Saturday, 21 February 2009

'Death penalty too good for thugs'

February 20 2009 at 09:05AM

"I want to look them in the eyes. I want them to tell me why."

This is the wish of Pretoria father and husband, Henk Myburgh, whose wife, Edri, 26, and mother, Anna Myburgh, 55, miraculously survived hours of torture and gunshot wounds to their heads.

Anna who still had a bullet lodged in her head on Thursday, was in a serious, but stable, condition in hospital and was being kept sedated, while Edri was in a critical condition after a bullet shattered several bones in her face. Her jaw had been shot away.

The two were attacked and tortured in their Bronkhorstspruit home with a hot iron and knives before they were taken to a deserted farm road outside the town and shot on Wednesday morning.

The two were apparently burnt multiple times across their bodies. The attack is believed to have occurred after the family accused the gardener of theft earlier in the week.

The alleged attackers, the gardener and his friend, were caught after they crashed the family's car as they fled the scene from where the unconscious women had been shot and left for dead.

Edri Myburgh - who has a nine-month-old son, Hein, and two daughters Simone, 2, and Joanet, 6, - was rushed to hospital after she regained consciousness and managed to crawl naked for 12km through thick bushes and farm fields to a farmhouse for help. It is believed that she took nearly four hours to reach the farmhouse.

Anna Myburgh was taken to hospital after she managed to crawl to the side of a road and flag down a passing motorist.

The domestic worker, Paulina Zithobeni, was taken to a local hospital where she is in a serious, but stable condition after she was injured in the crash when she was forced to drive with the gunmen.

Describing his pain, anger and hatred towards the attackers, who are to appear in court on Monday, Myburgh said the death penalty was too good for them. "The death penalty is for criminals. These men do not deserve the death penalty. They deserve life and more," he said.

Myburgh said the ordeal felt like a nightmare. "I try to believe that this has not happened and sometimes it feels like it, but then I realise it has. Hell has opened up and released this brutality on us," he said.

He said one of his wishes was to face the men in court. "I want to see them. I want to know why they did this. I want to know what they were thinking when they did this. I want them to look me in the eyes and tell me," he said.

"My wife is not doing well. Her jaw has been shot away.

"She has to have her teeth, her beautiful teeth removed," he said, adding that a bullet was lodged behind her ear.

Myburgh added that doctors were going to do a number of tests to determine whether his wife had been sexually assaulted.

Captain Simon Mashiloane said the suspects are facing two charges of attempted murder, possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition and vehicle theft, the gardener was also being charged with breaking into a building at the family's home on Sunday.

This article was originally published on page 3 of Pretoria News on February 20, 2009


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