Woman tells of robbery ordeal

2018-09-13 15:45

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A Mooi River woman who was attacked, apparently by the same men who killed a man on his Creighton smallholding at the weekend, has spoken for the first time of her and her husband’s terror as they were held up and their house ransacked.

One of the men sought for the Creighton killing has been shot and killed in Ixopo, and a second man who was arrested in Johannesburg has been linked to the Mooi River attack last month. Other members of the gang are still at large.

The arrest and shoot-out followed an intensive three-day investigation by Magma Security and Investigations, EMPD (Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department) Swat Team and Mooi River detectives after Campbell Scott (66), was killed on his smallholding, Lynafis, in the Creighton area, in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Mooi River couple Jenny and Michael Hemmingway spoke to The Witness of their own ordeal and how heartbroken they were for the Scott family.

Jenny said she and her husband had firearms pointed at their heads for four-and-a-half hours while men ransacked their home and repeatedly threatened to kill Michael.

“I have never been afraid but now I am scared all the time,” said Hemmingway.

“We were watching TV and Michael got up to let the dogs inside. As he opened the door, a man stormed in with three other armed men.”

She said the men pointed their firearms at the couple, demanding cash and guns.

Hemmingway said they were tied up and were made to sit facing away from each other.

“When they first came in I asked them not to hurt the dogs but they just laughed and said they had been watching us for a long time and knew our dogs,” she said.

She said one of the men then grabbed her and took her to the bedroom to open the safe.

“I told him we had no cash or guns and there were only documents in the safe. I opened it and that is all that was in there.”

She was then brought back to where her husband was tied up.

She said she understood Zulu but the attackers did not know. “The one man kept saying ‘let’s just shoot the old man’.”

An emotional Hemmingway said at one stage, the man pointed a gun at her husband but shot the floor.

“There is a big hole in the floor where the bullet hit. I know my husband is still alive but imagining what could have happened is terrifying,” she said, trying to fight tears.

The men stole TVs, a microwave, kettle, three laptops, cellphones, a new Nikon camera and binoculars.

“When they were about to leave, they took the big cushions from our couch and put them on top of us.

“I immediately thought they were going to shoot us but my pillow kept falling off and eventually the men became frustrated and left.

She said the men also broke into their neighbours’ cottage and ransacked it.

“I feel so much for Scott’s family and wish the men had been caught before the tragedy.”

Meanwhile, Scott’s family are still reeling from his death.

Scott’s son Craig said on Wednesday that they had not fully come to terms with their father’s death but that the realisation hits every now and then.

He said the family feel “indifferent” about the arrest as they were still mourning the loss of Scott.

“I think we should feel happy about this but it’s difficult to do so when we are just trying to find our feet.”

He said his parents had been married for 45 years before the shooting.

“Magma and the police have been amazing during this time.

“They have put a lot of effort and time tracking down these men. We are deeply grateful.”

He said his father’s memorial would be held this Saturday at 10 am at the Creighton Country Club.

Tracking down the suspects

Magma Security and Investigations director Shaheen Suleiman said they started their investigation with police the day the murder occurred.

One man was tracked to Johannesburg and arrested and police and Magma recovered laptops and other items.

He said the team then went to Ixopo where the second man was shot during his arrest.

“One unlicensed firearm and the deceased [man’s] cell phone and other items were recovered,” he said.

Provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said the man will be charged and will appear in court soon. “Police are still on the hunt for the remaining men.” 

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime

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