Tuesday, 22 August 2006

'Robbers taunted me with threats of death'

Graeme Hosken

August 22 2006 at 05:36AM

"Who shall I kill first? Your daughter, your husband or you?"

These were some of the chilling words Pretoria mother Lulu Jansen van Rensburg, 33, heard during a three-hour ordeal she endured when four gunmen attacked her, her husband Greg and their two-month-old daughter Katelyn in their luxury security complex near Rooihuiskraal on Monday.

After the three-hour ordeal Lulu was forced to drive her attackers' escape vehicle with her daughter inside.

Quick thinking saw her crash the vehicle nearby and make a dash for safety with her daughter in her arms.

'I did not know what he was going to do'

Grabbing Katelyn from her baby chair where one of the gunmen was holding a gun to her head, she ran screaming towards the security guards, leaving her attackers to make off in her car.

Jansen van Rensburg on Monday said they had been asleep early on Monday morning when she heard Katelyn crying.

Opening her bedroom door, she was confronted by two men pointing guns at her head. They pushed her back into the room and then woke Greg, tying up his hands and feet before gagging him with a tie.

Pleading to be allowed to get her daughter, Jansen van Rensburg was dragged to Katelyn's bedroom before the two were brought back to the main bedroom.

There the family members were forced to sit for three hours as the gunmen ransacked their home, stealing all their clothes, baby food and electrical appliances.

'I kept pleading with him to let us go'

While sitting on the bed one of the attackers, who was keeping watch over the family, repeatedly loaded and unloaded his weapon while asking Jansen van Rensburg whether he should shoot her husband, daughter or herself first.

"I was petrified. I did not know what he was going to do. He kept threatening to kill us and asking me who I wanted to die first.

"I kept pleading with him to let us go, but the more I did the faster he played with the bullets," she said, adding that at one stage the man placed three bullets on the bed and asked her which one he should use to kill Katelyn.

Jansen van Rensburg said she became hysterical when one of the men grabbed her and forced her to take Katelyn to the car.

"I kept on begging him to let me leave Katelyn with Greg, but he said no and that he would kill her if I did not bring her with me," she said.

Forcing Jansen van Rensburg into the driver's seat, the attackers climbed into the car and made her drive through two security checkpoints before driving out of the complex.

Jansen van Rensburg said she could see one of the men holding a gun to Katelyn's head and knew she had to do something.

"I thought that they were going to kill us and decided as we drove through the security checkpoints that I would smash the car."

Driving at high speed, Jansen van Rensburg crashed on to a pavement and leapt from the car, hitting one of the gunmen before grabbing Katelyn and running for help.

"I kept on running and running and praying to God that Katelyn would not get shot," she said.

Police spokesperson Inspector Anton Breedt confirmed the attack, saying that the four men had escaped with the Jansen Van Rensburgs' car.

He said a case of armed robbery and abduction was being investigated.

This article was originally published on page 3 of Pretoria News on August 22, 2006


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