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Woman stabbed in robbery at garden centre

Police are investigating a case of business robbery, attempted rape and attempted murder after a casual garden worker allegedly attacked a woman at an ornamental and gardening business in Theescombe.
Ornamental Concrete, where the alleged attack took place on Monday, is on the same premises as the Running Waters conference, function and wedding venue in Kragga Kamma Road.
Police at the scene said the 27-year-old woman was attacked shortly after midday.
It is believed the suspect, known only as “Oupa”, lives at the Grogro informal settlement in Kabega Park and had been a casual worker at the premises for about three weeks.
He was still at large on Monday night.
Police said an undisclosed sum of money was missing from the office. The woman was stabbed in the chest with a knife while her attacker allegedly tried to strangle her with a shoelace.
Police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu said that while the details were still sketchy, it appeared that the permanent employee for whom the casual worker had been filling in had returned from leave on Monday.
“The casual worker was getting ready to leave when he asked to go into the office area to use the bathroom,” Naidu said.
“He then went into the bathroom and came out with a knife. He tied the woman up and threatened her while demanding the money.
“It is unclear what exactly transpired but she was stabbed in the chest.”
Police officers at the scene said the suspect had allegedly tried to strangle the woman with a shoelace which he had wrapped around her neck.
Naidu said that after the attack, the woman ran into a neighbouring business, Kiddie Lovers Playground and Party Venue, for help.
She was taken to Greenacres Hospital, where she was treated for a flesh wound.
The entrance to Ornamental Concrete was still cordoned off with police tape in the afternoon, with several police officers present.
Running Waters owner Eben Gerber did not want to comment, referring questions to the police.
The alleged perpetrator has been described as an African male in his mid-to-late 20s and of muscular build.
He has tattoos on his arms, as well as a burn mark on one arm.

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