Elderly man loses hand after attack
André Damons, Volksblad
Bloemfontein - An elderly man has lost his right hand after an attack by armed robbers which saw him lying tied up in his house in Winburg for almost four days before help arrived.
Doctors had to amputate 73-year-old Pottie Potgieter’s hand in Bongani Hospital in Welkom on Thursday.
The robbers had used wire to tie his arms on Saturday and when he was found on Tuesday, his hands had turned black.
Potgieter was found after four men were apprehended in Virginia while trying to sell his stolen Datsun bakkie.
Family member Rina Bezuidenhout said Potgieter had been moved to the high care unit after the operation.
He was heavily sedated.
Suspects in court
While his right hand was being amputated, two of his alleged attackers appeared in the magistrate’s court in Winburg.
Henry Tlale, 26, and George Daniël, 25, are facing charges of burglary, assault with the intention of causing grievous bodily harm, attempted murder and car theft.
Their case was postponed to next Thursday for a possible bail application.
A day before Potgieter was attacked and robbed in his house, a charge of theft of municipal property was withdrawn against Tlale due to a lack of evidence.
Police spokesperson Sergeant Ian Gaobepe said Tlale and Daniël presumably attacked and robbed Potgieter in his home, but another four men who also appeared in the Virginia Magistrate’s Court on a charge of possession of a stolen vehicle - Potgieter’s bakkie - were not thought to be involved in the attack at this stage.