Family including baby and wheelchair-bound farmer attacked

Family including baby and wheelchair-bound farmer attacked

A family from Hazyview, including a baby and a disabled elderly farmer, was assaulted and robbed on Saturday night at a farm in the Kiepersol area in Mpumalanga.

Monique Lange (34), her husband, Bernhard Bekker (36) and their 13-month-old baby boy Armand, were visiting Monique’s father’s farm when five armed robbers attacked the two men about 22:00 at the braai.

Monique said: “My 70-year-old father John Lange and Bernhard were outside by the fire and I was inside with Armand. The robbers came through neighboring farms and jumped over a shade netting fence. They kept my father and Bernhard hostage with pistols. I heard Bernhard scream and wanted to hide under the bed with Armand, but a robber already saw me.”

Armand is suffering from polycystic kidney disease, a rare kidney disorder and Pierre Robin syndrome, which is a cleft palate.

The robbers assaulted Monique and Armand. Johan, who is wheelchair-bound was pushed into the house to unlock the safe.

They threw him out of his wheelchair, kicked and beaten him and then stole five rifles, laptop, cellphones, cash and bank cards from the safe.

The assault lasted about an hour. Two robbers pushed Bernhard into the house from time to time, two watched over Johan and one stayed with Monique and Armand.

“They kicked Bernhard in the face, stepped on his head and tied his hands and feet with cables. Then they threw my father in the hallway and tied Armand at my waist with ropes, “says Monique.

“They forced my father to repeat ‘I love black people’,” Monique Lange was quoted as saying.

The robbers fled in Bernhard’s Nissan Safari bakkie. Monique was able to untangle herself and contacted the police and security company.

Police found the truck on Sunday about 30 kilometers away at the Mkhulu sports grounds.

According to brigadier Selvy Mohlala police spokesperson, no arrests had been made.

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