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Durban - The spate of violent robberies that has shocked communities around Durban continued on Thursday – this time two homes in Treasure Beach on the Bluff, within metres of each other, were hit.
The thieves, who show no mercy to their victims, remain uncaptured.
In the most recent attack
a domestic worker was dragged down stairs by her hair and pistol-whipped.
Nonhlanhla Ndlovu was cleaning windows at 11am on Wednesday when six armed men forced open the gate of her employer’s home and drove in.
She tried to phone the police, but the men came inside too quickly and assaulted her.
The owner of the house, Maxine Young, told The Mercury that she had received a call telling her to rush home.
The men demanded Ndlovu show them where the valuables were kept and lambasted her for working for “rich people”, then threatened to kill her
They ransacked the house, taking plasma television sets, laptops, jewellery and cash.
But the men were not aware that Young’s mother-in-law was in the house. When she heard the commotion she triggered the alarm and the men panicked and attacked her.
“When the alarm went off, they were angry and my mother-in-law was kicked and punched,” said Young.
The men then opened the garage and demanded the keys to the Mercedes which they used to drive away – the others followed in their own car.
Young phoned Tracker and a helicopter began searching for her car.
“I think they saw the helicopter and left the car – it was abandoned in Lamontville.”
She was thankful that Ndlovu and her mother-in-law, who asked not to be named, were not killed.
Young said she had to change the locks, install cameras, new windows, a security gate and even get a guard dog to ensure her family’s safety.
In the second incident, 10 houses away, at 9pm on Wednesday, a grandfather had a gun pointed at him – but his grandson got in the way and the men did not fire. Residents believe it was the same gang which had returned to the area.
Police said four men forced their way through the front door and held the family at gunpoint.
Police spokesman Thulani Zwane said they were robbed of a cellphone, a plasma television set and a wristwatch.
Neighbours who called on the family said the elderly man was badly injured.
“His arm was bruised because he tried to defend his grandchildren. The children were shaken up and shocked. This gang is becoming brazen and we are not safe at all,” the neighbour said.
Treasure Beach resident Richard Ally was counting his blessings after he caught three men bending his gate at about 11.30am – one of them was already inside his yard. He said they claimed they were looking for a house party.
Ally phoned the police and the men fled. No arrests had been made, Zwane said. - The Mercury