February 11 2009 at 06:46AM
By Jacques Breytenbach
All 67-year-old Reinier Boshoff wanted was a peaceful night's sleep. In part, this may be why he left the alarm in his home in Kameeldrift off on Monday night when he and his wife Daphne went to bed.
The previous two evenings the couple had been disturbed by the alarm going off.
But, in the early hours of Tuesday, three intruders, one of them armed, forced their way into the property and surprised the couple in bed.
'It is an area where crime is out of control'
Boshoff was killed by a single shot to the head when he woke up and challenged the men. His wife, Daphne, 60, was tied up and gagged while the men ransacked the house.
The men had asked for the key to the safe and she had told them it was not in the house.
Daphne remained tied to the bed for four hours while her husband lay dead on the floor next to her before she managed to free herself at about 6am on Tuesday.
She rushed out of the house, situated on a plot in Reier Road, and screamed to a neighbour for help.
In November last year, residents called on the National Intelligence Agency to investigate a spate of violent crimes in the Kameeldrift-Cullinan area. The Kameeldrift Community Policing Forum (CPF) said residents had "marched and shouted" about crime, but it had amounted to nothing.
'He never did anything to hurt them'
Earlier in the month, farmers from the area demonstrated after a home in the area was attacked by what was believed to be one of a number of armed gangs terrorising the neighbourhood. Prominent rose grower, Ludwig Taschner, fell victim to crime in the area, as did Keyaka Game Lodge ranger, Andre Reyneke, and his eight-year-old-son, farm owners, Sakkie Cloete and Allan Johnson and his wife Anita.
The Maree family fought off an attack earlier in the year and the Janse van Rensburgs were also attacked.
According to the Boshoff's son, Marius, 24, criminals had been harassing his parents for months.
"They pelted the house and, on Christmas Day, broke in."
He believes the men deliberately set off the alarm a few times before the attack so as to disturb his father's sleep. He said his brother had warned their father not to leave the alarm off, but he obviously wanted a decent night's sleep.
A tearful Marius, who lives in Centurion with his brother Werner, 25, said his parents' bedroom was a mess after the attack. "Werner visited them often, especially over the weekends. He would sleep there on Saturdays and leave on Sunday.
"One night Werner and his girlfriend visited our parents. On that night rocks were thrown at the house and his girlfriend was left traumatised as a result.
"We have to create awareness about the crime problem in this area. We have to start doing something about it. Crime does not only affect people living in Kameeldrift. But it is an area where crime is out of control," Marius said.
Werner said he did not know what to say. "They (the attackers) never gave my father a chance. He never did anything to hurt them," he said.
DA councillor, Piet van der Watt, said what happened to the Boshoffs was totally unacceptable.
"The community has already poured in millions of rands of their own money to fight crime in Kameeldrift.
"As taxpayers, we pay the police's salaries. We have to start demanding from them that they do something about the unacceptable high levels of crime in the area," he said.
Louise van Vuuren, owner of the Knikkie Knakkie Nursery School where Daphne supervised a class of three-year-olds, said the attack was a shock to all the staff.
"The news of Reinier's death came as a big shock. All the staff had a lot of love for Reinier. He was a warm and loving person," she said.
A spokesperson at Kameeldrift police station, Constable Portia Maleka, said a case of house robbery and murder had been opened.
"We are still in the process of establishing whether the suspects who are on the run can be connected to any other crimes in the area," she said.
This article was originally published on page 1 of Pretoria News on February 11, 2009