August 21 2009 at 05:07AM
"I was not going to let that man kill my husband. I got angry and I fought back."
These were the defiant words of Pretoria pensioner Anna-Marie Saaiman, 78, who although bleeding heavily after her attacker bit off the tip of her ring finger to try and get to her wedding ring, beat off the man trying "to kill" her husband, Koert, 80, at their smallholding in Kromdraai, north of Pretoria on Thursday.
The Saaimans had just returned from Pretoria where they had done their weekly shopping, when they were attacked at their modest home.
As Koert unloaded the shopping and Anna-Marie opened up the kitchen door, their attacker, who they had seen walking past their home as they left for the shops earlier in the day, attacked them.
'I thought it was over but he came back at us again'
Hitting Saaiman over the head before holding her around the neck and throttling her, the man told her to keep quiet.
Instead a defiant Saaiman screamed to her husband for help as she wrestled with her attacker who beat her over the head with a spanner before he grabbed a knobkerrie and proceeded to hit her.
As her husband ran inside to help, the man turned on him kicking him to the ground before he hit him repeatedly with the knobkerrie, eventually breaking it over his arm.
It was at that point that Saaiman launched herself at her husband's assailant, hitting him on the back and head with a sjambok before grabbing a piece of the broken knobkerrie and beating the attacker with it.
As she did so the man turned on her grabbing her hand biting the tip of her ring finger off in an attempt to get to her wedding ring.
'He was mad. He wanted to get to us. You could see that he wanted to kill us'
Saaiman, who often play wrestles with her grandson when he comes to visit, managed to kick her attacker "where it hurts" causing him to let go of her as he fell to the ground.
Her husband, seizing the opportunity, managed to push him out of their home.
"I thought it was over but he came back at us again. As my husband held the door shut the man broke a window and pulled off the burglar bars.
"He was mad. He wanted to get to us. You could see that he wanted to kill us," she said.
Saaiman and her husband eventually managed to scare off the man when he heard them phoning the police and friends for help.
Bleeding profusely Saaiman was rushed to Eugene Marais Hospital by her son-in-law where doctors examined her injuries before sending her home.
Saaiman said if it had not been for the wrestling lessons from her grandson they might have been killed.
"He taught me what I needed today to keep us alive. When the man grabbed me around the neck I knew what to do."
Police spokesman Inspector Llifi Ramatlo said the attacker had fled empty-handed and that no arrest had been made.
He said a case of housebreaking was being investigated.
This article was originally published on page 1 of Pretoria News on August 21, 2009