14/03/2008 08:31 - (SA)
Alta Snyman, Beeld
Rustenburg - "I was very angry this afternoon," a stranger said to Petro van Rensburg on the phone on Tuesday evening, shortly after her mother and stepfather had been attacked and robbed on a smallholding.
Her stepfather, Nier Viljoen, 80, said: "One man shot and Mollie fell. I thought she was dead.
"Her eyes rolled. I helped her to an old chair in the bathroom and there was blood everywhere... so much blood."
The elderly couple - Mollie is 83 - had just finished watching the evening news on television when their small dog began barking.
One of the outside doors of the cottage outside Spruitfontein, near Rustenburg, had been left unlocked because the couple had wanted to let the dog out.
But, the dog didn't go out because there had been light rain.
Nier had gone to see why the dog was barking when he bumped into three men who were inside the cottage. They had guns and a knife.
Wanted the safe
"I don't have much power in my right arm and I hit at them with my left hand.
"One man's gun went off and the cartridge hit me in the face. I didn't feel it," said Nier from his hospital bed on Thursday.
"My wife began shouting and we asked them to take what they wanted, but not to hurt us."
The men wanted to know where the safe was and Nier took them to the bedroom.
"Mollie has a can of gas with which you defend yourself. It was standing on top of the wardrobe near the door. I grabbed it and started hitting at them. A shot went into the ground.
"Then I sprayed. The men started coughing terribly and gasping for breath. I also did, so I grabbed a pillow and pressed it over my face."
The men began running away and Nier went to see what was happening with his wife.
"I wondered what next... All that the thugs stole were our cellphones. I took the car keys, locked the house and went for help."
He went to neighbours who lived about 6km from the house.
Threats on cellphones
Neighbours came from all over to help, and even the Marikana Mine's security division came to help.
"The police were also there very quickly."
Less than an hour after the attack, an unidentified man phoned a neighbour and some of the Viljoens' children on their cellphones.
He said to one of the Viljoens' sons: "The old man doesn't want to pay me."
He also said: "The 'oumiesies' is going to die."