08/03/2007 11:26 - (SA)
Elsje Neethling, Die Volksblad
Bloemfontein - Professor Leo Barnard, former head of the University of the Free State's history department, and his family were tortured and robbed by three armed men after his daughter's stork party in Secunda.
Barnard, who officially resigned last year, but was still involved with the university, and his wife attended their daughter Arina's stork party. Arina is seven months pregnant.
"After the party three armed robbers walked into the house and held pistols to the heads of my wife Renaldine, our son-in-law, Tobie Visser, and Arina," he said.
"They tied us up on the floor and took electrical appliances worth thousands of rand, my wife and daughter's jewellery, bags and my and Tobie's Mercedes-Benz vehicles."
According to Barnard the robbers were very rough towards them. "They hurt us badly. I was kicked and beaten on my back and arms. It was extremely traumatic."
Barnard said the robbers fled two hours later in the Mercedes vehicles. He then called the police.
"The Secunda police were fantastic. They were at the scene within moments and sent ambulances and counsellors."
Renaldine Barnard said it was a terrible experience and that it would take a long time for them to work through it.
The robbers were later apprehended and the cars were found in a badly damaged condition.
"It was the most traumatic, worst experience of my life. We are okay now, but I don't wish such an experience on my worst enemies," said Barnard from Secunda.