SCENE: Cops arrive at Samara Trading at Lentegeur Shopping Centre. CREDIT: Patrick Louw

A shop owner handed himself over to cops after he allegedly shot a man who he accused of stealing from him.

The drama unfolded outside the Samara Trading store at Lentegeur Shopping Centre in Mitchells Plain yesterday.

Witnesses say the owner, 50, who cannot be named until he has appeared in court, shot the 34-year-old man, only identified as “Nathan” in the leg while they argued in the street outside the store.

Conflicting witness accounts say the owner had become gatvol of Nathan, who smacked him after being accused of theft.

But others say Nathan was innocent and never touched the businessman.

Shafiek Rylands, 65, who works as a broker, tells Daily Voice: “The two of them were arguing when the owner tried to hit him, maar Nathan het gemik (and wasn’t hit).

“Nathan hit the owner with his fists. Then he (owner) pulled out his gun and shot Nathan in the leg.

“The owner handed himself over to the police.

Shafiek says the trouble began last week.

“This started the weekend already; the owner said he is going to shoot (Nathan),” he says.

“The owner lost a lot of stock when his shop was burgled of like R40 000 worth of cigarettes at a time.”

Another witness who asked not to be named claims Nathan turned his back on the owner when he was shot: “Nathan didn’t do anything and was around when the owner shot him, and said hy gaan hom vrek skiet.”

Leighton Fuscher had been at the doctor’s surgery when he heard the gunfire.

“We were waiting to see the doctor when we heard the gunshot,” he says.

“When we came outside, we heard the owner of the shop had shot someone.”

Police spokesperson, Constable Noloyiso Rwexana, confirms the shop owner has been arrested: “A 34-year-old suspect was wounded after being shot.

“A 50-year-old suspect was arrested and is expected to appear at the Mitchells Plain Magistrates’ Court on Friday on a charge of attempted murder.”