“I am so thankful my kids are okay,” Ms. Charmaine Kotze said thankfully. She can remember every last detail of Wednesday’s events at their home in Lebombo Road (Aerorand).
She woke up around midnight with an icy cold gun barrel to her head and someone shouting at her “Get up, get up!”.
Ms. Kotze was ripped out of bed and the group of four robbers immediately asked for money. She pointed for them where her purse was and that they should look inside it for the money.
However, they let her know that they were in the house a while and that they had already took the money in her purse. They were not satisfied with the R800 in the wallet, they wanted more.
“If you do not give more money, we will shoot your daughter. We know where she is sleeping” said the robber in a threatening manner who held the gun to her head.
The group tied her hands with shoelaces and her feet with a hair dryer cable. Then they searched the room and found a safe. They wanted to know where the key is, and Ms. Kotze asked them to untie her feet so she can show them.
After they got the key from her, they threw her back on the bed and tied her feet. Everything was thrown from the safe into pillowcases and they left her room.
“When I heard they were going down the stairs to my son’s room, I loosened the cable securing my feet and followed them down the stairs to warn the children. The leader of the group was still upstairs and got me from behind and hit me with the revolver on the head. ”
The gang was at this time in ten-year-old Ruan’s room. He also was manhandled out of bed and at some point hit on the head with the gun.
Divan (13) heard the noise in the house, and tried to call his grandparents. The robbers were too fast, entered his room and grabbed the phone from him.
Ms. Kotze watched in horror how the thieves loaded the revolver and directed it at them… However, she jumped in front of the kids and pleaded: “We will cooperate, please, just stay calm …”
The group then tied Ms. Kotze and her children’s hands and feet with curtain tiebacks and phone cables and soon after left the house.
Sometime after the gang was gone, they wiggled free and ran to Zandri’s (5) room. Although the robbers did not wake her, they were indeed in her room because the tablet that was next to her bed was stolen.
“It’s one thing to wake up and they broke into your home but it’s another thing to wake up with a gun to your head!”
The whole house was vandalized and all electronic and electrical appliances that they could find was stolen.
They probably came in a vehicle because more than R150 000 in house ware was stolen, including two flat screen televisions, everyone’s cell phones, the boys’ Solomon sneakers, tablets, Ms. Kotze’s jewelry, a laptop computer, two computers and groceries.
Some of the items were stuffed in pillow cases and one of the children’s school bags were emptied out to pack more items.
Ms. Kotze said the leader of the group who handled the gun was about 1.9m tall.
Everyone wore blue overalls and was between 30 and 35 years old. She suspect that they left in a hurry because they thought Divan already called for help. In fact the boy did not have enough time to make the call for help.
The perpetrators gained access to the house by breaking open a sliding door in the living room. They jumped over the backyard wall.
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