06/12/2007 07:54 - (SA)
Annelene Moses, Beeld
Johannesburg - An elderly couple from Westdene in Johannesburg were held up by armed men for two hours, while they were assaulted and robbed on Monday.
Gerrie Gerber, 82, was stabbed in the leg with a pair of scissors. He and his wife Rose, 76, were also repeatedly struck in the face and thrown against the furniture in their house on Monday night.
The robbers, armed with a knife and a screwdriver, ripped open cupboards in search of valuables.
"Every time I asked them something, they hit me.
Married for 52 years
They took all my jewellery, of tremendous sentimental value. My wedding ring, my watch, jewellery that I inherited from my mother and my cellphone," Rose said. The couple have been married for 52 years.
"They kept asking: 'Where's the laptop? I said we're old, we don't have a laptop'!"
The nightmare began when Rose suddenly woke up at about 23:00 and realised the light was burning.
"The next moment two men were charging at us."
"I shouted at my husband and we tried to push the door closed, but they were too fast."
Rose asked them what they wanted and told them to go. The men spotted a safe in the cupboard and demanded the key.
It was handed over to them and they stole Gerrie's pistol as well as about R3 000 savings from the safe.
"If I can say something nice about them: they turned my handbag upside-down and took all the money in it, but they left me all my cards for the bank, the medical aid, driving licence and my ID document," Rose said.
The thugs broke into the house through a small window in an adjoining bedroom.
Rose first had to unlock a door for the robbers before they tied them up. The bleeding couple were tied to their bed, and Gerrie told his wife they should pray.
To the "fluently-English speaking robbers" he said in Afrikaans "you cannot harm us; we belong to the Lord".
When the robbers had left they managed to wriggle free.
In the bedside drawer Rose found her mom's old netball whistle.
They went to the bedroom window and "kicked up a racket."
Tahnia Hook, a neighbour, heard the whistle and phoned their friend Pieter Cilliers, producer of Kwêla on kykNET.
He lives just one house away from the Gerbers, and he phoned Meldene's armed response unit.