Boy of 16 instructed to bomb spaza shop

A 16-YEAR-OLD boy has told the police that he was following orders when he petrol-bombed a spaza shop.

The shop in Daveyton, Ekurhuleni, is owned by two Bangladesh nationals.

The police subsequently arrested a 24-year-old man in connection with the incident.

Police spokesman Inspector Alfred Nakane said a third man, whose identity was known to the task team, is still on the run.

Nakane told Sowetan that the boy and the alleged leader are residents of Daveyton.

"When the boy was apprehended he indicated to the police that his role in the crime was that of a 'look-out' to warn the others in case the police showed up.

"We have also established that the 24-year-old suspect was released from prison in December after serving a sentence for armed robbery," Nakane said.

On Thursday morning two Bangladesh nationals in their early 20s narrowly escaped death when one the five shops they operate in Daveyton was petrol-bombed by unknown people.

Speaking to Sowetan soon after the attack at the Super Corner Shop, one of the co-owners, Mohammed Natrul Islam, 39, said his workers had just opened the shop when a man they assumed was a customer hurled a petrol bomb into the spaza shop.

"Within minutes the shop was engulfed in flames. One worker sustained superficial burns on his back while another was taken to a clinic with serious burns.

"A third escaped injury by kicking open the security gate."

Islam estimated the damage to property and stock at about R63000.

The petrol bombing of his shop came barely 12 hours after a daring armed robbery at two other shops he owned with countryman Kazi Mohammed Enamul Hoque in Tolo Street on Wednesday night.

Islam indicated that though he did not have strong evidence this sudden attack on businesses owned by foreign nationals was too much of a coincidence.

"I think the attacks are being orchestrated by unknown people acting on the instructions of our competitors.

"They are doing this because our prices are reasonable and because we extend credit to pensioners."

Nakane praised the task team for the speedy arrest of the two suspects and warned copycats that arson was a very serious crime.

"Our members will not rest until the third suspect in this case is arrested," Nakane said.