June 14 2010 at 09:33AM
By Graeme Hosken
A Pretoria man was killed and two friends were seriously injured when a gang of armed robbers attacked them while they were enjoying a braai on a smallholding east of the city.
Gerhard van Jaarsveld was visiting friends Elrene Jones and her boyfriend Rudolph Terblanche at their home in Libertas Street, Equestria, on Friday night when they were attacked.
The gunmen gained access to the property by cutting a hole in a perimeter fence. They overpowered the three and dragged them into the house where they opened fire as the terrified friends begged and fought for their lives.
Van Jaarsveld was shot in the head and died. Terblanche was shot in the neck and Jones was shot in the shoulder and the ankle. They are both in the Wilgers Hospital.
One of the robbers was apparently also shot.
The attack took place less than a kilometre from where German pensioner Ute Maria Wiing, 70, was found murdered in her Libertas Street home at the luxury Silver Mists security estate three weeks ago.
Seven people, including a security guard, have been arrested in connection with Wiing's murder.
Shocked tenants said yesterday the three had pleaded for their lives and for the gunmen to take whatever they wanted.
"They simply would not listen. They shot them at point-blank range. They thought nothing about killing them," said a tenant, Riaan Talma.
Talma, who was at a friend's house nearby at the time of the attack, said a struggle had broken out.
"I cannot understand it. I don't know why they would do this. From what I have heard, the three were pleading and begging with their attackers not to kill them.
"They offered them everything in the house, but they would not listen. They just shot them and then took what they wanted," he said.
Talma said it appeared as though the robbers had escaped with two cellphones and some household electrical appliances.
Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Ben Strydom confirmed the attack and said the gunmen had escaped with a TV, computers, cellphones and a hi-fi system.
He said it was not known why the gunmen had opened fire on their victims, who, he said, were having a braai at the time.
"Police on the scene established that one of the gunmen was wounded after they found a blood trail which led into an open field opposite the house.
"Unfortunately, police were unable to find the suspects and they escaped," he said.
Strydom said the gunmen had forced their way on to the property after they cut a hole in the perimeter fence.
Wilgers Hospital spokesperson Ineke Jonker said both Jones and Terblanche were in a stable condition.
"Jones underwent surgery on Saturday night to remove the bullet from her leg, while Terblanche is recovering in the high care unit.
Anyone with information on the identity or whereabouts of the killers can phone Captain Samuel Rikhotso of the Mamelodi Trio Task Team at 082 465 7354.
This article was originally published on page 4 of Pretoria News on June 14, 2010