Eight suspects from the age of 15 to 18 appeared in the Mossel Bay Magistrate’s Court this week on a charge of murder following the death of a 40-year-old man who worked as a cellphone repair technician.
Their bail application, brought on Wednesday, 5 August, was denied and they remain in custody.
The victim, Furqan Chaudhary, was fondly known as Frank in the community.
According to a police statement, Chaudhary was attacked by armed suspects at the shop in Adriaans Avenue, KwaNonqaba, on Wednesday, 29 July.
According to the owner of the shop, MacDonald Tserayi, they opened the shop as usual between 10am and 11am.
“Frank arrived with two iPhones to repair and we started serving our customers.”
He says the suspects arrived while other customers were in the shop.
After becoming a nuisance and trying to grab the phone Chaudhary was working on, they were chased out of the shop.
“We called the police and locked the shop. While we were waiting outside for the police to arrive, more youths arrived and attacked us. Frank ran away and tried to hide, but they got him. They got me also, but not as badly as Frank.”
Chaudhary had stab wounds to his right arm and back. He was rushed to a local hospital, where he died of his wounds.
Tserayi also sustained injuries. He was having his wounds dressed at the Alma Clinic when the Mossel Bay Advertiser spoke to him on Wednesday, 5 August.
Tserayi said he had been dealing in cellphones, laptops and computers from his shop in Adriaans Avenue for several years.
“I don’t think it is worth it anymore.”
He said he wanted the community to see his injuries and take note that they had a role to play.
“Frank was looking for help when he was attacked and no one helped him. They stood by, watching. If someone did something, he could have been alive. People think I am fine, but I am not.”
Tserayi laments the fact that youths were involved in this heinous crime.
“During this time of lockdown, too many people are out on the streets, too many children. They get influenced to do bad things.”
During a special operation following information received from the community, police arrested the eight suspects on Thursday evening, 30 July.
“We thank the community for its cooperation. Equally, we are proud of the A Shift, under the command of Warrant Officer Robertson, who made the arrest,” said KwaNonqaba Police spokesperson Sgt Kappie Kapp.
He said it was believed the suspects could have been involved in other contact crimes recently perpetrated in KwaNonqaba. He said, however, it was far too early to speculate.
The investigating officer is Wo Geoffrey Moos. The four youths under 18 will be detained at a facility in Cape Town, while the other four aged 18 remain in custody at the Mossel Bay Correctional Youth Centre.
This article first appeared on Mossel Bay Advertiser and was republished with permission.