Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Top SA film producer shot

26/09/2007 07:26 - (SA)

Sanri van Wyk, Die Burger

Johannesburg - One of the leading lights in South Africa's film industry reassured his wife that he loved her, moments after being shot by a robber at their home in Bryanston on Sunday night.

Film producer Johan Heyns, 58, is still in ICU at Life Fourways Hospital after being shot in the pelvis, but he walked again for the first time on Tuesday, said his wife Sue.

Heyns, who worked at Heyns films for many years with his father Thys among others, currently runs Fevertree Productions. He produced three series of the well-known television drama The Game with Gavin Hood in the main role; the movie Tough Luck with Frank Opperman and Tolla van der Merwe, and the Artes-winning television series Homeland on SABC3.

Sue Heyns said she was watching television in the TV room at about 19:50 on Sunday night, while her husband was planning an early night and had gone to brush his teeth.

"He was already brushing his teeth when he saw a man in a red shirt with him in the bathroom," she said.

Shot, groan, shot

She heard a shot being fired, then a groan and then another shot. Although two shots were fired, Heyns was only hit once.

"While I saw my husband's head sticking out of the door on the floor of the bathroom, a man came running at me with a firearm."

She said she could see out of the corner of her eye that there was a second man.

The man who had rushed at her then shoved her and asked repeatedly where the safe was.

"I told him the safe was open and it was empty, but he kept insisting."

Sue said the men fled through the outside door that leads to the swimming pool moments later with money from her purse, her laptop and two cellphones.

Meanwhile her husband, who had been hit in the left side of the pelvis, crawled to the bedroom. The bullet went through his right buttock, causing damage to his bladder.

She said she didn't know how the men gained entry to the house, but tenants on the property saw what was happening through their window and pushed the panic button in their flat.

When the robbers had left Johan told her: "Suzietjie, I love you."

"I thought he was saying goodbye."

Shortly afterwards their house was crawling with police officials and security guards.

"I'm handling it," said Sue, who was not injured in the incident.

"They're waiting for the urologist to decide if her husband needs an operation," she said.

Crime affecting film industry

Paul Raleigh, a co-producer of the Oscar winning movie Tsotsi, who is a friend of the Heyns family, said he was shocked.

"It's heart-breaking," he told Beeld newspaper on Tuesday evening.

Raleigh said the biggest challenge facing South Africa was the exodus of its talented people who were going overseas because of crime, and this included the film industry.

A charge of house robbery had been filed and there had been no arrests as yet, said police spokesperson Bhekizizwe Mavundla.


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