14/06/2007 23:05 - (SA)
Loraine Kalp, Die Volksblad
Bloemfontein - A farmer believes he was saved by his bite, after sinking his teeth into the hands of an attacker so hard that blood "spurted" out.
Naas Coetsee, 66, of the farm Welgeplaas in Burgersdorp, North Eastern Cape, is in a Bloemfontein hospital with seven stab-wounds in his right hand and four in his sides.
He says he fought off his attackers by keeping his back to the wall and calling for help as loudly as possible.
This response was "honed" by years of training when he was a member of the commando's reactionary task force and later a police reservist.
The police confirmed that two men attacked Coetsee at his garage on Wednesday, after he had dropped off his wife Elize, 63, at their farmhouse.
They had just returned from town.
Coetsee told Volksblad that his wife felt "uneasy" when they turned off to the farm after crossing over the railway line.
Their Jack Russell was not waiting for them outside the house, with his usual barking.
After dropping his wife off, he drove his bakkie to the garage.
'I realised I had to do something'
"As I opened the door they pounced on me and pulled a sack over my head. I just thought, I must get my back to the wall. Stabbing and kicks were starting to rain down on me. I realised I had to do something."
He began calling for help as loudly as possible.
"I realised that my wife was in the house and the doors were open. I just wanted to get to her."
The robbers tried to contain him, but he struggled as much as he could.
"I was stabbed in my side and I felt myself go lame. I just kept struggling to stay on my feet."
Coetsee says his workers must have heard his cries for help and come closer.
"The one man brought a knife up to my throat. His hand went to my mouth and I bit him with a vengeance. I felt his blood spurting out," Coetsee said.
"I realised that my bite was having an effect. It saved my life."
The suspects fled when his workers came closer. Coetsee then staggered home for help.
Police spokesperson Ursula Roelofse said Coetsee had some bad bruises, also in his mouth, that would have to be treated.
He could also have been exposed to HIV. "The doctor said Naas should have anti-retroviral treatment within 48 hours," Elize said.
The hospitals have arranged trauma counselling for the Coetsees and their farm workers.
"My workers and I have a good relationship. They came to protect me. We know what we mean to each other," Coetsee said.
"The suspects took nothing. Nobody has been arrested. We are following up on all leads," Roleofse said.