13/02/2009 00:18 - (SA)
Willem Pelser, Beeld
Ermelo - An elderly Mpumalanga woman was stabbed 17 times by an incensed attacker after she'd tried to fight him off with pepper spray.
Yvonne Gubb, 65, who stays on a farm near Warburton, was stabbed in the back and stomach.
The attacker had gained entry to the farmhouse through the roof.
Gubb's daughter, 40-year-old Tracy Pemperton, who stays with her mom, said on Thursday she's almost sure there were more attackers outside. She said she'd heard noises, but thought nothing of it and went back to sleep.
Her mother's screams woke her.
She went to investigate and saw the attacker in her mom's bedroom.
Pemperton said she ran to the kitchen in a panic.
"I was hysterical. I ran from one corner to the other, not knowing what to do." Her cellphone was in her bedroom.
She says she eventually got a grip on herself and, armed with a bread knife, crept down the passage to fetch the phone.
There was no sound from her mother's room. The attacker had smashed out a window and escaped.
Gubb, who'd lost a lot of blood, had managed to contact her other daughter in Port Elizabeth before she'd passed out.
The woman, in turn, alerted police and phoned for an ambulance.
The ambulance was there within minutes; stabilised Gubb and rushed her to hospital.
On Thursday night, her condition was described as critical, but stable.
Claims that the police arrived more than an hour after being called and did nothing to track down the attacker, are being investigated, said spokesperson Superintendent Abie Khaobane.