'Just stay calm, I'll help you' - attacker tells victim during robbery

2017-08-23 12:13
Anton Muller was beaten and burnt with an iron on his lower body after he was unable to give four attackers "the money" they were looking for. (Supplied, Netwerk24)

Anton Muller was beaten and burnt with an iron on his lower body after he was unable to give four attackers "the money" they were looking for. (Supplied, Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg – A man says he is convinced his life was spared after he started talking to one of his four attackers about God. 

Muller was overpowered by four men on his father-in-law's smallholding between Delmas and Springs at about 01:30 on Tuesday and burnt with an iron, Netwerk24 reported.

The four men, of whom three were armed, overpowered Muller, 35, in the kitchen when he went to investigate a strange sound.

"They kept on saying that they'd heard there was a lot of money in the house and they wanted it. The more I told them there wasn't money, the more they threatened to kill me. They hadn’t even worn balaclavas, so I thought I was a goner."

Muller said the men had forced him from room to room in the house, looking for "the money".

They turned everything upside down and emptied the cupboards and draws in their search, said Muller. "They beat me every time they came up empty-handed."

They even ripped open a big teddy bear that Muller had bought for a family member's new baby.

"At some stage I took one of the guys into my confidence and started talking to him about God. I said I didn't want to die like this and he said: 'Just stay calm, I'll help you'."

After the robbers had searched the whole house without finding any money, they took him back to his room. "There they burnt me with a hot iron."

Muller said he was burnt on his belly and high up in the groin on both sides. 

'I would've been dead!'

The attacker, that he'd confided in, tied him up with cable ties after he was tortured with the iron, threw a blanket over his head and fled. "The cable ties weren't tight and once the adrenalin had kicked in, I managed to free myself and drive to my father-in-law in Secunda."

The attackers made off with money, a TV set, a sound system, a PlayStation, meat, clothes and drilling machines.

"You see the hand of God everyday, but only really realise it when something like this happens to you."

Muller said he'll return to the smallholding. "They are not going to keep me away from there; they are not going to win!"

The smallholding is protected by a wall, electric fence and CCTV. "You can do what you want. If a criminal wants to get in, he will," said Muller.

"In the end, all that will help you is your faith.

"Many people say I should get a gun, but what would my chances have been against three armed robbers? Had I had a firearm, I would’ve been dead!".

Muller has appealed to farmers in the area to join hands to prevent attacks on farms and smallholdings.

Also read: North West farmers harnessing drones to assist in tracking farm attacks

Muller received medical treatment and is now recovering in Secunda with his father-in-law, James Heiberg.

Rights organisation AfriForum is assisting Muller and his family.

"We have teams who are actively working in the area and will arrange for counselling, should the victim be so inclined. Furthermore, we also keep an eye on the crime scene to prevent tampering before police and forensic investigations," said Ian Cameron, AfriForum's national security co-ordinator.  

Police spokesperson Captain Johannes Ramphora confirmed that the Springs police were investigating the matter. He said no arrests have been made.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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