Cape Town -
“Shaken but not stirred” is how the mayor of Stellenbosch says he is feeling after two men broke into his Cape Town home and held him and his wife at gunpoint.
On Saturday night, Conrad Sidego and his wife were at their Prideaux Street, Rondebosch, home.
Accompanied by the reassuring beeps of his alarm system, he had felt safe but not altogether happy.
“I was watching the rugby. The Stormers were getting thrashed by the Lions. Thinking back, I don’t really know what was more traumatic, the game or the robbery,” he joked.
Midway through the match the first home invader appeared in his lounge. Things escalated quickly from there - one minute Sidego was relaxing on the couch, next he had a gun in his face and was being told to lie on the floor.
“The strange thing was they seemed to do the whole thing with decency. They covered my head and then asked me if I was okay. When they spoke to my wife - who they found upstairs in the bedroom - they told her they wouldn’t hurt her or rape her.”
After bringing his wife downstairs and forcing her to lie down next to him, the robbers spent 20 minutes moving through the house snatching any valuables they could lay their hands on.
“They kept asking me where the gold was, and they asked for the key to the safe… I was not really sure where it was. I spoke to them as calmly as I could,” he said.
“My mind was just running with thoughts like, it could be just one bang and my kids would arrive to find me lying here bloody and dead.”
By the time they left the house, the robbers had grabbed two flat-screen TV sets, handfuls of jewellery and a cellphone.
Shortly afterwards, Sidego was quoted in the media as saying the experience meant he was now a “real South African”. But he told the Cape Argus the comment was tongue-in-cheek.
“I’ve now seen the best this country has to offer and the worst. It’s something many South Africans have gone through. If anything, this has reinforced my resolve to continue clamping down on crime in Stellenbosch.”
The mayor used to live in Stellenbosch, but after being diagnosed with prostate cancer decided to move from the small apartment he was using there to spend more time with his family in the southern suburbs.
Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk said that by last night no arrests had been made. - Cape Argus