2007-03-15 : Top Pretoria businessman killed

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2007-03-15 : Top Pretoria businessman killed

Postby GOSA » Mon, 2007-03-26 09:22


Top Pretoria businessman killed
Graeme Hosken
March 15 2007 at 07:05AM

One of Pretoria's most renowned businessmen was gunned down in an apparent
"hit" by four gunmen while standing behind his store counter.

Wednesday's murder of Mahmood Suliman, 64, which has sparked outrage in
Erasmia, comes less than 24 hours after five gunmen attacked 15 elderly men
and women at a prayer session at the Laudium home of a Muslim theologian.

Suliman, who was shot through the mouth, is the owner of one of the city's
oldest general dealerships, AE Suliman's General Dealer, which is part of
Pretoria's tourist heritage destinations.

It is believed that the attackers, who pretended to be customers, shot
Suliman when they walked up to him and pushed the gun into his face while he
was standing behind the counter of his shop. The shop is situated on the
M26, 2km from the Erasmia police station.

'Attackers, according to police, fled without taking anything'
The attackers, according to police, fled without taking anything.

Suliman's daughter Haseena, who was in the family's home behind the shop,
tried in vain to help her father before police and paramedics arrived at the

Suliman was a former Afrikaans teacher who taught at schools in Laudium
before taking over the family's general dealership.

Gauteng provincial police spokesperson Captain Julia Claassen said the
suspects fled in a red VW Golf with the registration JTL578GP.

"From information we have gathered we believe that the attackers drove to
Diepsloot," she said.

Claassen added that the motive for the murder was unknown, as were the
identities of the attackers and their whereabouts.

Suliman's devastated son Muhammad, who was at work in Middleburg, said the
family was battling to come to terms with their father's death.

"I cannot believe it. I cannot believe that my dad is dead."

Suliman said his dad was devoted to Pretoria and its history, and would
welcome tourists into his shop, teaching them about the history of the area.

"Not only was he devoted to Pretoria but he also had a soft spot in his
heart for the people tasked with protecting the city's citizens," he said.

"Dad would always have time for them and would insist on giving them a cold
drink when they stopped at his shop.

"It did not matter whether they were from Erasmia, Garsfontein or Mamelodi
police stations, he would always take time to talk to them and find out how
they were doing," said Suliman.

He said he wanted justice to be meted out to those who had killed his

"I want an eye for an eye and I want those who killed dad to pay. I will not
accept anything less."

Suliman's cousin Joe Suliman said Mahmood was loved by the community and
always made time for people regardless of their standing in life.

"This is a tragedy. It has left everyone stunned. We do not know who would
have wanted to kill him or why. It does not make any sense," he said.

Mufti Abbas Geena, president of the South African Council of Muslim
Theologians, said it was time that everyone in the country, regardless of
race or religion, stood up against crime.

"It is time that the citizens of South Africa's diverse communities stand up
and say enough is enough when it comes to crime.

"We must unite and continue to fight this plague which is affecting the very
core of our society," he said.

Meanwhile, Moolana Riaz Hassim, one of the victims of Tuesday night's attack
on a group of elderly worshippers, said the attackers were extremely
professional when they launched their attack on the Bengal Street home.

"They were not out of control and divided the people up, attacking several
women before taking money, cellphones and jewellery and fleeing," he said.
The attack was over within minutes.

Claassen said anyone with information on the murder of Suliman or the attack
on the worshippers could contact Crime Stop on 086 600 1011.

o This article was originally published on page 1 of Pretoria News
on March 15, 2007
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