12th October, 2010
South Africa witnessed another brutal killing on Sunday when the bestman at a wedding wasÂ gunned down by robbers who stole his N8,800,000 (Eight million, eight hundred thousandÂ naira) Rolex wrist watch.
Robbers opened fire at Chris Kouremetis with an AK-47 and a 9mm pistol just as he wasÂ about to leave the Cradle restaurant in Muldersdrift.
Warrant officer Odette van Staden said it seemed Couremetis was targeted for hisÂ expensive watch and the R10 000 (N220,000) cash he carried. Couremetis, believed to be inÂ his late 20s, was shot with an AK-47 and a 9mm pistol.
He was the best man at a lavish wedding ceremony at the Cradle Restaurant.
The ceremony was attended by about 90 guests from all over the world when the shootingÂ took place.
â€œWe believe this is part of the Rolex gang, who specifically look for their targets,â€ VanÂ Staden said.
She said 12 shots were fired, and two bullets hit Kouremetis in the chest and hand. TheÂ rest of the bullets left his luxury car, a Cayenne worth more than R1 million (N22Â million), riddled with holes.
Last week, a man was shot and killed for his Rolex watch in Joburg. He had been returningÂ from a shopping centre when his car was pushed off the road by the robbers.Â Van StadenÂ said police believe the bullet penetrated the heart of Couremetis, a property developerÂ based in Cape Town.
â€œI think this must be the shot that killed him. The other bullet wound in the hand wasÂ not serious. When the paramedics arrived at the scene, he was certified dead,â€ she said.
At around 10.30pm, the two armed men emerged in the car park and allegedly opened fire onÂ Couremetis. When he dropped to the ground, his attackers took his watch and moonbagÂ containing R10 000 wrapped around his waist.
Two women were seated in the back of the car, and Kouremetis and his male passenger wereÂ about to get into the car when they started fire.
The guests inside the restaurants scattered in panic, some hiding under tables. The twoÂ women were rushed to hospital, where they were sedated and treated for shock.
A woman, who refused to be named, said her daughter was among the guests at the weddingÂ ceremony and was still traumatised.
Like many other guests, the girl had travelled all the way from Australia to attend herÂ best friendâ€™s wedding. She had been friends with the bride since their high school days.
â€œShe was so distraught that she could not even relate the story properly. She wasÂ vomiting all over the place,â€ the mother said.
â€œMy daughter said people were running around trying to hide as the sound of gunfireÂ continued.
â€œIt sounds like it was a hit because no other guests were hurt or robbed. There isÂ something fishy,â€ she added.
Couremetisâ€™s father, Costaz was too distraught to speak on the incident last night.