An elderly man is currently recovering in hospital after being severely assaulted by an unknown number of suspects on a smallholding outside Kroonstad in the Free State on Monday night.
Hansie Helmbolt (78)’s arm has been severely injured in the attack, and he also sustained several cuts and bruises after being pulled several meters through the veld and bushes. Helmbolt told Maroela Media on Wednesday that he had a lot of pain in his arm, but hopes to be released later on today.
According to Helmbolt, he drove to the store at about 19:00 on Monday, from where he operated a pest control company. He is currently living alone on the smallholding since the death of his wife who died in January. Upon returning, he drove his bakkie into the garage and switched off the vehicle.
“When I looked up, I looked straight into a gun,” he said. “The attackers tried to open the bakkie’s doors, but it was locked. They told me to open, but I refused and tried to restart the bakkie so that I could reverse out.”
However, the attackers closed the garage door and jumped on the back of the vehicle. They smashed the rear window, managed to open the doors of the bakkie and pulled Helmbolt out of the vehicle.
“At that moment, I managed to quickly push my panic button. It was my saving grace. If I did not do that, I would not talk to you today,” he said. The attackers threw him over a gate in front of the house and grabbed him and dragged him into the bushes. “They dragged me at least 50m far across the gravel and bushes through the trees. They certainly wanted to get me away from home so that they could get rid of me,” he said.
“Afterwards they threw me into an old chicken coop, and there they repeatedly hit me with a firearm against my head. After every blow, I saw stars, and when I tried to get up, they would hit me again.”
At that moment, several police vehicles and security arrived at the smallholding, and the suspects fled. They managed to rob Helmbolt of his personal belongings, such as his wallet and watch.
According to Helmbolt, at the time of the attack, he thought there were two attackers, but the investigating team believes four suspects were involved after viewing the footage of the security cameras. According to his knowledge, no-one has been arrested.
Helmbolt said he already has several security measures on the plot, including a security system, security cameras, and spotlights, but will now provide for even more safety precautions.
Maroela Media is waiting for comments from the police.
Read the original article in Afrikaans on Maroela Media
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