Uvongo family struggling after losing life savings in hold-up

2011-02-02 00:00

A DUTCH family from Uvongo have revealed that they are battling to make ends meet after an armed robbery last month saw them lose their life savings of around R400 000. There have still been no arrests in the case.

Thomas van Brunschot had been fishing with his son Adriaan at around 8 pm on the evening of January 7 when four armed men approached them on the beach in Uvongo, pointing their guns directly at Adriaan.

Two of the men then left with Van Brunschot’s son while he was forced to wait on the beach with the two other men.

Adriaan was taken to his family’s house nearby where his mother, Marian van Brunschot, was with his two sisters (12 and 13).

On arriving at the house, the two robbers demanded money from Marian, who immediately reached into her pockets to hand over the money she had on her.

The robbers declined her offer, stating that they wanted the money from the family’s safe.

“The cops have said that the robbers had planned this in advance because they knew we had a safe and where it was,” said Thomas.

After handing over all of the money in the safe — about R400 000 — Marian asked that the robbers give her son back, but they refused.

Instead, they took Adriaan back to the beach where his father was.

“I heard a whistle and the two guys who were with me ran off,” said Thomas. “I found my son in the bush alongside the beach but the guys had disappeared; I did not see how they left.”

The Van Brunschots arrived in South Africa nearly two years ago from Holland, where Thomas and Marian, who both who have PhD’s in philosophy and psychology, had been very successful working in the security industry.

“We love South Africa and we still do; it is the most beautiful country in the world,” Thomas said. “But because we are not South African citizens we do not have bank accounts so what we lost was everything that we had; we have tried on numerous occasions to obtain bank accounts here.”

Van Brunschot said he and his wife are unable to work in the country due to the fact that they have not been granted work permits.

Thomas praised the SA Police Force, who he said were quick to arrive on the scene and have done all they can.

Spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Zandra Wiid confirmed that no arrests have yet been made.

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