11/06/2008 07:49 - (SA)
Gloria Edwards, Beeld
Boksburg - Two gardeners who worked for a 71-year-old man in a wheelchair assaulted, robbed and left him for dead after ripping out his oxygen tube at his home in northern Boksburg on the East Rand.
Jan Lategan, who has emphysema and permanently needs oxygen, was attacked in his wheelchair while he was fetching gardening equipment from his garage for the two men to use.
Inspector Yolanda Meissenheimer said the two had assaulted Lategan so badly that he had wounds to his face and his body was black and blue all over.
She said she had had to swallow her tears when Lategan told her how his attackers severely injured him.
"We didn't think he was going to survive."
Left him for dead
Lategan apparently lost consciousness and woke up on the bathroom floor to find that his hands and feet had been bound with cables.
"The attackers ripped out his oxygen tube and left him for dead."
Various pieces of electronic equipment, jewellery, clothes and two firearms were stolen from the house.
The gardeners apparently fled in a khaki-coloured Toyota bakkie.
Hours later, Lategan managed to free himself and phoned his fiancée Mari de Beer.
De Beer was furious: "If I find them on the street, I'll just drive over them," she said.