Elderly man loses hand after attack

2012-01-20 08:14

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A day before Potgieter was attacked and robbed in his house, a charge of theft of municipal property was withdrawn against Tlale due to a lack of evidence.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.


  • Perfume5 - 2012-01-20 08:24

    Stop giving these murderers and rapists bail - there should be no bail application hearing. Tired of reading that the murderers and rapists were granted bail of R500 or R1000, enough of this "human rights" rubbish for these perpetrators, it is time the courts put the victims first. This elderly gentleman has been put through much, put him first!!!!

      Kala - 2012-01-20 08:27

      I agree 100% Perfume. I wonder if we look at Tlale's record if we would find a list of offences behind his name. A leopard never changes his spots.

      Perfume5 - 2012-01-20 08:30

      Bail should be set at such an astronomical amount, whereby the families of these murderers and rapists will find it difficult to raise or borrow the money. What is R500 or R1000 in comparison to what the victims go through.

      Steven - 2012-01-20 08:50

      at least the man is alive. I find it weird that the first thing that came to my mind was that these guys were 'good' because they didn't brutally murder the man...tough times

      Xavier7034 - 2012-01-20 09:11

      An EYE for an EYE - tie BOTH of THEIR hands with Bloudraad and then turn the screw, but provide NO medical treatment. Then let them rot.

      Janice - 2012-01-20 09:59

      SAVAGE BASTARDS!!!!!!!

      Ann - 2012-01-20 12:03

      Dreadful state of affairs. I hope the elderly gentleman recovers from the shock of what has happened to him. Hang these swines!!!!

      RobertaKeeling - 2012-01-20 13:12

      I can't for the life of me imagine that three half-brains would vote agains the comment of Perfume. What's your case - you feel robbers/murderers etc. have rights? You must be joking!

  • madsipho - 2012-01-20 08:24

    May the old man recover very soon, shame on you criminals!

  • Jay - 2012-01-20 08:25

    A family member??? What kind of family doesnt make contact with a 73 year old for 4 days????? the mind boggles!

      Ina - 2012-01-20 09:27

      Yes indeed, but quite common these days. I know from experience.

      Winston - 2012-01-20 09:32

      Jay, how old are you?

      Jay - 2012-01-20 09:58

      What does my age have to do with my comment?

      Debbie - 2012-01-20 10:17

      @Jay my thoughts exactly!!!

      Deon - 2012-01-20 10:59

      Maybe he had only family left of his brother or sister? Not everyone contacts his uncle or aunts regulary. He is probably also not on social sites.

  • Boris - 2012-01-20 08:25

    Cowards, why do they always attack the old people, and why are they always in groups to attack? is it because they are sub-human?

  • Siso - 2012-01-20 08:26

    Wow this is terrible, get well soon man. Nobody derserves this, they should be hanged up high, but that wont happen here in SA, our system justice has failed has several times.

      pekpsbotha - 2012-01-20 10:10

      Agree with you 100% Claudette!!!

  • JohncarlosBiza - 2012-01-20 08:27

    Scum! How hard could it be to find a dinosaur (Datsun) in a small town anyways?

  • DieSeL - 2012-01-20 08:28

    He is just a frail old man. WTF is wrong with people these days!!!

      Bardy - 2012-01-20 08:36

      These are not people. They are animals! No scaps that... They are worst than animals! Old people struggle enough to do daily tasks on their own and now this poor man has to cope with only one hand!

      Janice - 2012-01-20 10:39

      Those things arent people, and they are not animals either - animals dont do things like this!

  • Squeegee - 2012-01-20 08:38

    Scum! Glad they were caught.

  • Derek - 2012-01-20 08:56

    You have to be very cautious in what you define as human and animal...they look human ....but are they??

      Marcia - 2012-01-20 10:06

      I agree with you. Animals do not do these things!!!!!!!!

  • EyesEars - 2012-01-20 08:58

    The wheel will turn, maybe not in this lifetime, maybe in the next, but the wheel will turn.

  • winston.mullany - 2012-01-20 08:59

    What a f%&^d up judicial system we have!!!

  • Sechaba - 2012-01-20 09:03

    why mare?????? why do we have to work hard and other people just come to rob us???

  • Julie - 2012-01-20 09:04

    The problem is that the prisons are over full, that is why bail is given to the majority of criminals.

      Deon - 2012-01-20 11:00

      I agree, recently plans to build 4 more jails were cancelled. We need 100 more jails.

  • Schmee - 2012-01-20 09:15

    Shame that is scary that he was only found four days later. Maybe there is a lesson for the rest of us here. I don't phone my parents every day but maybe I should.

      Ina - 2012-01-20 09:36

      If they are elderly and living alone, maybe you should. And let me assure you, they would feel appreciated, cared for and wanted, besides the peace of mind it will give you to know you are showing that you care. All it takes is a little bit of your time, and the few cents of the cost of the call.

      Schmee - 2012-01-20 10:03

      I can hear it already... after day 3 "Is there something wrong sweetie, you know you can tell us anything don't you?" But you are right Ramona, we always assume that they are in contact with someone - a friend or other family members.

      JohhnyBGood - 2012-01-20 11:56

      Hahahm, I feel the same, if I should call him eery day he will tell me to bugger-off. lol

  • Ina - 2012-01-20 09:24

    An appropriate sentence for these barbarians would be for their hands to be amputated. That would make it difficult for them to take things that do not belong to them.

  • dumisiledee - 2012-01-20 09:27

    Why was this old man only found 4 days after? I'd have guessed he didn't have family but the article mentions a family member? We need to provide more care towards our elders especially if they stay alone.....I don't even have a comment for these useless, oxygen robbers.

  • Sunett - 2012-01-20 09:30

    At a loss for words... Reading articles like this makes me wanna go buy a friggin machine gun and mow them down as they come out of court! This poor man. In the winter season of his life and this happens to him - so sad. Word gou beter, Oom.

  • Winston - 2012-01-20 09:45

    The sooner China colonize South Africa the better. Maybe not for business but with specific regards to crime. They take no prisoners when it comes to breaking the law and as for human rights they not so soft in the head like the Western nations and they would be the perfect solution

      Peter - 2012-01-20 11:55

      China would sort out our corruption issues as well. We are not serious about crime. Everytime the jails become too overcrowded, we release a new batch of unrehabilitated scumbags, and they immediately resort to crime, again and again.

      Blignault - 2012-01-20 12:38

      Too true

  • Steph - 2012-01-20 09:46

    and people are so against sharia law?? Give as good as you get. Oom, hope your recovery goes well. All the best.

  • Shirley - 2012-01-20 09:52

    Too many scumbags are released for "lack" of evidence but it realy is just a lack of interest and good old hard detective work. These low lifes are released back in the street to continue their terror reign and the powers that be are not preturbed! Start doing basic police work properly and deny bail! The law enforcement department who let these oxygen thieves out should be held accountable!

  • Deon - 2012-01-20 11:02

    This is sad. No bail please!

  • ReunionofIntelligentMinds - 2012-01-20 11:25

    So many of our elderly people are being murdered or tortured and asking help from the police, well that won't work. The best option is getting the community more involved. If everyone in the neighbourhood where old people live just pass their property and see if there is movement, even introduce yourselves and inform them you just want to see now and again if they are safe, if then they have encountered problems, it would be detected much quicker and lives/ injuries might be spared.

  • frans.grobler3 - 2012-01-20 11:51


      maureen.bryden - 2012-01-20 22:45

      Frans, how can you possibly compare these savage f*****s to animals which in my opinion are far, far superior in most ways!

  • annaline - 2012-01-20 12:00

    Another elderly person tied up, why did they not take all and leave, why tie him up,and now the great loss of his hand, the trauma of coping with it and the heart brakes every time this happens and we are no closer to a resolution for our country's crime can these people be treated humanly if they them self treat other with no human dignity...take away their rights...

  • DayanGovender - 2012-01-20 12:01

    What's so sad about this story is that no-one missed this man for four days hence resulting in the amputation cos if he was found earlier I am sure the hand could have been saved. I know he would not have been in the situation if those idiots did not rob him but why are our old not being taken off - at least a call everyday to check if everything is ok.

  • Terry - 2012-01-20 12:44


      paulmandlankosi - 2012-01-20 12:50

      Bring back the death sentence (SENTANCE)

  • timelord - 2012-01-20 13:22

    draw and quarter these friggin scum

  • MoAfrika - 2012-01-20 13:49

    All your comments are irrelevant and absolute drivel. They won't change anything fools.

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