Tuesday, 29 July 2008

'Click' but no shot

29/07/2008 09:36 - (SA)

Buks Viljoen, Beeld

Barberton - "Click."

That was all Hans Coetzee, 53, heard as a man stood over him, pointed a 9mm pistol at him, and pulled the trigger.

The attacker had already shot him three times, but this time the gun did not go off.

Minutes later Coetzee's 57-year-old brother Frik, a former Phalaborwa police officer, died after being shot twice in the chest with the same pistol.

"The Lord is on my side," said Coetzee from his bed in Barberton Medi-Clinic. He also survived a serious motorcycle accident two weeks ago.

The two brothers worked on a vegetable farm in Barberton, which belongs to Blikkies Blignaut.

Frik had lived in the local caravan park since January, when he started working on the farm as delivery manager.

"We had a braai at my house every Sunday," said Hans, who has been working as the farm manger for the past 18 months.


The two brothers went to the fields to pick vegetables at about 10:00 on Sunday morning. When they returned, they saw there had been a break-in at the house.

"When I walked to the guest bathroom, I found two masked men hiding in the walk-in linen cupboard," Hans said.

One of the men was armed with a 12-gauge shotgun, presumably the same gun that was stolen from Hans's house in a robbery three weeks ago.

"When he lifted the gun, I smacked away the barrel. A shot went off and went into the bathroom ceiling."

Hans and the other man, who had a pistol, began fighting. The pistol was fired several times during their struggle.

Hans was shot three times in his side.

Brother came to help him

"I shouted to Frik to flee but he ran down the passage to come and help me."

The man fired two shots with the pistol and the bullets hit Frik in the chest.

"He died instantly. He just lay on his back in the doorway," Hans said, still in shock.

The attackers fled without stealing anything.


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