Gang attacks elderly

2020-03-06 14:15
“Lindelani told me not to do it. Simiso looked shocked and frightened and asked me what I was doing. I nevertheless took out a lighter and set them both alight. The three of us fled the scene and left with the deceased’s motor vehicle."

“Lindelani told me not to do it. Simiso looked shocked and frightened and asked me what I was doing. I nevertheless took out a lighter and set them both alight. The three of us fled the scene and left with the deceased’s motor vehicle." (File)

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Yet another elderly couple have been brutally attacked in their home during an armed robbery in Hilton on Tuesday afternoon.

This recent attack is believed to be the work of an organised syndicate operating in Pietermaritzburg and Hilton, specifically targeting the elderly. It is understood that the victims are followed home from a shopping centre and then the neighbourhood and victim’s house is kept under surveillance for a few days before the gang pounces.

Sources said the gang members were slick in their operation and only went after electronic items, laptops, jewellery — specifically diamonds — and money.

Eighty-six-year-old James Speedie was left in a pool of blood at their St Michaels Road, Winterskloof, home after three men broke in while he was out doing errands.

His wife, Doreen, was home alone at the time having a nap on a couch when the men accessed the property after breaking a padlock on an exterior property gate. They then removed a glass pane and got into the house.

The couple’s daughter, Catherine, who flew from Cape Town to be with her parents after the attack, said the assailants entered the home with a knife and accosted her mother before locking her in the bathroom.

“They didn’t harm her much. They just wanted her wedding ring and when she said she couldn’t get it off, they told her they were going to cut her fingers to get it off. Her fingers are bruised now from them pulling the ring off.

“I suppose they saw how fragile she is as she suffers from Parkinson’s disease. They ransacked the house, drank liquor from the bottles we had there, and were in the process of leaving with one of our vehicles when my dad unexpectedly arrived.

“He got home to see the garage open and the vehicles out and panicked, thinking my mum was doing something she wasn’t supposed to do.

“So he entered the home in a hurry, straight into the armed men. They were obviously shocked and reacted by attacking him violently,” said Catherine.

She said the men punched, kicked and threw her father against the wall; and continued to do so until he fell to the ground.

He was then dragged out of the house and assaulted further and left on the driveway before they made off with two vehicles.

Catherine said the alarm was raised by the neighbour’s gardener who heard the shouts and screaming on their property.

The neighbour, who did not want to be named, said upon being alerted, she immediately called the police and emergency services before rushing over.

She said it was a horrendous experience. “We haven’t had an incident like this in our street in 30 years. This is definitely the work of a slick gang,” said the neighbour.

Police confirmed the incident and said they were investigating.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  house robbery
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