing for the day’s business was shot and killed on Sunday after apparently refusing to hand over the shop’s keys to suspected robbers.
Police spokesperson Noloyiso Rwexana said the 55-year-old woman, a store manager at Shoprite in Zwelethemba, Worcester, was accosted at about 6am.
“Three armed men perpetrated a business robbery and shot the victim,” Rwexana said.
Police have launched a hunt for the thugs, and were combing the area yesterday.
According to information, the woman was shot and killed just after being dropped off for work.
Shoprite has condemned the incident, and sent its condolences to the victim’s family.
“The Shoprite supermarket group deplores the escalating levels of violence and incidents of crime in its communities, preventing ordinary citizens from going about their daily lives in peace and conducting their normal business in public places, depriving them of their safety.
“Shoprite expresses its sincere condolences to the family and colleagues of its Zwelethemba branch manager who tragically lost her life during an armed robbery prior to the store,” said Shoprite’s media team.
Counselling has been arranged for fellow staff. “We will also support the family and staff with whatever they require to assist them to recover from this terrible ordeal,” Shoprite said.
The store was closed for trade yesterday until further notice.
Worcester Community Police Forum spokesperson Russell Cupido said the incident had caused major concern among residents.
“We are afraid that it will keep on happening because there is no adequate punishment for the perpetrators.
‘‘Police are doing their jobs but there is a fault in the follow-through with the criminal justice system.
‘‘The fact that there are perpetrators in our community running around with guns is atrocious,” said Cupido.
“This means nobody is safe to trade anymore as criminals are shooting in broad daylight.
‘‘Crimes such as these must get punished. Criminals should pay with their freedom. The courts and justice system must ensure this.”
Anyone with information can anonymously contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111 or SMS Crime Line on 32211.