An Empangeni man is fighting for his life in hospital after being shot at his business premises in mysterious circumstances.
Jay Moodley, 50, the owner of SA Bedding, was shot in the chest. His son, Ashlin Moodley, 24, was shot in the head and died. His remains were cremated on Sunday at the Stanger Crematorium.
Colonel Thembeka Mbele, police spokesperson, said the father and son were attacked by unknown men inside their business premises in Empangeni Rail last Thursday afternoon.
“The men fired shots at them. The son was pronounced dead at the scene. His father was taken to hospital for medical attention.”
Mbele said Empangeni police were investigating a case of murder and attempted murder. The motive for the shooting was not known at this stage. Nothing was stolen.
A relative, who asked to remain anonymous, said the family were praying Moodley would recover and were mourning the loss of Ashlin.
Meanwhile, other business owners in Empangeni Rail said crime was out of control.
Francois Louw, who owns a construction company, said crime began to spike when the lockdown moved to level 3 and the curfew was relaxed to 9pm.
“I lived near Jay and his family for many years. We were friends and we did business together. He is a pleasant man. His son Ashlin was softly spoken and timid. It is hard to see the pain the family is going through.”
Louw said there had been a few thefts at his business but nothing as violent as the shooting the Moodleys experienced.
“We have armed response and there’s always a guard on duty. Crime is a huge concern for all of us. We are concerned about the safety of our customers and that of our workers.”
Warren Boettger, who runs a panel- beating shop, said he ran his business under lock and key.
“We have an electric fence, beams around the property, cameras and armed response. Staff are not allowed to leave the main gate open. If they do, they face a disciplinary (hearing). These are the strict measures we are forced to take to protect ourselves.”
Boettger said clients were not allowed through the main gate until they had been properly identified.
“Jay is a good person. We are praying he recovers. His son was a pleasant young man. Crime, especially theft, is escalating. I always feared that someone in this business district would be tragically taken away.”
Another businessman, who wished to remain anonymous, said the shooting had forced him to reconsider the security measures he had in place.
“Right now, I just have a guard. From what I know, they came into the store and shot at Jay and Ashlin in their place of business.
“We are not safe any more. Good people are being killed and injured because police are not taking a stand against crime in our country. “
By Charlene Somduth