Friday, 1 February 2008

Thieves' guns misfire, ex-cop lives

Graeme Hosken

February 01 2008 at 07:09AM

"I thought I was dead. I thought I was going to die."

On Thursday Koos le Roux described how two gunmen stood over him, trying to shoot him in the head. Their guns misfired.

Le Roux, a former policeman, and Pieter Rautenbach, who is fighting for his life in Montana Hospital, were collecting money from gaming machines in Soshanguve on Thursday when they were attacked by five armed men.

As they emptied cash from the machines in Nkadimeng General Dealership, two men whom they had earlier seen "playing pool" were preparing to execute them.

'Every time they went 'click' I thought I was dead'

When they walked out of the store to their bakkie the robbers launched their attack. One of them pistol-whipped Rautenbach and then shot him in the stomach, while another opened fire on Le Roux.

Le Roux was kicked to the ground. "I thought that this was it. I just remember staring into the gun barrels and thinking I was going to die. Every time they went 'click' I thought I was dead. I thought I was going to die," he said.

Le Roux watched as a fourth gunman, screaming at his accomplices to "kill the dogs", ran towards Rautenbach, firing his gun repeatedly as it misfired.

"When the gun did not work he began kicking Pieter in the stomach and face, screaming at him 'die dog die'. The man kept on screaming at my attackers to 'kill the dogs', but their guns did not work."

Grabbing the money, the gunmen fled in Rautenbach's bakkie.

They knew exactly when we would come, where we collected the money from...'

A visibly shaken Le Roux said he had never been so scared in his life. "Everything happened so quickly. We never saw it coming. Neither of us stood a chance as they tried to execute us," he said.

He said when he closed his eyes all he could see were the gun barrels. "I am never going to forget that. That image will stay with me for the rest of my life.

"They were there to kill us.

"They knew exactly when we would come, where we collected the money from, our movements, everything," he said.

Rautenbach's father Cor said his son had been airlifted to the hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery last night. "All we can do is pray that my boy will live."

Rietgat police station spokesperson Inspector Lolo Mangena said the gunmen made off with R2 000 in cash.

This article was originally published on page 1 of Pretoria News on February 01, 2008


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