2007-05-28 : Robbers kill patron during raid on restaurant


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2007-05-28 : Robbers kill patron during raid on restaurant

Postby GOSA » Fri, 2007-06-08 08:22

Robbers kill patron during raid on Durban restaurant
Witness Mon, 28 May 2007

By Sapa

A Durban restaurant patron died after being shot during a raid
by at least six armed robbers on the St Tropez restaurant in
Essenwood Road, Musgrave, on Saturday night.

Marc Joubert (30) was shot in the neck after tackling one of the
robbers, and died in hospital after attempts by paramedics and
Entabeni Hospital trauma unit staff to save his life, reported
Neil Noble of ER24.

Three other people, including a waiter, were injured and taken
to Entabeni and St Augustine’s hospitals.

“The men stole cellphones, watches and some cash from the
patrons and the restaurant,” said police Superintendent Phindile

The men fled in a white minibus taxi and a grey Opel Corsa.

Noble said the gang entered the restaurant at 10.20 pm and held
up all the patrons, who were mostly in their twenties. “One
stood watch at the door, two remained downstairs, while three
other robbers went upstairs,” he said.

When Joubert tackled him, one of the robbers fired a shot,
striking Joubert in the neck.

“Upon hearing the gunshot, the robbers who were upstairs came
running down, firing indiscriminately into the crowd of people,
while they dived for cover,” said Noble, adding that witnesses
said about 15 shots were fired.

He said Metro Police who came to the hospital said this was not
the first robbery of its kind. There have been reports of
robberies with the same modus operandi that have occurred in
recent weeks.

Patrons who were at the restaurant said: “There is no safe place
in this city anymore”.

Another commented: “Perhaps Australia is the best place to go
now. It is no wonder there is a brain drain in this country.”

Published: 28 May 2007
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Postby GOSA » Fri, 2007-06-08 08:24

He will not be cowed by criminals. This is the vow of
restaurateur Larry Goldberg after the horrific killing of a
patron and the shooting of several others at his popular St
Tropez restaurant on Saturday evening.

Shocked and mourning the death of customer Marc Joubert and the
shooting of other guests and a staff member, Goldberg has vowed
that he will continue with his business.

Three other guests and a staff member were wounded in the armed

Joubert, a Westville builder, was shot and killed after he
apparently tried to disarm one of the armed robbers.

Police searched the bloody crime scene on Sunday at St Tropez, a
popular sidewalk restaurant at the corner of Essenwood Road and
St Thomas Road in Musgrave, Durban, in the hopes of finding any
clues to the armed robbery.

Pandemonium broke out on the restaurant's upper level when six
gunmen entered the premises after 10pm sending 60 people,
including those celebrating a birthday party at the restaurant,
fleeing for cover.

Goldberg has since condemned the vicious crime, saying: "We will
not be chased away by ruthless criminals."

"They entered and ran upstairs, where the private birthday party
was taking place, and just started blasting away," Goldberg said
on Sunday, while police took statements from visibly shaken

"Everybody just dropped to the floor. While patrons lay on the
floor the robbers took cellphones, jewellery and cash."

The police's Superintendent Vincent Mdunge said a patron entering
the building "was at the wrong place at the wrong time".

Joubert, 30, entered the restaurant, which is across the street
from Durban High School, and was proceeding to the upper level to
join the birthday party as terrified patrons ran past him.

"Minutes earlier, there had been a tussle between a few patrons
and an intruder upstairs. The small crowd had attempted to disarm
the thugs while some of them attempted to flee.

"Unfortunately, Joubert was on his way up and he was killed as
the suspects fired at the fleeing patrons," said Mdunge.

Joubert's friends Clint Zuidewind and Jason Stirk were jointly
celebrating their 30th birthdays.

Another three patrons and a St Tropez staffer were also wounded
during the commotion.

The wounded were rushed to a nearby hospital where they are
reported to be in a stable condition.

"While fleeing, the suspects continued to fire at the unarmed
patrons on the restaurant's ground floor. In all, between 15 to
20 shots were fired," said Goldberg.

When the Daily News visited the scene of the crime, Goldberg
bravely maintained that he would not close down the place.

"The St Tropez team will not be scared away by incessant violence
in the province and we will take every step to ensure the safety
of our diners," said Goldberg.

"As a restaurant, we are going to take a stance on violent crime
because citizens cannot go anywhere without living in fear.

"This is a tragic incident and my thoughts are with the victim's
family and friends. We just hope the general public will rally
around to help fight crime in our city, even though we as
citizens are led to believe that it's not there," Goldberg said.
"We hope that the public and the business sector will encourage
the government to put a stop to this unnecessary violence and
crime so that we may all live in a peaceful society."

St Tropez has been temporarily closed pending a police

Mdunge said no arrests have yet been made, but police were
working hard to track down the robbers.

He said a case of murder, three counts of attempted murder and
robbery with aggravating circumstances is being investigated.

Supt Phindile Radebe said the suspects went into the St Tropez
restaurant in Essenwood Road and started shooting at patrons.

"The men stole cellphones, watches, and some cash from the
patrons and the restaurant staff," she said.

"The men fled in a white minibus taxi and a grey Opel Corsa," she

Police investigations were continuing.
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Postby GOSA » Fri, 2007-06-08 08:25

Durban residents reeled in horror on Sunday at the news that
robbers had shot dead a patron and wounded four others during a
hold-up at the popular St Tropez restaurant in Essenwood Road
about 10.20pm on Saturday night.

Director Johan Booysens, the head of the SAPS Organised Crime
Unit in KwaZulu-Natal, said the killers of 30-year-old Marc
Joubert, a popular Westville builder, might have been part of a
gang that had robbed other restaurants in the area.

"We are still investigating the case; we don't have any leads and
no arrests have been made.

The party included children and parents

"However, we are investigating the possibility that there could
be a syndicate operating in the area," Booysens said.

On Sunday night Joubert's grief-stricken friends, Lance Ridl,
Clint Zuidewind and Jason Stirk, told The Mercury about the

A gang of about seven robbers dressed in what looked like "rapper
gear", with beanies, bandanas and hooded jackets, walked in to
the St Tropez and one of them walked up the stairs to the first
floor, where Zuidewind and Stirk were jointly celebrating their
30th birthday with family and friends.

The party included children and parents, and had just started,
with some guests dancing and others chatting on the veranda

In the restaurant below, waiters were attending to the last

'I don't think they knew the guy had a gun'

Said Zuidewind: "This guy came up the stairs and said 'This is a
f****** armed robbery everybody get on the f****** floor.' He had
a stick. I remember one of the girls obviously didn't know what
was going on and she gave him a huge big smile, then she realised
what was going on and she dropped to the floor."

Zuidewind said most of the partygoers didn't know what was
happening and even after the shots rang out, milled about asking
whether the party had been gate-crashed or whether a fight had
broken out.

Zuidewind, whose father was murdered nine years ago, said he had
immediately seen that the gunman meant business and had pushed
his mother and his sisters to the floor.

He said Joubert and his friends Wayne, Ashford and Rory Trollip,
had apparently tried to tackle the gunman.

"I don't think they knew the guy had a gun. Downstairs, a plate
or something smashed on the floor and these guys must have
panicked... There was a scuffle down the stairs and other robbers
started coming up the stairs," said Zuidewind.

Joubert's business partner, Lance Ridl, said he had been outside
on the veranda when he had heard a series of bangs.

"There were kids running around and people chatting, and I heard
the bangs and thought 'wow, the party's getting out of hand,
maybe someone has let off firecrackers'. I walked inside and I
saw Brandon Stirk, Rory Trollip and Marc lying on the landing of
the stairs.

"Rory was holding Marc and saying: 'He's been hit, he's been

"I looked everywhere for the gunshot, but couldn't find it. I
pulled his shirt out and lifted him up in my arms and then I saw
blood on his back and a gash on his shoulder.

"Rory was saying 'Mark, wake up, wake up', but there was no

Ridl said the friends had put Joubert in an bakkie and had driven
to Entabeni Hospital, giving him mouth-to-mouth en route.

Within 20 minutes of arriving at the hospital Joubert was dead.

"Mark was such a friendly person. He was amazing and the most
loved oke," Ridl said.

"He had such a successful building business and wherever he drove
around he was smiling and waving at people."

Ridl said that last weekend Joubert and his fiancee, Natasha
Stoltz, had travelled to Muden to see a wedding venue.

The home of Joubert's parents, Gary and Jill, and his sister
Shannon, was swamped by friends and family on Sunday.

Joubert's friends said Brandon Stirk, a guest named Gareth, an
un-named barman and a guest named Sherilyn Newman had been
wounded or grazed by gunfire.

Restaurateurs from Florida Road, Essenwood Road and Glenwood said
they were either planning to or had beefed up security in light
of what appeared to be systematic attacks on popular outlets.

One of the managers of the restaurants said: "About three weeks
ago Olive & Oil was robbed, Jack Rabbits has also been robbed at
least four or five times and I am concerned that there could be a
syndicate operating in the area."

This article was originally published on page 1 of The
Mercury on May 28, 2007
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