‘Do not scream or I will kill you’

2014-04-07 00:00

“I HAVE my life and my dignity. Everything else is replaceable.”

These were the sentiments of a 78-year-old Pietermaritzburg widow who survived a terrifying ordeal after being accosted on Saturday night by a knife-wielding intruder who throttled her, tied her up and threatened to kill her if she uttered a sound.

“He said again and again, ‘I will not kill you and I will not hurt you if you don’t scream or make a noise.’

“But he left me in no doubt that he would kill me if I did make a sound,” she said yesterday. “He didn’t touch me or abuse me in any other way, thank goodness.”

The woman asked The Witness not to publish her name, or the complex where she lives in Hayfields, for security reasons.

Before escaping in her car, the attacker tried to stuff her into a small kist in her bedroom and gag her with a piece of rope.

But when she begged him not to leave her like that, he relented.

“I was doubled over and my feet were sticking out the top because it was too small,” she said.

Apparently taking pity on her, the man shut her into her wardrobe instead, still tied up but without a gag. He pushed her heavy double bed up against the doors.

She remained in the wardrobe for a long time tied up in a foetal position, before she got the courage to free herself.

She eventually succeeded in undoing the knots of the strapping with which her hands and feet were bound and managed to force open the cupboard doors.

The small, slight victim insisted she was “fine”, but occasionally the glint of tears appeared as she recalled the frightening events.

Huge purple bruises marked her hands and wrists, and there were also marks on her throat where her attacker had grabbed her.

She doesn’t doubt she owes her life to the fact that she didn’t resist and obeyed her assailant’s repeated warnings not to make a sound.

“He whispered the whole time … I kept telling myself to keep calm and breathe.”

The attacker struck at about 11 pm when the widow opened her kitchen security gate and entered an enclosed courtyard to lock the door to the garage.

“I couldn’t find the key and I went back inside to fetch my car keys. When I returned, he was inside the garage. He sprang at me and grabbed me by my throat.”

The man forced her into the kitchen and slammed her against the door when she tried to fight back.

“He was very powerful, I’d say in his 20s, and he spoke very good English,” the victim said.

The robber forced the woman onto the kitchen floor while he tied her hands and feet. He then carried her to her bedroom and dumped her in a corner, demanding a gun and money.

She told him she didn’t have the former and directed him to her purse, which had R600 in it.

When he demanded the PIN number for her bank card, she gave him the wrong number, a decision that later haunted her as she feared he might return to hurt her because of it.

The intruder stole a large quantity of clothing, including underwear, jewellery, a television, radio and sewing machine.

He loaded the goods into her car and drove away.

Her vehicle was later found abandoned by the police.

The woman said the police who had attended to her “were absolutely wonderful”.

KZN police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said no arrests had been made by yesterday.

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