’I rugby tackled armed robber’

Durban - A Westville businessman, who was shot in the toe, said the rugby tackle he used on a robber at his doorstep would have made the Springbok rugby team proud.

Ian du Randt, 59, the managing director of Compass Medical Waste, said he heard his neighbour’s dogs and his three German shepherd puppies barking frantically just after 1am on Wednesday.

Ian du Randt receives treatment at a local hospital after losing part of his toe in an attempted home robbery in Westville. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng. Credit: INDEPENDENT MEDIA

Du Randt, of Maryvale Road, put on a gown and slippers and went to investigate. He has a veranda, low wall and a pool near his dining-room door.

“I opened the sliding door and was about to lock the gate when I caught sight of a man crouched behind the wall with a balaclava on.

“I saw four others and then a gun slowly rising up. I ducked in anticipation of a gunshot. You either go on the offensive or defensive,” Du Randt said.

Now shouting to alert neighbours, he tackled the robber wearing the balaclava.

With the momentum, they both landed on the pool net. The robber was submerged in water as the net acted like a trampoline.

Speaking from his hospital bed, Du Randt said he tried to grab hold of the robber, but the man slipped out of the pool.

He said his wife was grabbed by one of the robbers when she rushed out to help. Their 32-year-old son also rushed out and pushed the men over the wall. Du Randt said the robbers scattered and fled.

“The passage was narrow so it was not like the intruders were walking towards me all at once. I think I was shot when I tackled the guy. His partner tried to avoid the tackle and may have let off the gun in panic,” Du Randt said.

One of the bullets hit the passage wall, chipping a hole in the plaster. The other struck Du Randt’s left toe.

He believes the men bent the fence above the wall and climbed over. He subscribes to an armed response unit, but says his dogs were his saving grace.

“The puppies were the best armed response or alarm system money can buy. The dogs alerted me. I saw the robbers coming. The puppies also attacked the robbers. I was born in Zimbabwe where I was a former policeman. I saw the best and worst of mankind,” he said.

The police found a piece of his toe while they were looking for bullet shells. His wound was cleaned and stitched in hospital.

Police spokeswoman, Captain Nqobile Gwala, confirmed the incident.

She said a case of attempted murder had been lodged at Westville police station.