Saturday, 16 December 2006

'Shut the kids up, or we shoot'

11/12/2006 23:01 - (SA)

Virginia Keppler, Beeld

Pretoria - It was going to be a special Friday evening, with dinner at a restaurant for the grandchildren.

But four robbers were waiting in the driveway for the family from Rooihuiskraal, near Pretoria.

Six-year-old Amor Armstrong pleaded with the robber who held a gun to her head: "Please don't shoot me."

Her four-year-old sister Bernice, who had started crying, was kicked in the back by another man, and went "sailing over the ground".

The sisters, their mother Sarie Armstrong and their grandparents Willem and Rina de Vos, were on their way out when the robbers struck.

Sarie's husband, Barney, was at work.

Kicked and beaten

The gang repeatedly kicked and beat De Vos and picked up his wife by her hair. She and Sarie were groped while the robbers took their jewellery.

"I walked out of my daughter's house with my firearm in my hand, when I saw the two men in front of me. The one told me to put it down."

De Vos said after he had put down his firearm, he noticed another two men behind him.

Bernice started crying and the robber kicked her, but Sarie threw her handbag at him.

The gang ordered them to lie down, while they took their jewellery, cellphones and R2 400 in cash.

Children threatened

Armstrong said the robbers warned her to keep the children quiet, or they would be shot.

"I put my hands over their eyes, and pressed their heads under my arms."

Amor kept asking her mother why the "ooms want to hurt us".

De Vos said the robbers spoke fluent Afrikaans.

"They were very aggressive and one kept threatening to shoot me, while the other said 'no'."

After half an hour, the robbers dragged the family into the garage, switched the lights off and closed the door.

They fled in De Vos's Uno.

Armstrong said the police were on the scene within five minutes.

"Inspectors Ilse Jones and her team were wonderful and we received counselling the same evening."


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