A government mortuary vehicle collects the body of the murdered spaza owner at his shop. Photo supplied.

Village mourns death of spaza owner killed by robbers


The tragic murder of well-known spaza owner Mr. Temesgen Shukure has plunged the closely knit community of Itsani Shovholwe, outside Thohoyandou, into deep mourning. Shukure (29), from Sibasa, who owned and ran the Saraga spaza shop in the village, was shot and killed in cold blood during an armed robbery at his shop on Friday, 13 October. The incident happened at around 15:50.

Vhembe SAPS’s communications officer, W/O Vuledzani Dathi, confirmed the incident. “It is alleged that the victim was busy in his shop when four unknown male suspects arrived in a white VW Polo without registration plates. They entered the shop and started assaulting the spaza owner, demanding money, whereupon they took cash to the amount of around R1,500. On exiting the shop, one of the suspects went back inside and shot the victim in the neck. He died at the scene. The suspects fled in their vehicle. One used cartridge was found at the scene,” he said.

The chairperson of SANCO in Shovholwe Itsani, Mr. Norman Matumba, who lives only a short distance from the spaza shop, said he had received the sad news of Shukure’s murder at around 16:20.

“I rushed there, only to find the area swarming with grief-stricken community members and members of the Ethiopian community mourning their loved one. The shop was run by Shukure’s brother before he arrived here last year. Since then, he made sure that he befriended all community members, even going so far as to learn Tshivenda very quickly. When you were short of money, he would give you what you wanted, and you could pay later. He even helped those in need of transport money. This is a sad day for us all as a community. Our prayer is that the police work swiftly and stop these criminals before they cause more harm,” he said.

Dathi said the suspects were unknown at this stage, but that police investigations were continuing. “We are appealing to the community to assist with any information that might help us apprehend the suspects,” he said.

Information can be directed to the investigating officer, Sgt Mpho Gethe, at 079 380 1132, or 015 960 1000.


News - Date: 20 October 2023

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Elmon Tshikhudo

Elmon Tshikhudo started off as a photographer. He developed an interest in writing and started submitting articles to local as well as national publications. He became part of the Limpopo Mirror family in 2005 and was a permanent part of the news team until 2019.