A mother's instinct to protect her five-year-old daughter helped Howick West resident Shannah Langberg (35) to fight off three home invaders with a baseball bat at the weekend.
Langberg, who works as a carer for Howick couple Jimmy and Jennifer Mallett, told The Witness her “survival mode kicked in” after she heard loud bangs at about midnight on Friday.
She noticed part of her front door had been knocked out and an intruder was trying to get in.
Her landlord, who tried to intervene, was shot twice in the leg during the incident. He is currently recovering in hospital.
Langberg immediately picked up a baseball bat and clobbered the man with it, and saw him run off.
“But there were two other guys with him. I managed to connect another one with the baseball bat as well,” she said.
Langberg said the men were shouting that they just wanted her cellphone and didn’t want to kill her.
“But who knows what would have happened if I let them in? I am a woman alone with a little girl.”
She said her two small dogs began barking and biting the men as they continued to try to gain entry into the house via the small space in the door. “My landlord then ran outside to see what was happening. I heard three shots,” said Langberg.
She said once the men had left, she ran outside to check on her landlord.
“I dragged him into the house and put pressure on his wound. I called the police and the ambulance.”
She said yesterday that he was still in hospital but was expected to be discharged early this week.
She said the intruders only made off with a gas cylinder which was outside her door.
Langberg said that fortunately her daughter, Chelah-Rain, had slept through the entire incident. “I am proud of myself for being able to do that, but I think I’m still in shock.
“I always wondered how I would react in that situation, whether I’d freeze or be able to take action. Now I know.”
She added that her neighbourhood was seeing a lot of petty crime recently. Langberg has now reinforced her front door “to be like a fortress”, and has armed herself with a crossbow.
Her employer, Mallett, said yesterday that not only was Langberg a courageous woman who had been able to defend herself and her child, but she had a “wonderful, gentle, caring and sensitive” side to her nature which showed when caring for his wife who is very ill.
The SAPS KZN media centre did not respond to an inquiry regarding the incident yesterday.