19/03/2007 23:16 - (SA)
Christel Raubenheimer, Beeld
Pretoria - A 69-year-old 6th-Dan judo instructor from Pretoria literally put his life on the line on Monday when he fought five robbers who had threatened to rape his wife to death.
The robbers told Hennie Pretorius that he was a "white boer" and that they were going to shoot him.
Pretorius was leaving his home in Queenswood for the shops about midday when a man asked him to put some water in his plastic bottle.
When Pretorius went to fill the bottle with water, another robber who was hiding in the bushes rushed at him. He was struck on the head with a firearm.
The judo instructor threw one of the men in a judo move, but another two joined in and hit him with their firearms.
There were five robbers altogether.
Heard muffled shouts
Pretorius was carrying his house keys and a panic button around his neck, but the men ripped it off before he could press the button.
Pretorius shouted at his wife, Lorraine, who was inside the house, and the robbers pulled a plastic bag over his head and tried to choke him.
His wife heard his muffled shouts and went to the security door to see what was going on.
One of the robbers then tried to open the door with Pretorius's key.
Lorraine hit a panic button in the house and the robbers fled with the house and car keys, and about R650 cash that was in Pretorius's wallet.
Pretorius said: "I shouted, 'You can kill me, but you're not going to get near my wife.'
"They can shoot me. I'm 69 years old and I've had a good innings. They told me straight: 'We are going to rape your wife until she is dead.' "
"People say you should carry your revolver on you, but if I had it on me, they would have shot me with my own firearm. They totally overwhelm you."
Pretorius said he got in a few good shots and he suspected that two of the robbers were as sore as he was on Monday night.
'Judo helped me to focus'
He was planning to give his judo classes as usual that evening.
"I still have two classes. I'll just have a shave and I'm not going to mention it.
"If I didn't do judo, I would have folded. It helped me to focus," said Pretorius.