Economist tackled knifeman to end 'nightmare'

2015-08-07 21:05
Dawie Roodt

Dawie Roodt

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Pretoria - Economist Dawie Roodt said he attacked a robber at his home because he wanted the "nightmare" to end. 

"The main thing that went through my mind was that I did not want my family to get hurt. The other thing that kept on going through my mind was that this was an unpleasant situation that will pass," he told News24 on Friday. 

"The problem was that it did not pass, and it just kept on going. I thought that if I wanted this nightmare to end, I needed to stop it."

Roodt, his wife Marina, their twin toddlers and his adult daughter Danielle were confronted by robbers on July 23. Roodt is a director and chief economist of the Efficient Group.

According to police, four armed men first confronted Danielle when she arrived for a visit at the house situated in a Pretoria East security estate.

They gained entry by threatening her with a panga and a revolver.

The family was then tied up and held at gunpoint, while the house was ransacked.

Roodt told News24 that a power cut which happened while they were tied up made the robbers nervous. 

"They started to get more pushy and they mentioned that they were going to ask the two-year-old twins where the money was."

He said he convinced one of the robbers that he had money in the car, and he and the man then went to the garage. 

Ran away

"The moment he was distracted, I attacked him. He sliced at me with a knife, slicing through the major muscles in my arm."

The robber then screamed for his accomplices and they ran away. 

"I was bleeding profusely and ran to get help from the neighbours. I then shouted for my daughter who said [the robbers] had gone. I collapsed at the front door and my daughter rushed me to hospital." 

Roodt said the biggest challenge to overcome with his injuries was the damage to two major nerves. 

"I'm kind of back at work now and have been doing some things at home. I get a little tired, but I am hurt. I am not sick," he said. 

"I lost the functionality of three quarters of my arm. The doctors reckon there is a 75% chance I will have full functionality in a year's time. More surgeries might be needed, but not for the moment."

The right thing

Roodt said he was not sure if attacking the robber was the right thing to do. 

"What I do know is that I realised I had to do something. I ran through it in my head thousands of times," he said. 

"I never would have done something to have harmed my family. At least I stopped the nightmare."

He said he had received overwhelming support from people following the robbery

"We are still in the same home. My wife and the two kids are OK. My [adult] daughter is a bit rattled, but she is doing fine. 

"I am not going to run away [from the country]. I decided to stop this nightmare. We should do the same with this country. We need to stop this nightmare [of crime] now."

Read more on:    dawie roodt  |  pretoria  |  crime
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