Monday, 22 January 2007

'I just held him close'

21/01/2007 22:42 - (SA)

Buks Viljoen, Beeld

Sabie - "His blood was running through my fingers as I tried to get him breathing," sobbed a wife as she recalled her husband's pub death.

Irma Burger, 39, sobbed as she told her story to Beeld on Sunday morning.

Her husband Wikus, 30, was shot dead in front of her on Saturday night.

The pistol used to kill Burger apparently was stolen the previous day, during another robbery.

The Burgers were cleaning up about 01:30 after a birthday party at Die Boskroeg pub, when three masked robbers attacked them.

Their daughters Amri, 10, and Marzel, eight, were cleaning up in the kitchen with their mom and aunt, Stephanie Maritz, who had been celebrating her birthday at the popular bush pub.

Three robbers burst in

The youngest daughter of the family, Charmi, five, was sleeping in the car at that stage.

The pub is on the Burger's plot, just outside Sabie.

Burger had gone out to fetch a gas bottle.

Maritz said: "We were chatting and teasing in the kitchen when the three robbers burst in, shouting 'Give us the money!' "

The woman screamed and Burger ran into the kitchen.

Three shots were fired and he was hit in the right eye.

He fell against the wall and collapsed at the door, said Maritz. Burger died shortly afterwards.

One of the robbers grabbed her handbag containing R800 and her firearm, and ran off with it.

Irma Burger said: "I got a huge fright and was holding the breadboard in front of my face."

She shouted to the two girls to hide.

"Mom, we must phone," said Amri when she saw her father lying on the ground.

Maritz went to look for help at a house about 300m away.

'I just held him close'

Irma said: "I knelt next to Wikus. There was blood everywhere and I could see it flowing from his eye.

"I knew he had died - I just held him close."

Apparently the killers also were responsible for an attack on a businessman who lives about 600m away, earlier on Saturday evening.


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