A customer of Compuport Computers, affectionately known as “Uncle Leon” was murdered in cold blood, and another customer wounded, during an armed robbery in Queenswood, East of the Pretoria CBD.
On November 7 around 1pm, Compuport Computers, a well known computer consulting business, in Cobham Street Queenswood, was attacked by three armed men. Leon van der Merwe (61) a regular customer, was on his way out of the shop, when three armed robbers stormed in.
According to some reports, one attacker tried to push Leon back into the store, and when he resisted he was summarily executed.
“Then the one Attacker, WITHOUT WARNING, shot the uncle in the head, ” says Andries Opperman of AfriForum.
Minutes later, the business owner, Coert Oberholzer (54) and another longtime customer Kobus Botha (50) were also shot. The two men both, had to undergo emergency surgery, on Thursday night.
“The shot hit Coert under his rib cage, and part of the lodged bullet, had to be surgically removed,” said a family friend, Jana Reinecke on Friday.
“Everyone is so traumatized, the families had a very difficult night. But at least the two men are stable, ” she said.
“Coert and Isabel’s employees and customers are like a small family. So the attack, injuries, trauma, and especially the 61-year-old uncle Leon’s death, has deeply upset and traumatised everyone,” she said.
“The Oberholzers, do not want to talk to the media, about their dear customer right now. Out of respect for the man who had become a longtime friend. Their hearts go out to his family and every person affected by this,” she added.
Coert and Isabel, have been living in Pretoria Moot for many years, and they have a good relationship with the community and their customers.
According to police, there were eleven people, including the attackers on the premises, at the time of the attack. Coert Oberholzer heard the commotion and came out of his office with his firearm. Shots were exchanged and one attacker was killed. Coert and one customer Kobus Botha, were wounded during the exchange.
“The police took the security cameras footage, on which the whole incident is recorded, ” said Andries Opperman from the AfriForum Neighborhood Watch.
One suspect, standing near the door and Leon’s body, ran away, but customers and staff manage to arrest the third suspect.
“It looks, like a small war in the shop,” said Opperman.
Medical services treated Kobus and Coert at the scene, before being taken to hospital.
Shawn Herbst, spokesperson for Netcare 911, says their paramedics declared one customer and one attacker, dead at the scene.
On Thursday evening, the business announced on their Facebook page, that they would be closed until at least Monday:
“We are in a state of shock, and thank the many concerned, that are trying to contact us. Our sincere condolences, to all who have been affected by this. Our staff and customers, that were present during the attack, are extremely traumatized by the events,” read the Facebook post.
On Friday, two bouquets of flowers were seen, attached to the gates of the business.
Arrests Made for Leon van der Merwe’s murder at Compuport Computers
One suspect, in his mid-30s arrested, a third suspect fled the scene and is still at large.