Tuesday, 6 March 2007

'I asked Jesus to save us'

05/03/2007 10:28 - (SA)

Virginia Keppler, Beeld

Pretoria - A hearing-impaired boy was almost killed on a smallholding in Bashewa near Welbekend after he tried to save his grandmother from an armed robber at the weekend.

His father was also nearly killed when the robber's bullet missed his head by about 3cm.

Ruann Booysen, 10, from Makhado (Louis Trichardt) didn't hear Sandra Franklin, the sister of his grandmother, Joey Pavier, whispering to him to remain behind the cupboard where she had hidden him moments before.

Franklin was hiding behind a chair in her lounge when she saw a robber forcing Ruann to kneel and pointing a gun at him. She took her own gun from her make-up bag and tried to shoot back. "I thought the robber was going to shoot him. I started shooting, but not a single shot went off. I kept pulling the trigger."

He stormed at the robber

The drama started at 20:00 on Friday evening after Pavier's children, Dirk and Santie Booysen, and their daughter Zahnte, had stopped their car on the smallholding.

Frankin had just opened the kitchen door when she saw the robbers holding up the family at their car.

"I ran back into the house and shouted at my sister and husband to lie down."

She then grabbed her make-up bag containing her gun, shoved her sister's grandson Ruann behind a cupboard, and hid behind a couch in the lounge.

An armed robber stormed into the house and forced her husband to lie down on the floor, before stripping the kneeling Pavier of her jewellery. The robber also took cellphones, a laptop computer and keys.

Ruann, who was watching from behind the cupboard, saw the robber repeatedly beating his grandmother against the head with his gun and stormed at the robber.

"I wanted to help my grandmother, but then the robber wanted to shoot me. I asked Jesus not to let anybody die."

Meanwhile, three other suspects had robbed Ruann's parents and sister in their car. Zahnte said a robber pointed a gun at her and took her purse containing R250.

"He grabbed Mom's jewellery and her handbag from between her legs and threw Daddy to the ground. I jumped out of the car and ran into the house," she said.

Inside the house, Franklin's son, Alexander, 23, who was in his bedroom on the second floor, was seen by a robber as he walked down the stairs. He ran back upstairs. That apparently unnerved the robbers, who soon afterwards fled.

While they were running away, one of the robbers fired at Ruann's father, but missed.

Ruann had to see a doctor in Pretoria at the weekend.


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