05/11/2007 23:53 - (SA)
Virginia Keppler, Beeld
Pretoria - An Egoli actor's younger brother got stuck in with a garden chair, his fists and his feet when two armed robbers tried to overwhelm him and his family at their home in Moreleta Park, Pretoria.
Tertius van Zyl, 40, his wife, Delaine, 36 and their children Nicole, three, and Gene, one, were braaing last Thursday when the robbers struck.
Van Zyl is the brother of Chris Linford, better known as Rex in Egoli.
Van Zyl said: "I was on the way to call the domestic worker in her room, when I saw two men approaching. One told me to stand still and shut up.
"I grabbed a garden chair, threw him off balance with it, and ran into the house."
Threatened to shoot
Van Zyl tried to close the security gates, but the second robber's hand was already in the door.
"I pulled the door open and kicked him out.
"The first one whipped out his pistol and tried to push it to my head, but I knocked his hand out of the way and punched him in the face."
Van Zyl locked the door and called to his wife to grab the children and press the panic buttons.
"She got such a fright that she ran into the garden."
"I helped her get into the house and locked the front sliding door where we had been braaing. Then, I saw I'd left the key in the security gate and that the one robber was trying to unlock it.
"He was shouting: 'I'm going to shoot you! I'm going to shoot you!' I started kicking wildly at his hand to get it away from the key."
Van Zyl said the robber backed off for a second.
"I grabbed the key and threw it inside the house.
"My wife, who was sitting under the table with Nicole, phoned the police.
"Gene was in her room and both children were crying. The robbers fled shortly afterwards."
'Government must contain crime'
Van Zyl said officers from Garsfontein police station and the family's security company arrived within five minutes.
Linford was still upset on Monday about what had happened to his family.
"It's been very traumatic for us. The solution lies with the government, which must contain crime and create jobs.
"If there's work for everyone, people won't be so desperate that they steal and murder.
"There's no more respect for human lives. I could have lost my brother," he said.