March 23 2007 at 07:04AM
By Janine du Plessis
Heavily sedated and in pain, Jacques Botha, 45, described how four men attacked his family, killing his wife "Tinkie" and leaving his two children without a mother.
Botha said from his hospital bed at Pretoria Academic he was "not feeling anything and doesn't know what to feel right now" following the incident.
His son lost his mother on the eve of his 13th birthday. She was stabbed in the heart.
'They just came stabbing at us'
Botha said the family had been watching cricket in the main bedroom at their Pamela Street home in Moreleta Park. He said a friend of his 17-year-old daughter's boyfriend had come to collect something and the next thing there were three men in their room.
"They just came stabbing at us," said Botha. He said he "shoved" them off his wife and saw them go for his daughter.
"That was when I saw a fourth man in the lounge about to hit her with two bricks," he said.
Noleen du Toit, Botha's sister, said that Tinkie, fearing the men would rape her daughter, tried to spray Doom in the man's face which she had fetched from the bathroom.
It was then that Botha, his daughter and son witnessed the man stabbing Tinkie "right in the heart", Botha said.
He said everyone went to the bathroom and pressed up against the door in an attempt to get away from the four men.
Botha says he tried calling the police on 10111, but to no avail. "Eventually I called my cousin, who later arrived with an ambulance. In the meantime I had taken my wife to the Pretoria East Hospital where we were both admitted," said Botha. Tinkie died on the theatre table.
Botha suffered cuts all over his body, the deeper ones on his chest. His leg and stomach were stabbed and his colon ruptured.
He was transferred to Pretoria Academic after he was stabilised, and underwent an emergency laparotomy to stop the internal bleeding.
A spokesperson for the hospital said he was stable. He has been put on specific antibiotics. His sister said he was a diabetic and this made his condition complicated and it would take longer for him to heal.
Botha said he did not know what happened during the time he was in the bathroom.
He did not want to talk about the reasons for the robbery and why only two cellphones were stolen. "They didn't take the TVs. They did not have guns that I can recall," said Botha.
His three sisters said outside the hospital waiting room that they were angry at the government, which was not doing anything to stop crime.
Irene Bothma said: "The government should pay for the hospital bills of victims of crime. We are not sure how much the bill will come to at Pretoria East Hospital."
Botha's teenage daughter was rushed to hospital because "she was not coping and about to crack".
Du Toit said it was particularly sad that the boy would have a stigma attached to his birthday for the rest of his life.
She said her brother had now become "one of those people you hear about and wish it never happens to you".
This article was originally published on page 1 of Pretoria News on March 23, 2007