‘My life flashed before my eyes’

2017-11-24 13:45

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“My life flashed before my eyes three times in one hour.”

These were the words of a partially-disabled Hayfields man after three armed men attacked him at his home and tried to strangle him late on Wednesday night.

The man, who asked not to be named, suffered multiple bruises and cuts to his head and body during the hour-long robbery and was left with a badly swollen face.

His attackers told him repeatedly he was going to die.

“I came home at around 9 pm, opened my kitchen door and went to feed my dogs at the back.”

He went into his garage and when he emerged again he was ambushed by three men wielding 9mm pistols.

He said he had barely registered their presence when one of the men hit him in the eye with the back of his gun.

“As I fell back, I grabbed on to the man and the second attacker starting hitting me on the head with his gun.

“The third man pointed his gun at my head while the other two men held me. They took me into the kitchen and started asking where the safe was.”

He told the attackers the safe was in the bedroom.

“One of them hit me on the head with the gun again. I fell on the floor and they dragged me down the passage to the room.”

In the bedroom he was thrown onto the bed and asked how to open the safe.

The intruders battled with the safe’s lock and it would not open.

“Two of the men pinned me down and one put a plastic packet over my head.”

The man said he managed to make a hole in the packet before two of his assailants bound his hands and feet with neckties.

“They blindfolded me with the packet still over my head.”

He said one of the men sat on top of him, holding the plastic packet tightly around his head, while the other pushed his face into the bed and tried to throttle him.

Then the third man pulled the safe completely off the wall and threw it on the bed.

“They said the safe must be opened or else they would kill me.”

They eventually managed to open the safe and emptied the contents. He said there had been jewellery and a substantial amount of cash in the safe.

They then asked where his rifles were kept and he told them they were in a safe but he did not have the keys.

“I told them my mom had the keys and then they asked me for her address,” he recounted.

“They then threw me onto the floor and told me to say a prayer because they were going to kill me.”

However, at that moment, one of the attackers managed to pull the second safe — the one containing guns — off the wall.

The trio left the badly beaten man tied up on the floor and went to load the safe into a vehicle.

“I untied my hands, crawled into the bathroom and locked the door.”

He said he heard the men in the kitchen and he then pressed the panic alarm. “They would have finished me off if I did not press the panic button because one of the men told me that because I had seen his face, he had to kill me.

“I think making that hole in the packet saved my life. I am so glad to be alive. My life flashed before my eyes three times in one hour. I refused to die,” he said.

The attackers fled the property with jewellery, rifles, cash and the man’s brown Isuzu double-cab bakkie.

Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Sergeant Mthokozisi Ngobese said thay were investigating a case of house robbery and assault. “No arrests have been made yet,” he said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  house robberies

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