Killing in cold blood

McKeed Kotlolo

McKeed Kotlolo

The residents of a tiny town in Mpumalanga are mourning the murder of a petrol attendant described by locals as "a very friendly person".

Simon Ngobese, 32, of Amersfoort, Mpumalanga, was shot dead during a robbery at the garage by one of four robbers at the weekend, police said.

Captain Braam Roberts said the incident occurred at about 7pm on Saturday when Ngobese and his fellow attendant Bongani Vilakazi, 32, were on duty.

He said they were approached by two men asking to use the toilet at the filling station.

"The two men later returned in the company of two others and pointed a firearm at Ngobese and Vilakazi. Both attendants were taken into an office where Vilakazi said he was ordered to lie on the floor by the gunmen who demanded money.

"After robbing the two of about R300, one of the suspects shot Ngobese through the head, killing him instantly," said the police captain who had known the deceased for about nine years as "a very friendly person to all customers".

"We live in a small town where every person knows everyone else. His death has shocked the people in the area," he said.

Attempts by Sowetan to contact the owners of the garage for comment were unsuccessful.

Roberts said no arrests had been made, but police have launched a manhunt for the killers.

He appealed to members of the community to assist police with any information that could lead to their arrests. He warned people not to confront the suspects, but to contact the nearest police station with their whereabouts.