Thursday, 19 February 2009

3 women survive horror attack

19/02/2009 09:07 - (SA)

Virginia Keppler, Beeld

Bronkhorstspruit - Three women miraculously survived after they were abducted, one was shot in the head and the second in the mouth, and the third was involved in a car accident with the kidnappers.

Police spokesperson Captain Simon Petrus Mashiloane said Anna Jacoba Myburghs's gardener arrived at her home in Bronkhorstspruit, east of Pretoria on Wednesday morning with an accomplice.

They overpowered her and her domestic worker, Paulina Moyana, and demanded money. Anna's daughter-in-law Edri Myburgh, 26, then arrived and was also overpowered.

"Then the attackers forced the women into Myburgh jnr's car and drove about 53 km with them to Ogies.

"There they used Myburg snr's bank card to draw money at an ATM."

The robbers then drove to Witbank, where they wanted to cash one of Anna's cheques, but abandoned the plan because they feared she would raise the alarm once inside the bank, Mashiloane said.

The robbers then drove along Balmoral Road in the direction of Bronkhorstspruit. At the Spitskop/Sarita junction they turned off and drove along the gravel road for about 10km.

Stabbed, shot

Anna and Edri were presumably taken from the car under a blue gum tree. Anna was stabbed in the leg and shot in the head, while her daughter-in-law was shot in the mouth.

Mashiloane said the robbers then drove back with Moyana still in the car. They were arguing about what to do with her when they were involved in an accident about 3km from the blue gum tree.

Edri walked 18km along the roads in the area before she was picked up by a farmer. She was barefoot and only clad in her underwear, a police spokesperson said.

In the meantime two men had come upon the scene of the accident and offered assistance. When Moyana shouted out that the drivers were criminals, the attackers ran away.

The attackers, aged 23 and 28 respectively, were arrested in the vicinity shortly afterwards.

Praying for help

"It was the gardener," said Anna, as she was trying to stem the blood from her bullet wound.

About four hours after the kidnapping, Beeld came upon her and Douwe Steyn, the Good Samaritan who had found her, on the side of a gravel road.

"They shot me in the head."

"I crawled to the road on my knees. All the time I was praying to God to help me. My domestic worker is still in the car." she said. Steyn took her to hospital.

Some distance further Beeld found the police and a crying Moyana, 26, next to the car wreck.

About 3km from there Beeld found a blue gum tree. Blood had stained the ground at its base. On one of the two bloody patches lay a necklace and a pair of spectacles.

Anna's husband, Hans, 55, said he received a call just before 09:00 from his son Henk, 30, saying something was amiss at home.

Henk had found blood in the house and acted immediately. Hans only heard at 15:00 that his wife was alive and in hospital.

Emergency surgery

The Myburgh women were later transferred to the Pretoria East Hospital, where Edri underwent emergency surgery to remove the bullet lodged in the back of her neck.

Anna's jaw was smashed and the bullet is still lodged between her jawbones, a family member said on Wednesday evening. The swelling first has to go down before anything could be done about it.

The suspects will appear in court soon on charges of robbery, kidnapping and attempted murder.

- Beeld


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