‘It was longest 10 minutes of my life’
Survivor recalls brutal pub robbery
A secretary of the South African Students Congress (Sasco) at the University of Johannesburg had his life cut short a few weeks after completing his marketing degree, during a brutal armed robbery at a Tshwane pub.
Instead of spending his festive season galivanting on the streets of his home town in Soshanguve, Shaun Thabang Muridili scored himself a holiday job as a bar tender at a local pub but that became a case of being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Muridili, 22, who was supposed to graduate in March, was shot and killed at point blank range when a gang of about 15 robbers stormed the Mochoma Grills, a pub in Soshanguve, in the early hours of Monday morning.
Another employee, Tumi Montshiwa, was also shot and killed during the chaotic robbery that left more than 15 patrons hospitalised with different injuries.
Muridili and Montshiwa were buried yesterday in Soshanguve and Mahikeng, North West, respectively.
A third employee lived to tell the gory details of how his colleagues were mowed down in front of him.
Solomon Kofang was left nursing his wounds after he was shot in the waist and left
I was paralysed with shock and laid on my stomach pretending to be dead. One of the robbers turned me around. Solomon Kofang MOCHOMA GRILLS STAFFER
for dead on the floor behind the counter.
Kofang, 29, told Sunday World during a visit to the pub this week that after the robbers broke the security gate and accessed their bar behind the counter, they shot at them randomly.
“After we all fell to the ground, they started by finishing off Shaun, who was lying next to me on the floor. I was paralysed with shock and laid on my stomach pretending to be dead,” said Kofang.
“One of the robbers came and turned me around. I was in excruciating pain but I had to hold my breath. He saw blood oozing out of my wound as well as nose and ears and thought I was also dead. It was the longest 10 minutes of my life.”
Kofang said he had been working at the pub for three years and it had been the safest he had been to.
“We have never even had drunken brawls before. It is a peaceful joint where everybody knows each other.
“I have not slept at all since the incident. I am traumatised. My colleagues died in front of me.”
The pub’s owner, Tebogo Masipa, said he was saddened by the incident and believed the motive behind it was not robbery but jealousy because of the success of his business.
“It hurt me so much that I have lost my two hard-working guys. Even though I am helping the families with the burial, my help could never be enough because money cannot replace the innocent lives that were brutally taken away,” he said.
When the Sunday World team arrived at the pub on Thursday, several people were mopping the bloodied floors and sweeping broken glasses and other items, including earrings.
“I have not considered what the way forward will be but I cannot put the lives of the people in danger for the sake of the business,” he said.
At Muridili’s home, one of his aunts, who did not identify herself, could not speak and just kept scrolling on her cellphone looking at her nephew’s pictures.
The deceased’s uncle, Chris Muridili, described his nephew as someone who had a good heart and was loved by many.
“I last saw him in December last year because I do not stay with them this side. My nephew liked to laugh and was ambitious. He always looked forward to being a successful person in life.
“He was dedicated to his studies and his second love was politics. We have lost and have been hurt by what happened because we expected a bright future from him, not what happened,” he said.
Soshanguve police spokesperson Portia Sebone confirmed the incident and said no one has been arrested.
Mochoma Grills, the Tshwane pub where two people were killed and many were left injured in a brazen armed robbery.
Shaun Muridili was killed at a pub in Soshanguve.