Vicious attack on Drakensberg choir school head

2019-12-12 16:33

crime (file)

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Fighting off four armed men, the executive head of the Drakensberg Boys Choir School was stabbed 14 times with a broken bottle while trying to save his wife in a midnight attack.

The incident took place at the couple’s home on the school property in the Champagne Valley area of the central Drakensberg on Tuesday evening.

Sixty-one year old Greg Brooks was yesterday said to be in critical but stable condition in hospital, while his wife, Carmen, was treated in hospital and later went to stay with her son.

A source who was at the scene said Brooks was brutally assaulted and had sustained broken ribs and more than 14 stab wounds, inflicted with a broken bottle, while trying to save his wife in the attack.

It is believed that four armed men, all wearing gloves, gained access to the property with a view to robbing the Brookses and managed to make off with a VW Polo that has since been recovered, and other items.

“He fought like a bear to save his wife. The assailants tried to take her with them and twice he had to fight them off to prevent them from taking her.

“Despite his injuries, he fought on and put up one mother of a fight,” said the source.

Emergency personnel, who were contacted by Carmen about 30 minutes after the assailants had fled, responded promptly to the scene and called for advanced life support assistance from Pie-termaritzburg.

KwaZulu-Natal SAPS provincial spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said it was believed that the couple were watching television when the four suspects entered the house and demanded cash. “They ransacked the house and took two cellphones, a safe with two firearms and jewellery that they loaded into Brooks’ car.

“They also stabbed the victim on the arm and the body. They were rushed to hospital. The stolen vehicle has since been recovered,” said Naicker.

He said a case of house robbery was being investigated by the Winterton SAPS.

Dave Cato, the deputy head of academics at the Drakensberg Boys Choir, confirmed the school’s executive head and his wife were injured in an armed robbery at their home.

“Mr Brooks was admitted to a private hospital in Pietermaritzburg for treatment of the injuries sustained during the robbery. He is in a serious but stable condition,” said Cato.

He said trauma counselling was being provided to both the Brooks family and school staff.

Following the final festival of the year, Christmas in the Berg, the school closed for the annual Christmas holidays on Sunday, December 8, with only members of staff remaining on campus, said Cato.

He said members of the SAPS and local EMS services were quick to respond once alerted to the incident.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr and Mrs Brooks,” said the chairperson of the board, Ilse Marlow.

School founder Dr John Tungay expressed his shock at the incident.

“The school has been running for 52 years and we have never had any problems whatsoever. For such a brutal, horrible incident to happen on the premises is disgusting and quite shocking. We are praying for both Mr and Mrs Brooks and available to offer them any assistance if needed,” said Tungay.

He heaped praise on Greg Brooks, saying he was an excellent headmaster.

“The school is spotless under his control and last year took the highest possible marks in one of the adult sections of the World Choir Games.

“The school is on top of the world at the moment and for a thing like this to happen is disgraceful. There is just no value or dignity left anywhere anymore,” said Tungay.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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