Holidaymaker shot by startled criminal

2010-12-20 00:00

A HOLIDAYMAKER on the South Coast was shot in the jaw and hand as he stepped out of the door of his holiday home in Flatcrown Mews near Mpathi Road, Pennington, shortly after midnight on Thursday.

Gert van der Merwe (57) is making a steady recovery following facial surgery at St Augustine’s Hospital in Durban.

The attack happened shortly after midnight when Van der Merwe’s daughter, Dina, returning home from a function, phoned him to open the garage door for her. With the cellphone still to his ear, Van der Merwe stepped out to go to the garage.

Unbeknown to him, a friend’s car parked nearby had attracted the attention of at least one criminal, who was tampering with the lock. When he spotted Van der Merwe coming towards him, the perpetrator advanced towards him.

It is believed that when he saw Van der Merwe talking on the phone, the perpetrator assumed he was calling for help and panicked which led to his firing a shot.

The bullet went through Van der Merwe’s hand and into his jaw.

The perpetrator fled empty-handed and Van der Merwe was taken to G.J.Crookes Hospital in Scottburgh before being referred to Kingsway and finally St Augustine’s for surgery. The incident follows a break-in in the vicinity two days before.

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