Holidaymaker tells how she shot robber

2012-10-04 09:56

Durban - A Germiston woman, on holiday at St Michael’s between Margate and Port Shepstone, braved her attacker and shot him dead after he and an accomplice robbed her in her holiday cottage on Tuesday morning.

The wounded robber made a brief bid for freedom, before he collapsed and died.

His accomplice left him behind and fled with the stolen items.

Maria Bester said her husband and eldest son had left for the beach at about 06:00. Bester’s 11-year-old son remained with her at the cottage.


“I said goodbye to them and closed the gate. I went back to bed and was going through my cellphone when I saw a shadow go into the bathroom,” she said.

Bester said the man greeted her and went into the kitchen to get a knife.

He demanded cellphones and cash. Meanwhile, his accomplice ransacked the rest of the cottage.

Bester was not aware of the other intruder in the cottage.

“I gave him my cellphone and R120 that I had in my wallet. But he insisted that there was more and he wanted it.”

When she told the man that she did not have more money, he became aggressive. He then took jewellery that was lying on the bedside table.

“He then left the room, probably to see where his accomplice was. I quickly reached for our gun,” she said.

Both men returned to the room and demanded that she give them the gun. The man with the knife then came towards Bester and tried to stab her. She shot him twice - once in the chest and then in the stomach.

“They both ran out of the cottage. I ran after them and fired a few more shots. The wounded man collapsed about 100 metres away.”

'You killed him!'

She said his accomplice shouted at her: “You killed him!”

He then fled with the stolen items.

“My husband is the chairman of our community policing forum so I’m clued up on what to do in situations like these. I kept calm and listened,” she said.

Bester said it was an extremely traumatising experience but she was grateful that neither she nor her son was hurt.

“My son was with me the whole time and they also asked if he had a cellphone. Thank God they didn’t hurt him,” she said.

Bester added that while it was unfortunate that the incident occurred while she was on holiday, it didn’t change the way she felt about the South Coast. “I still like the place. This could have happened anywhere in the world.”

Police spokesperson Captain Gerald Mfeka said the accomplice was arrested on Tuesday afternoon.

“Information was received on the whereabouts of the suspect, which led to the arrest,” he said.

The suspect from Gamalakhe, who is believed to be 18 and in Grade 10, will appear in court on Thursday.

  • koos.vandermerwe.75 - 2012-10-04 10:02

    Madam, you saved you and your son's life. You should be proud. I love good stories like this. We should read a lot more stories like this. P.S. 18 and in grade 10! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!

      koos.vandermerwe.75 - 2012-10-04 10:07

      P.P.S: If you like the South Coast I strongly recommend the South of Mozambique. Safer, cleaner and the water is of much higher quality and it is cheaper and closer. You and your family will never go to the South Coast again.

      sanda.mnyazi - 2012-10-04 10:24

      Im very upset that she didn't get to shoot the other one

      janice.mcmaster.92 - 2012-10-04 10:30

      Yes it could have happened any where in the world, but NO it happened HERE in SA.!!!

      mantothieve.missingman - 2012-10-04 10:39

      Its a mistake must be grade 7

      BigChiefPlumbPudding - 2012-10-04 10:42

      Well done. One criminal bast@#d, 4 bullets. No mercy, kill them like they kill us innocent people. No survivors, no witnesses.

      Jack - 2012-10-04 10:54

      Good on ya!!! P.S. Don't go telling ppl u shot at them while they were fleeing! That could get u in alot of trouble!! :)

      koos.vandermerwe.75 - 2012-10-04 10:57

      @ MemeMan: Mozambiquens come here to do crime because they know what will happen to them in Mozambique and I've seen it with my own eyes. I have also seen what they do to rapist there. You are definitely safer over there. Arrested? What would be the point in ambushing them and arresting them? They would be out that same day for a "petty crime" - trespassing. Arresting them would just afford them more chances of robbing, raping and killing other innocent people. No this lady did this country a huge favour. P.S. How many times do you take your Voice Alert on holiday with you?

      ann.murray.9279 - 2012-10-04 10:58

      Excellent! Well done Maria Bester! Funny how they always think we will give up and give in and NEVER fight back. I believe the circumstances in your case were favourable and you absolutely did the right thing. Kudo's for being so brave :)

      willemdaniel.venter - 2012-10-04 11:56

      Gun Free SA's advice to this women is to be un-armed, co-operate and be submissive.. and let the criminals go free to do it to the next woman, and the next.. Good on her husband for having a gun around, and good for her having the pluck to grab it and defend herself and her son effectively, and save how many innocent people down the line the same fate as her's by stopping this criminal's career for good. Best to you Maria, I wish you a speedy recovery.

      jackie.m.dickson - 2012-10-04 12:17

      Cracks me up that the crim exclaims "you killed him"! Hahahaha. So what did he think him and his mate were going to do to the lady with a knife flashing in her face? These thugs need to understand that at some time normal citizens will start to fight back. Good riddance to the dead one and I am so sad that the other one lives :(

      handy.andy.3990 - 2012-10-04 13:16

      Well done! They should teach kids about knifes and gun fights. The worse part is the accomplish being surprised that his mate was shot?!

      philip.harris.967 - 2012-10-04 14:56

      " This could have happened anywhere in the world." Another fool in denial.

      johan.fou - 2012-10-05 08:55

      I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to hear from that person who wrote the article -in which she stated guns should be banned -now. (I think it was something about stuff that should not be debated.)

      johan.fou - 2012-10-05 08:59

      "The worse part is the accomplish being surprised that his mate was shot?!" It was that rabbit with his white tenancies again.

      husaberg.twostroke - 2012-10-05 09:12

      This is one cool woman. Skiet die goed moertoe. Pragtige nuus.

      crackston.jack - 2012-10-05 09:18

      Shoot 1st and ask questions later! Glad you got rid of 2 scumbags, well at least 1 permanently.

      gail.hayesbean - 2012-10-06 07:44

      Koos I have taught a white young man who was 21 and still trying to pass Grade 12 - he had challenges which were not rectified and was not especially academically gifted but he had weaklthy parents. It is estimated that 25% of children in any particular class anywhere in SA has challenges of one kind or another and the Govt are closing down schools for these 25% of children. My sister in law teaches special needs children and is only supposed to have 12 in her class - she has 25 because there is nowhere else for them to go. Think before you mock those less fortunate who do not know any better because they are challenged from birth.

  • dieter.muller.942145 - 2012-10-04 10:03

    skiet hulle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ronnie.v.peet - 2012-10-04 10:08

    Nice one! - 2012-10-04 11:28

      Khethu is a perfect example of why outcomes based education has failed the country...

      mark.singh.9889 - 2012-10-04 12:53 khethu probably didnt even have an OBE. it seems like he has no education at all.

      nicholas.harle - 2012-10-04 13:59

      shame @khetu must have been one of you friends,lol

      cranky.cherry - 2012-10-04 14:14

      @ Khethu youre not smelling a rat. Get of your mother at least once a day you pr*%k. You need help Khethu!!!!!

  • annalene.nel - 2012-10-04 10:09

    Well done Mrs Bester, wish all housewives/victims could do what you did, that is the only way to deal with these savages.

  • parlo.mkatazo - 2012-10-04 10:11

    you killed him!!!?? no, she put a burner on your friend..

  • yaschoeman - 2012-10-04 10:12

    I guess we have to be careful where every we are, how did they get into the house in the first place....

  • sanchez.sancho.7 - 2012-10-04 10:14


  • bob.small.7547 - 2012-10-04 10:17

    My kinda lady...!

  • beverly.young3 - 2012-10-04 10:18

    How brave this was in the addition, her child was prolly foremost on her mind. I do hope tho, that she is not suddendly charged with murder, have to support the families etc....sorry I am so negative.

  • hawthorne1955 - 2012-10-04 10:18

    Why is there such a demand for cell phones!!!!!!!!

      koos.vandermerwe.75 - 2012-10-04 10:23

      Nigerians with their scams and criminals. Crime and scams almost always require a cell phone that cannot be traced and can be discarded at a moments notice.

  • franswaj - 2012-10-04 10:18

    awesome this antie needs a bells!!!!!!!

  • sean.fleischack - 2012-10-04 10:19

    Well done Mrs Bester. Pity you didn't nail the other one too. One less violent criminal on the streets. Not only did you save you life and your son but probably about another 100 people. Now where is your medal?

  • Tim Elliott - 2012-10-04 10:21

    These people are SAVAGES.There is no other description.A Grade 10 learner!Just shows the complete lack of moral values in the minds of so many young people!

  • carolyn.dewrance - 2012-10-04 10:21

    Good for you, just a pity you were unable to shoot the other one as well,

  • Gerald Jordaan - 2012-10-04 10:22

    Excellent!! Pity the accomplice wasn't also killed !!

      mc.segal.5 - 2012-10-04 10:35

      Watch it Kethu Remember this when you try it..

  • don.frost.581 - 2012-10-04 10:27

    Just what they needed! I wish more people would follow this example!

      mc.segal.5 - 2012-10-04 10:43

      Dereck dont waste your time on Kethu....He has a vacuum in his head....

      don.frost.581 - 2012-10-05 08:54

      Kethu has had too much crack it seems!

      patsy.smith.125 - 2012-10-05 09:47

      Unfortunately, it appears that in this country the criminal has more chance of being set free than the victim who defends him/herself. As Dickens said 'The Law is an Ass, and I add, particularly in South Africa

  • fanie.gerber1972 - 2012-10-04 10:27

    Robbers take note - we are not weak and trembling - we will take you down

      mark.singh.9889 - 2012-10-04 12:56

      khetu you troll! it seems you support crime.

      hughfh - 2012-10-04 12:57

      Khetu, if the farmer was found on a property where he had no good reason to be, AND robbed an innocent victim (woman no less) of their belongings, AND threatened them with a knife in the process... I don't think too many people would mind them being "put down" as you say. If the farmer is walking out of his house to tend to his crops which will ultimately go towards providing food for everyone including you, then that's not OK. Apples and oranges - there is a big difference between these scenarios.

  • shaun.knoesen.9 - 2012-10-04 10:32

    Have a double bells - greatly deserved!

  • francie.potgieter - 2012-10-04 10:33

    Good for you Maria Bester you deserve a medal.

  • francie.potgieter - 2012-10-04 10:34

    Good for you Maria Bester you deserve a medal.

  • robertogarciamoto - 2012-10-04 10:35

    Well done,i am glad that normal people are standing up against those who go into other peoples houses ,you are a great example of standing up against these criminals in south africa,and you protected your some ,well done.

  • mantothieve.missingman - 2012-10-04 10:38

    Now tell me again you can not defend your self in SA. You unarmed people better catch a wakeup ! If this is a weekly thing criminals will think twice !

      patsy.smith.125 - 2012-10-05 09:50

      Our government prefers that the innocent are unarmed and the criminals armed. God forbid any potential victim should fight back! Crazy country!

  • drizzt.pirie - 2012-10-04 10:49

    Yea one less. It's a shame she did shoot the other scum bag. This is the only way to deal with criminals in SA because our "justice system" and "police force" are such dismal failures.

      BigChiefPlumbPudding - 2012-10-04 10:57

      Correct. It shouldn't have to be this way, but that's the reality for now. Their ROE is to kill for little or no reason at all, so we will oblige and reciprocate.

  • L.C.G001 - 2012-10-04 10:52

    All criminals suffer from a chemical imbalance which is easily corrected by 230 grains of lead injected crainially!

      sarecen.smith - 2012-10-04 11:07


      BigChiefPlumbPudding - 2012-10-04 11:15

      Well put. always helps when you apply the right medicine. - 2012-10-04 11:32

      With the price of lead these days your 230 grain .45 bullet can be replaced by two cheaper 110 grain 9mm bullets like this lady did! Think economies of scale, even when dealing with criminals!

  • babridge - 2012-10-04 10:58

    I was stabbed in my own home 2 years ago and also said, this could happen anywhere in the world. I also fought and chased my attacker. He is now in prison for 17 years, but it seems these reports of attacks are occurring more and more often don't you think?

      BigChiefPlumbPudding - 2012-10-04 11:16

      They certainly are, but the main point is why the killing? The old excuse of crime happens everywhere is no longer acceptable, and it's a pathetically thin argument to begin with.

      patsy.smith.125 - 2012-10-05 09:54

      Depends on what the government want you to believe. They say there is less crime.....I say CRAP! The figures have been adjuated to con the public.

  • dirk.klaver.7 - 2012-10-04 10:58

    Well done , This story made my day pity you did not get them both.

  • hudayfah.newman - 2012-10-04 11:03

    18 in grade ten. I guess he realised thinking wasn't really he's strong point.

  • sarecen.smith - 2012-10-04 11:04


      BigChiefPlumbPudding - 2012-10-04 11:22

      I agree - but if not hate crime, why the torture and killing? Once you have the upper hand as a criminal, why kill? But yes it is a pity we don't work together. But what are the chances of that when Blacks blame just about everything that is wrong on Whites. The issues/problems run very deep, but no one has the right to take the life of an innocent, regardless of one's political or other views.

      patsy.smith.125 - 2012-10-05 09:56

      Agreed, Sarecen. They have a very hard time of it, too. What a shame we can't combine forces.

  • samuel.weller - 2012-10-04 11:08

    Well done

  • ericanbarker - 2012-10-04 11:29

    Well done lady!!! Lets get rid of the cancers.

  • Thembumusa Dlamini - 2012-10-04 12:10

    mayb everybody must carry a gun.

      mantothieve.missingman - 2012-10-04 13:35

      Great idea , combine that with decent training and SA will be a very safe place

      patsy.smith.125 - 2012-10-05 09:59

      Unfortunately, Thembumusa, the government has made it VERY difficult for ordinary people to be armed - we have to acquire arms legitimately and this is NOT easy.

  • lionel.holder - 2012-10-04 12:11


  • Thembumusa Dlamini - 2012-10-04 12:12

    as for khathu i reserve my comments

  • sagin.verity - 2012-10-04 12:21

    Well done lady! You saved Yourself from horror and death. Gun free south africa? Go F Yourselves You backward fools. Even if i am forced to own an illegal firearm I will be armed!

  • leila.monroe - 2012-10-04 13:05

    Well done!! Good for you!!!

  • gerrit.vanpletzen - 2012-10-04 13:28

    Typical arrogant coward. Demanding the gun whilst only armed with a knife. He probably thought she was just a silly woman who would capitulate. Serves him right.

  • gerrit.vanpletzen - 2012-10-04 13:29

    Most probably the 0 was erroneously added to his real grade.

  • athos.phytides - 2012-10-04 13:31

    well done .we need to shoot all these criminals dead. can i refund you the bullets you used. Again well time shoot both.

  • gerrit.vanpletzen - 2012-10-04 13:32

    @ khetu.ndlovu 3.- You were probably the lookout, you moron. What a stupid comment!

  • Annelize Grobler - 2012-10-04 14:26

    Lekker man !!!

  • lynette.pelser.56 - 2012-10-04 15:08

    @KETHU, I also smell a rat - YOUR BRAIN. She is my sister in law and let me tell you one thing your family might be the type messing around with other partners but not mine!

  • eric.f.moloi - 2012-10-04 15:12

    U have all qualities to run a shooting range business,thumbs up,u r a brave woman

  • lynne.barker.7 - 2012-10-04 15:47

    Well done!

  • lielie.smit - 2012-10-04 16:05

    woohoo, well done!!!!

  • lielie.smit - 2012-10-04 16:06

    " you killed him" Duh!!! What did the ass think would happen, she was not lying down on this one.

  • andrejvv - 2012-10-04 17:14

    1 for the public! Many more to go!

  • thys.reeder - 2012-10-04 17:25

    Looking forward to comment from Georgina Guedes....

  • mualusi - 2012-10-04 22:25

    Great!!!!!! Now that's what shoot to kill stands for.........\r\n\r\nI'd have loved it the more had she had given him a stabbing before he went \offline\

  • FourieGP - 2012-10-05 08:13

    Give that woman a Bells!!!!!

  • alison.martin.16144 - 2012-10-05 08:32

    Good for you! It's about time we fought back.