Durban - An 83-year-old man is in hospital after being shot by robbers who held his family at gunpoint at their Botha’s Hill home.
On Tuesday afternoon three men entered the home of the Gokool family in Patna Road.
Homeowner Veekash Gokool tackled two of them but they pointed the gun at him and fired. The gun jammed. On their way out the robbers shot his father-in-law, Kista Reddy, through the door and fled.
On Wednesday, Veekash, 44, said he had been watching television with his family when he heard his Jack Russell, Angel, barking frantically outside. His son Reshwin, 21, went to the kitchen door to check on Angel.
A man suddenly appeared, cocked a gun and placed it against Reshwin’s head. Another man rushed in and pushed Reshwin into a cupboard before striking him on his head with the butt of the gun. A third suspect waited outside as a lookout.
“My son screamed in pain and that’s when I saw the men rush inside. I ran into the passage and closed the door. My son somehow followed me. The men began demanding valuables from my wife. The ordeal happened very quickly,” Veekash said.
His wife Shireen said she was in a state of shock and could not get off the couch when the men rushed in.
“One of the men tried to hold my hand, but I pulled it away. He kept threatening to kill me if I did not give him our car keys. I said to them to take whatever they wanted but not to harm us,” she said.
Veekash, an avid World Wrestling Entertainment fan, said he mustered up courage and used a move called the “clothes line” which he had learnt from wrestling to tackle two men.
A clothes line is a professional wrestling move in which a wrestler puts his arm/s straight out to the side, runs towards the opponent, and knocks him over.
“My wife was in danger. I opened the passage door and ran at them with my arms open on either side. I struck both men and we collapsed on to the floor.
“They were up in a jiffy and one of them said, ‘Shoot him, shoot him’. I was on the floor facing them. He pulled the trigger but the gun did not go off,” Veekash said.
Reshwin and Shireen had locked themselves behind a passage door. The men tried to break down the door, but the handle broke and the men left. Reshwin said while the men were leaving he heard three gunshots go off outside and feared the worst.
Reshwin went to check on his grandfather, Kista Reddy, 83, who lives in a home attached to the main house.
found Reddy standing in a pool of blood.
“He heard the alarm go off and decided to check what was happening. As he opened the door the men were running past and I think they panicked and shot at him. He was shot in the groin area. The bullet was lodged in his right buttock. He will not undergo any operations because of his age. He is making a slow recovery at RK Khan hospital,” he said.
Veekash said this was the third robbery at his home this year. He said on a previous incident they yanked his safe off the wall and in another took his firearm. He thinks he may have recognised his gun in one of the robber’s hands. The men took a phone, a watch valued at R300 and the DStv remote.
Police spokesman, Colonel Jay Naicker, confirmed the incident. He said a case of house robbery was being investigated by the Hillcrest SAPS.