Friday, 8 September 2006

Man stabbed while defending sister from trio

September 08 2006 at 06:12AM

By Barry Bateman

The cries of his younger sister fighting off three rapists left a young Brooklyn man no choice but to protect her. All he could think of was saving his sibling - and for his selfless act he was stabbed in the chest.

The scene unfolded late on Wednesday night when the Reyburn family fell victim to ruthless criminals who attacked them in their home.

They were surprised by three men barging in. The parents, son, 24, and daughter, 22, were tied up and bundled into a bathroom while the men ransacked the house. The family members were also beaten and taunted by their attackers.

'There is too much crime in the area'

Their ordeal turned into a nightmare when the assailants grabbed the daughter and dragged her to another room. The family was too traumatised to speak about the incident, but the father did recount some of the tale.

He said a rope was tied around his neck, which was then tied to a towel rail in the bathroom. "My son said he was tied quite loosely and when we heard them starting to rape my daughter he exploded.

"He loosened the rope, grabbed a pole and went after them. He hit them but a gunshot went off.

"He wasn't hit but stabbed with something, either a knife or a pair of scissors.

"We are very traumatised, they were here for about an hour and a half, beating and tormenting us," said the shaken man, who did not want the family identified by their first names.

'We have to take control'

Little Company of Mary nursing manager Glynis Herselman said the young man was stabbed in the right side of his chest. "He is conscious and stable but will remain in ICU for a number of days," she said.

The suspects made off with valuables, including laptops and jewellery.

Two weeks ago Zelda Saaiman was gunned down outside her home in Brooklyn in what police believe was a botched hijacking. That murder prompted Reverend Jan Steyn, supported by the Saaiman family and the congregation, to write a letter to President Thabo Mbeki urging him to take a stand against crime.

Police spokesperson Brenda Kgafela confirmed the attack on the Reyburns. She said three suspects scaled the wall at 10pm on Wednesday night. "The suspects forced open the kitchen door and walked in on a family of four.

"One of the suspects was armed and the family members were tied up at gunpoint. The culprits took personal belongings and jewellery."

Kgafela said when they finished ransacking the house, the men grabbed the young woman. "The son managed to untie himself and went after them but was injured in the chest.

"He was taken to hospital in stable condition," she said.

Kgafela said the suspects escaped. It was unclear how they made their getaway.

Brooklyn Community Policing Forum chairman Jo-Anne Byng said she was shocked by the incident. "There is too much crime in the area. We had a meeting last night and decided to divide the community into blocks and to get our own security company to patrol those areas.

"We have a workshop planned where a group of eight will look at the logistics of it. The next step would be to approach homeowners' associations to get them involved. "We have to take control," she said.

This article was originally published on page 4 of Pretoria News on September 08, 2006


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