Saturday, 4 August 2007

Woman, 85, breaks down door

Judith Steenkamp, 85, recovers after being attacked in her home. (Alet Pretorius, Beeld)

03/08/2007 08:27 - (SA)

Virginia Keppler, Beeld

Pretoria - A frail, elderly Kameeldrift woman on Thursday broke down a door with a sewing machine, to get help for her wounded son.

Judith Steenkamp, 85, then walked more than 100m in the pitch-black darkness without her walking stick to the home of her other son Daan.

Speaking in a shaky voice on Thursday Judith said she doesn't know how she did it, but realised that if she didn't get help, her son Albertus, 44, would bleed to death.

She and Albertus were overpowered by four robbers at about 01:30 on Thursday morning in their bedrooms on the first floor of their home.

The robbers broke a window in the lounge to gain access to the house.

They apparently went to Albertus's room first and shot at him twice.

He's being treated in the ICU of Eugene Marais Hospital. One of the bullets penetrated his lungs.

"Four of them dragged me out of my bed with pistols, and hit me in the face," said Judith.

"Then they took me to Albertus's room. My child was lying next to his bed bleeding."

One of the robbers took the cord from her hairdryer and tried to tie up her hands.

"I pleaded that they shouldn't do that. When one of the others drew his attention, I hid the cord under the pillow."

They then threatened to kill her, to get her to open the safe.

"They took my Browning pistol, R500, all my jewellery, my shoes and my wedding ring.

"The strange thing is they threw my little crucifix pendant on the ground. I was 25 years old when my husband put the ring on my finger. It has two little diamonds," she said.

The robbers threw Steenkamp's ID, her driver's licence and her credit cards out of her handbag.

They fled with her handbag and clothes belonging to her and Albertus, after locking them in his bedroom.

Albertus told his mother to try and break the door with the sewing machine.

"I don't know how long I banged against the door with the sewing machine, but I managed to do it."

She got through the hole, stumbled down the stairs to the front door and then walked to her other son's house.

He immediately contacted the radio control room and ran to his mother's house.


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