'How can I save them?'

2009-06-08 09:56

Pretoria – The only thing that was going through Rustin Limbert’s mind while his mother, wife and baby boy were in the hands of robbers, was “How am I going to save them?”

One of the robbers was shot dead less than half an hour later.

Rustin, 38, spoke on Sunday about how four armed robbers had walked into the Limbert Arms Restaurant & Pub in Mnandi, Centurion and ordered clients to lie down on the floor less than 24 hours before.

One of the robbers brandished an AK47 assault rifle.

Rustin was with his father Lindsay, 66, behind the bar counter and had the chance to run to the first floor. He pressed the emergency button and fetched his own firearm.

Lying on the floor

Meanwhile, some of the robbers had pulled Rustin’s mother, Helen, 65, his wife, Natasha, 24, and their 15-month-old baby boy, Tristan out of the kitchen. They were forced on to the pub's floor.

While the robbers were busy doing this, Lindsay also managed to get away and went to fetch his own firearm.

“I think they knew that my father and I were around somewhere, but they didn’t know where,” Rustin said.

The robbers collected cellphones, wallets and jewellery from the people who were lying on the floor.

Rustin went outside and ran around the building.

When he arrived at the front of the building, he found security guards from Monitor-Net security company entering the gate.

"I yelled at them to be careful, because there were armed robbers inside".


Rustin said he again ran around the building. 

At that moment, the robbers came out of the restaurant and found themselves facing the security guards. They traded shots, and Lindsay also managed to fire a couple of shots.

A robber was hit. His friends left him there and ran away with most of the loot.

The wounded robber died on his way to hospital.

“Anyone could’ve shot him. It could even have been one of his friends,” said Rustin.

A bag full of liquor bottles, which the robbers had stolen, and a BMW in which they had arrived at the restaurant, were found at the pub.

The local neighbourhood watch unsuccessfully tried to locate the robbers.

According to Rustin, it’s far too easy for criminals to disappear into the surrounding Diepsloot and Olievenhoutbosch squatter camps.