DEMEKE Gode and colleagues have had a very unlucky month.

It was very strange that the thugs were able to break walls without them hearing anything.

The Ethiopian shopkeeper said the store he co-owned was broken into four times last month.

The 24-year-old from Amanda Park in Mamelodi East, Tshwane, said thugs use muthi to put them to sleep before making a hole in the shop wall with a hammer and chisel.

“We don’t even hear them when they enter our shop, but when we wake up everything is a mess,” said Demeke.

“The money is gone, machines are gone and the airtime is gone.

“We’ve lost more than R40 000 and three airtime machines in the last month alone.”

Demeke said the latest incident was on Thursday when they woke up to find 10 men armed with guns and knives in the shop.

“We had to give them what they wanted to save our lives.”

It was very strange that the thugs were able to break walls without them hearing anything.

“What we ask for is police visibility at night. It’s disappointing,” he said.

He urged the community to help fight crime in the area.

“We’re all African. These thugs target us because they don’t want us to operate.

“We’ll continue serving the community because not everyone hates us.”

Sangoma Kholeka Dlamini said thugs burn hyena tales in front of doors or windows.

“If you inhale the smoke you sleep for long hours and wake up when they’re gone,” she said.

Captain Mavela Masondo said the victims must open a case at the nearest cop shop.

“The modus operandi should be discussed with the head of visible policing, so that patrols can be intensified in the area.”