Durban - A Cowie’s Hill retiree was shot in what appears to have been an attempted home invasion on Wednesday morning.

Philipus Retief, 58, was shot in the chest outside his Mountain Ridge Road home.

His sister, Magdalena Retief, 62, was inside the house at the time.

Philipus had been out shopping, Magdalena told The Mercury on Wednesday afternoon, and was returning home when he was shot.

He had tried to open the automatic gate with his remote but it would not work and so he got out of the vehicle, she said. That was when he was accosted.

“I heard a scream and then a scuffle and then a single gunshot - there was just one shot,” a shaken Magdalena said.

Moments later, a vehicle came speeding down the street. The men jumped in and it sped away.

“They didn’t try to take his car,” Magdalena said. “All they wanted were the house keys and his wallet.”

Magdalena praised the local neighbourhood watch, who she said were at the scene within moments.

Philipus was rushed to hospital and by on Wednesday afternoon, he was awake and speaking.

“He hasn’t had surgery to remove the bullet yet,” Magdalena said. “He has to go for a scan first.”

The two had lived in the area for years and had only once fallen victims to crime when, in 2009, their home was broken into and their laptops stolen.

Police spokeswoman Captain Nqobile Gwala confirmed the incident.

Magdalena said the victim was outside his residence at about 9.30am when he was approached by three suspects, two of whom were armed.

“The victim was shot allegedly by the suspects and was taken to hospital for medical attention,” she said.

The assailants fled in a Volkswagen Polo.

“At this stage it is unknown whether anything was taken from the victim,” Gwala said.

A case of attempted murder was being investigated.

In 2013, a team of top detectives and police reinforcements were deployed to Westville and the Outer West area after a number of violent crimes claimed several lives and left many seriously injured.

It appears incidents like on Wednesday’s are on the rise once more in the Westville North-Cowies Hill area.

In September, 35-year-old Gary Mackay died trying to protect his wife and two children from a gang of armed intruders at their Duncan Road home in Chiltern Hills.

Last month, 46-year-old Paresh Bodalia was gunned down in front of his 6-year-old twins in a botched hijacking outside his Chearsley Road home, nearby.

Four men have since been arrested in connection with Bodalia’s death.

In Pinetown, a man was shot dead during a robbery in Umdoni Centre last month. And in Clermont, a man was shot and injured during a hijacking a week ago.

Media liaison for the Westville Community Policing Forum, Caz Weeks, on Wednesday told The Mercury that there had seen a spike in violent crime in the area.

“I think that people need to be more vigilant,” Weeks said.

“Be aware of your surroundings. If you see cars following you, don’t go into your driveway.”

The Mercury