Saturday, 4 August 2007

Taking a life 'touches you'

03/08/2007 09:32 - (SA)

Sanri van Wyk , Beeld

Krugersdorp - A 38-year-old man on Thursday described how he was forced to shoot two suspects during a robbery at his home.

"It doesn't matter what the circumstances are. If you take somebody's life, it touches you," said a tearful André Venter, 38, from Rangeview extention 4.

The drama started shortly after three men apparently climbed onto a wall and over an electric fence surrounding the house.

Venter, his wife Sanet, 32, her mother, Sus Jonker, 63, father Willem, 67, and her uncle, Pieter Ehlers, 50, and the Venters' 17-month-old baby son live in a house separated by a door between the two units.

Mrs Venter said her mother, Sus, was woken up at 04:15 by a clicking sound, such as that of a window being opened.

"She saw an armed man climbing through the window. She managed to roll out of bed without being noticed and crawled out of the room," said Mrs Venter.

She heard her mother's scream and found her in the passage. She was hysterical.

"All she could utter was: 'Shoot! Shoot!' and 'There are people in the room!'. Her face turned blue and she fainted."

When a shot was fired in her parents' room, her husband André turned around and fetched his pistol.

She waited with her mother for a while and then went to check whether her father had been shot. "I ran into one of them and he hit me in the face with a firearm.

"Another one behind me pointed a gun (at me). My husband shot him."

Mr Venter said one of the robbers moments later pointed a gun at him.

"I shot him too," he said.

The robber staggered out of the house and died on the lawn.

The Venters called the police and their lawyer. "The police was helpful and efficient," said Mr Venter.

The family was considering appointing a guard to watch the house until "everybody has settled down".

"The electric fence gave us a sense of security."

Mr Venter said everything happened so fast that he didn't think, but "just did what he could".

Police spokesperson captain Joseph Magoai said charges of robbery and attempted burglary were being investigated.

As Venter acted in self-defence, he would not be charged or arrested at this stage.

"The docket will be referred to the director of public prosecutions to determine whether he will be prosecuted."


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