Domestic worker's saviour knows about survival - she was shot six times

2015-09-03 17:13
(Picture: Supplied, Shara Engelbrecht)

(Picture: Supplied, Shara Engelbrecht)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town – The Sunningdale woman who saved her domestic worker’s breech baby on Monday knows all about survival – she was shot six times and lived to tell the tale.

The gunman was her ex-boyfriend.

When doctors saw Shara Engelbrecht’s bullet-ridden body, they thought she wouldn’t survive.

Today scars scattered across her body are a reminder of what happened on August 16 2001.

“I don’t bear any grudges. I have forgiven him. I don’t ever look at my scars and think why me?” the 39-year-old told News24 on Thursday.

Engelbrecht and her sister had arrived at their Milnerton home that evening to find her ex-boyfriend's bakkie parked outside.

The pair had broken up two years previously, but his presence was still very much felt.

Strange feeling

"He would often park his car outside. Or there would be a mixtape in the letterbox or a chocolate bar on my car. He would say he can’t live without me and he is going to kill himself."

That dark, rainy evening she told her sister she had a strange feeling and didn't want to go inside.

The two debated and eventually ended up going.

Her gut instinct had been right. He had a gun and they were trapped.

As she ran out the back door to escape, he grabbed her by the shoulder, held the gun close and apparently asked if she was going to treat him better.

Engelbrecht said calm washed over her and she accepted her fate.

The first bullet punctured her stomach. The others hit her neck, lung, chest and limbs.

He shot her mom in the leg.

Then he turned the gun on himself and died in the braai area.

She never lost consciousness, but struggled to breathe as blood bubbled out of her mouth.


Once in hospital, staff predicted she would be in intensive care for three months.

She defied all odds and spent a week there.

Engelbrecht did not appear to be angry or sad as she recalled her string of operations and injuries.

Her windpipe was narrow (6mm instead of 17mm) and she struggled to bend her left arm because of nerve damage.

But this did not hold her back.

She has been married to her husband Chris for a decade and has a son and daughter, aged five and nine.

Preferring not to be the centre of attention, she said she felt awkward when people heard her story and called her an inspiration.

"I can talk about it and it doesn’t bother me. My life hasn’t changed. I honestly never sit and think about it in a bad way. It happened and it’s over."

Read more on:    cape town  |  good news

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.