24/06/2008 08:10 - (SA)
Alta Snyman, Beeld
Rustenburg - A businessman shot an alleged robber dead and seriously wounded another when he caught them red-handed in his house after they had overpowered and tied up his housekeeper and daughters.
Police spokesperson Elsabe Augoustides said charges of murder and attempted murder against the businessman were being investigated as well as charges of attempted murder and armed robbery against the two attackers.
Neels Bouwer, 43, of Weaver Avenue, Safari Gardens, went home at about 10:00 on Monday to see if repair work had been done at a neighbour's house after it had been broken into on Sunday.
The neighbours were on holiday in Namibia.
"I spoke to Jac Meyer, another neighbour, and went home quickly to say hello to my children. I unlocked the front door and called the children, but it was dead quiet.
I'm very strict that they're not allowed to play outside when my wife and I aren't at home.
Shoved the door open
"When I looked down the passage on my right, I saw a stranger. I ran to my bakkie and fetched my gun. My first thought was my children."
Back in the house, he saw a man dash into one of the children's bedrooms and try to push the door shut.
Bouwer shoved the door open. In the struggle, a few shots were fired and one man was wounded.
One man stormed out of another bedroom and down the passage.
Bouwer caught him at the kitchen, but was hit in the face. A shot was fired and the attacker was wounded.
A third man attacked Bouwer from behind with a knife.
He was stabbed five times in the neck and head and had to receive about 30 stitches. He was discharged from the hospital after being treated.
An attacker died at the back door of the house.
Jac Meyer, the neighbour to whom Bouwer had been talking, heard the shots and his wife, Annette, called the security company and the police.
The wounded attacker and his accomplice fled, but the police's dog unit found the wounded man lying in the street just a few blocks from Bouwer's house.
A colleague of Bouwer's, Mike de Kock, was one of the first people to arrive at the house.
He said Bouwer's daughters, one of whom was six years old and the other nine, were tied up with housekeeper Virginia Tlhamage, 48. Their mouths had also been taped shut.
Tears of gratitude
Tlhamage managed to wriggle free and was busy untying the children when De Kock arrived.
The robbers had overwhelmed Tlhamage when she wanted to unlock the backdoor and go inside after hanging up the washing.
De Kock said: "When Neels got home after he was discharged, he thanked Virginia with tears in his eyes that his children were safe."
De Kock and Meyer praised the police and the security company for their lightning-quick responses.