Thursday, 8 May 2008

Pensioners tell of hostage ordeal

Candice Bailey

May 07 2008 at 11:52AM

"I woke up with a gun in my mouth and I screamed."

This is how Tamboerskloof resident Angela Collins described the start of a two-hour hostage ordeal she and her husband, Stuart, suffered at the hands of four armed gunmen early on Tuesday.

The Collins couple, both in their 60s, told the Cape Argus the nightmare had begun when the four masked men, three with guns and one with a knife, charged into their house just before 7am on Tuesday.

The couple was forced to sit on the bed while the invaders looted the house of electronic equipment, cellphones and valuables.

The gang tied them up and urinated on the bathroom floor before fleeing.

On Tuesday night they were still wondering how the men had managed to get access to the house.

Speaking from their son's Green Point home, Angela Collins said: "It was from 6.55am until 9.20am but it seemed like forever.

"They terrorised us. I thought it was our last hour. I never prayed so hard in my life. I prayed and prayed and prayed.

"We were not allowed to move. They told us to keep our heads down."

She described the knife they were threatened with as being about 30cm long.

One of the men told her: "You make a sound and it goes in your stomach."

Stuart Collins, a former councillor, was the first to encounter the intruders.

"I'd been downstairs, and instead of making breakfast, I came up-stairs to listen to the 7am news.

"I got back into bed and I didn't hear a sound until I felt someone punch me on my head. I turned around and saw a guy with a gun.

"He told me to lie down, because there were two other guys with guns. There were three guys in my bedroom."

One of them stuck the barrel of his gun into Angela's mouth, waking her up.

"It was a hard steel old gun, a good weather-beaten gun. Not a toy," Stuart Collins said.

"We said we didn't have money, but they said: 'You live in a house like this, you must be rich.'

"I was an ANC ward candidate on two occasions and when they saw my ANC membership card, they took it and said: 'F*** the ANC and f*** you.'

"We were very, very lucky. It could have gone seriously wrong."

The couple's ordeal was ended by the arrival of their son.

This article was originally published on page 1 of Cape Argus on May 07, 2008


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