Staff traumatised after robbery at Mdzananda clinic

Mdzananda Animal Clinic was robbed of laptops and cellphones last week.

The Mdzananda Animal Clinic in Makhaya was robbed at gunpoint by four armed criminals on Wednesday May 6.

The clinic said it was relieved that no one was injured but the incident has left the staff traumatised and scared.

Thieves made off with three laptops, five cellphones, the takings box containing all funds collected in the day from food sales and consultation fees and four flatscreens.

As soon as the criminals entered the premises, they split up with two of them going straight to the reception area and the other two to the office, demanding money and cellphones.

Clinic general manager, Susan Wishart, said during this lockdown they provide primary care to animals outside the gate.

She said they only open the gate when necessary, such as to bring inside big dogs or when specific visitors must enter the clinic premises.

Criminals took the opportunity to enter the premises when a staff member opened the pedestrian gate to hand a big dog back to his owner.

Ms Wishart said the estimated value of the stolen items was close to R30 000.

She said it was sad to see a community-based organisation which provides a critical service to residents being robbed. The clinic had already been operating on a shoestring budget and struggling with the stress of the lockdown.

Losing vital equipment has made the situation even more difficult for them.

She said it was not the first time the clinic had been robbed so they had improved their security measures but she said as a non-profit organisation they didn’t always have the means to do this.

“Our staff are not physically hurt but emotional they are shaken.

“We are glad that no one was seriously injured. It is a stressful time already and now with this it makes things more difficult.

“But the harsh and sad reality is that we need to replace these stolen items. We are solely dependent on donations and we need all the donations to tighten our security measures again.

“We are appealing to the community to look out for these stolen items and if anyone knows (the criminals) to report them to the police,” she appealed.

Ms Wishart expressed her gratitude to the police officers who responded quickly after they reported the incident.

She said a case of robbery had been opened at Harare police station.

Khayelitsha Development Forum, (KDF) chairperson, Ndithini Tyhido, expressed his shock and described the incident as a senseless attack.

He questioned how criminals could rob an organisation helping Khayelitsha residents look after their pets.

But, he said, as long as the community continues to harbour criminals there’s no end in sight to crime in the area.

Harare police station spokesperson, Siyabulela Vukubi, confirmed that a case of business robbery has been opened at the station but said there have been no arrests yet.

If you wish to donate to the clinic visit www.mdzananda.co.za for banking details and more information.