Boy, 8, says his 'heart is sore' after nose-reconstruction surgery following Potch farm attack

2019-04-23 06:04
Marlu Coetzee.

Marlu Coetzee. (Supplied)

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An 8-year-old boy was discharged from hospital at the weekend after having undergone nose-reconstruction surgery, following a farm attack near Potchefstroom. 

According to Netwerk24, Marlu Coetzee was rushed to a hospital in Johannesburg on Thursday after robbers crushed his face with an unknown object.

Maroela Media reported that doctors had to reconstruct Coetzee's nose with screws and steel plates. 

Sunday newspaper Rapport reported that Coetzee and his dad, Mario, 47, were injured in the attack on Mario's smallholding in the Vyfhoek area outside Potchefstoom, North West, on Thursday night. 

Mario sustained serious head injuries and was initially kept in an induced coma. On Monday, he was still in hospital in Potchefstroom but was able to sit up and communicate, according to Maroela Media. 

Netwerk24 reported that Mario's mother, Nellie Coetzee, was also injured in the attack. She reportedly received eight stitches after one of the robbers hit her on the head.

Mario's father, Paul, and 7-year-old daughter, Marizé, were reportedly not injured in the attack. 

Woken by screaming

Paul told Maroela Media that an unknown number of robbers gained entry to the house by bending the burglar bars at a kitchen window. They reportedly made their way to the main bedroom where Mario and the children lay sleeping.

Paul said he and Nellie were woken by Mario and the children's screaming. As they investigated, Nellie was hit on the head before the attackers fled. 

The children, who were visiting their dad, mostly live with their mother, Dehlia, in Potchefstroom, Beeld reported. The couple is reportedly divorced. 

Dehlia told Maroela Media that the road toward Marlu's recovery would be a long one. The screws and plates in his nose would be removed in six months. He would fully recover, though, she said. 

Heart is sore

"He says his heart is sore, but he isn't angry," his mother told Netwerk24.

Dehlia told Rapport that her ex-husband had sustained 10 fractures to his face, as well as other cuts and bruises, but that he was showing signs of improvement and could communicate with the kids by telephone. 


Marlu Coetzee. (Facebook)

On Monday, Dehlia told Maroela Media that Marlu's first night back at home since the operation was difficult. 

"I think the pain is finally starting to set in," she reportedly said. "But he looks better than before and he is able to open his eyes again."

North West police spokesperson Colonel Adéle Myburgh told Netwerk24 that two suspects were being sought by police. 

The suspects reportedly made off with a set of keys. 

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