Johannesburg – When a security guard spotted some youngsters trying to rob a mosque in the Joburg CBD, he leapt into action to thwart the crime.
Moments later, he lay writhing in pain, bleeding from stab wounds as his life ebbed away.The incident is captured in dramatic CCTV footage which has since been uploaded to YouTube and shared on social media.
As the man’s attacker flees the scene with stolen goods, the 60-year-old collapses.Joburg Central police spokesperson Warrant Officer Xoli Mbele told The Star on Wednesday the man responsible for stabbing him as well as his accomplice in the Newtown mosque robbery on Tuesday night were still at large.
“A murder case has been opened,” he said.
In the camera footage, the altercation with the security guard and what appears to be a youngster plays out in the dark of night on Mahlathini Street.
The youngster clutches a weapon in his right hand while shoving the guard several times as they stand on a pavement opposite the Stadex Stationery building. The guard retaliates.
As the pair battle it out, they move into the street. People stand and watch.
The youngster then stabs the guard several times on his upper body. But the guard fights back, punching his attacker.
Eventually, the youngster flees the scene and the guard walks back to the pavement.
But he is limping, injured and he collapses.
Mbele said the security guard was declared dead at the scene. It is still not known who his employers were.
Mbele confirmed that the assailant and another man had robbed a nearby mosque in the area before the stabbing. “They stole tools such as drills,” he said.
When the security guard became aware of the robbery, he tried to stop the thieves from getting away. One flees, but the other is left behind and eventually murders the guard.
Mbele urged anyone with information about the suspects or their whereabouts to report it to the nearest police station.
He was unable to confirm the age of the attacker and his accomplice.
But according to the footage, the attacker appears to be a youngster, as he has a smaller build than the security guard.
Those who have since shared the video on Twitter allege that the attacker was a homeless teenager.
Dr Shaheda Omar, clinical director of the Teddy Bear Clinic, a centre for abused children, said streetchildren often resorted to a life of crime because of the harsh conditions they had to endure.
These include abandonment, the stigma attached to them because of the way they are perceived by society and difficult family environments.
She added that there were fewer shelters to accommodate and care for streetchildren as many had been forced to close down because of a lack of resources.
Omar said several government departments needed to work together to find a way to rehabilitate and care for youngsters without a home.