Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Hijackers kill stroke survivor

September 29 2009 at 06:42AM

By Barry Bateman

A man partially paralysed by a stroke was shot in front of his wife when he could not open the passenger side door of the vehicle three gunmen were hijacking.

Thugs shot Henry Vorster, 57, through the neck and then through his chest moments after shooting his wife Magriet, 58, outside their Willows townhouse complex at about 11pm on Friday.

A stroke about four years ago paralysed Vorster down his left side, making him almost unable to walk and rendering his left arm useless.

'They shot him in the neck'
Police arrested the three suspects in Soshanguve on Saturday while driving the stolen red VW Polo but have yet to link them to the hijacking and murder.

Magriet said the couple left her mother's house in Pretoria North after a braai late on Friday night. "When we arrived at the complex I noticed a car near the gate but couldn't see anyone inside the it," she said from her hospital bed.

"I pressed the button to open the security gate and the next minute there was this guy next to the car. He shouted that it was a hijacking and that we must get out of the car or he would shoot," she said.

Magriet said she immediately tried to get out, but the gunman smashed the window and fired a shot which struck her right hand. "As I got out of the car he shot me again in the leg. I screamed at my husband to get out of the car but he could not open the door anyway because his left side is paralysed.

"The man pulled him over the car's centre console and out of the driver's door. They shot him in the neck, but before throwing him on the ground they shot him through the heart," she said.

Magriet said she would see the men again in court
Magriet, fighting back tears, explained how her husband was struggling to breathe. "I realised he was not getting air and rolled him over. I wanted to get my bag so I could use my phone to call for help, but the men had stolen it too. I started screaming at the top of my lungs," she said.

A neighbour across the road heard the commotion. He spotted the suspects and gave chase while another neighbour called for help.

The neighbour who chased after the suspects soon returned. He loaded the injured couple into his car and rushed them to Wilgers Hospital. "Doctors tried to resuscitate Henry for about an hour and a half, but he died," she said. Soshanguve police arrested the three suspects on Saturday after a shootout.

Police Inspector Mike Mbewe said police spotted the red Polo and gave chase.

He said a shootout ensued during which one of the suspects was wounded. "He is in hospital under police guard.

"The men were arrested and charged with being in possession of a stolen vehicle. They still need to be linked to the hijack and murder," he said.

Magriet said her two children, a son and daughter, were struggling to come to terms with the murder. She said she could not understand why the suspects would shoot her husband who clearly posed no threat. "He could not do anything on his own. He was still adapting to the stroke. I had to bath him and put his clothes on for him," she said.

Magriet said she would see the men again in court. "I will testify in their trial," she said.

This article was originally published on page 1 of Pretoria News on September 29, 2009


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