Man dies after 'stick attack' by shopkeeper

Man dies after 'stick attack' by shopkeeper.
Man dies after 'stick attack' by shopkeeper.

A man suffered brain damage and died in a Pretoria hospital after a shopkeeper allegedly assaulted him with a stick.

Semake Malebye, 50, from Makapanstad, near Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria, succumbed to injuries he sustained when he was allegedly assaulted on January 6.

Malebye was certified brain dead at the George Mukhari Academic Hospital in Garankuwa on Wednesday.

Malebye's aunt Lorraine Malebye, 62, who lived with him, said she went looking for him in his bedroom at the back of her house and found him sitting on the floor with his head buried in his hands.

"When he lifted his head to look at me I was shocked to see blood all over his face and clothes," Lorraine said. "I cried for help and my neighbours came rushing. He looked at us; he didn't cry or even say a word as he was unable to talk."

Malebye was rushed to Hammanskraal's Jubilee Hospital by ambulance but was transferred to George Mukhari three days later due to the seriousness of his injuries. He later died.

Police confirmed that 24-year-old Bangladeshi national Mohammed Molla was arrested and appeared in court last week. The matter was postponed until next week.

Tshepo Maboya, 26, said he saw the drama unfold. He said Malebye was repeatedly assaulted with a stick by the shop owner after they argued over money apparently owned to him for painting the shop.

"The shopkeeper told him he must pay him for the cigarettes he took on credit first," Maboya said.

North West police spokesperson Adele Myburgh said: "The cause of death will be determined by the postmortem [results] and it forms part of the police investigations."

The shop was shut down after the incident and its stock was removed under heavy police presence as angry residents demanded it be closed.

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