Police stand with the 11 men arrested in connection with the attack. (Johann Hattingh, Beeld)
'There is no God to help you'
25/10/2007 09:49 - (SA)
Kim Snyders, Beeld
Cape Town - "Stop crying, because there is no fucking God who is going to help you."
These were the words a robber shouted at Sannie du Plessis, 65, in Afrikaans, after he tied up and shot and killed her husband, Mike, 70, in his shop on the farm Jagfontein outside Westonaria on the West Rand.
Thanks to the quick response of the police, 11 suspects were arrested about two hours after the shooting at a house in Ennerdale south of Johannesburg.
Du Plessis and his son-in-law, Jan Jonker, were overpowered at the shop next to his house at about 08:00 on Wednesday morning.
Pulled out guns
According to Jonker two of the suspects visited the shop the previous day requesting for a quotation for the business, Ash Valley Bricks.
"The men returned with building plans, but this time another man accompanied them. They pulled out their guns when they entered the shop," said a shocked Jonker.
The robbers tied up Du Plessis, Jonker and three workers who were outside, before searching the shop for money.
"They took the cash we had on us as well as our cellphones. When he (Du Plessis) told them there was no other money, they shot him."
Jonker was hit in the face with a gun and beaten and kicked all over his body.
Anette van Rensburg, Du Plessis's daughter, who lived in the house opposite the shop, became worried when nobody answered the telephones inside the shop.
'I'm gonna kill you'
"I had to make a few phone calls for my father and had to call him back. Nobody answered, so I called my mother to find out what was happening," said Van Rensburg.
"When I called again, the telephone went dead. I suspected it was a network problem, as there was no signal the previous day."
But the robbers had cut the telephone lines at her parents' home.
According to Mrs Du Plessis she went to the shop after her daughter's phone call. Three men jumped over the wall and grabbed her.
"Three of them grabbed me and tied my feet before dragging me towards the house. The skin came off of my back from the way they pulled me," she said.
"I called my husband and son-in-law, but thought they must already be dead. When I called again, I heard him (her husband), and then a shot rang out.
"One of them put a gun into my mouth and shouted: 'Shut up you bastard, I'm gonna kill you.' "
The domestic worker, Janet Kopane, who was inside the house, suspected something was wrong when the family's two boerboels started barking after the shot.
"She ran towards the alarm, but there were already men inside the house. They hit her in the face with the gun and kicked her between her legs," said Du Plessis.
According to Du Plessis, she was tied up inside the house along with Kopane and another worker. The robbers searched the house. The other worker crept towards her and cut her loose with a small knife.
Other stolen cars found too
The robbers left in a white Volvo, which they had apparently stolen in Honeydew, and the family's Nissan and Open Corsa bakkies.
Police spokesperson superintendent Lungelo Dlamini, said the Volvo was seen in Finetown, south of Johannesburg and the suspects were arrested. "This person took them to the house where they found 10 other people, among them the owner of the house, were arrested."
Besides the two bakkies, the police also confiscated three other stolen vehicles.
"We found six guns, seven cellphones and money we suspect had been stolen at the shop," he said.
The men will appear in the Vereeniging Magistrate's Court on charges of armed robbery, murder, the possession of suspected stolen property and the possession of illegal firearms on Friday.