Durban - A stroke victim was choked and her husband was beaten during a robbery at their home in Morningside on Tuesday night.
The owner of the house had stepped into his garden to perform an evening prayer and light a lamp.
The 68-year-old homeowner, who asked only to be referred to as Tuc, and his 73-year-old wife were attacked by five armed men.
“It was at about 6.30pm or 7pm and still light. I saw the car by the gate and thought it was someone visiting my wife. I went inside to open the gate.
“In the 28 years we’ve been living here I have never opened the gate without checking.”
A very traumatised Tuc said his front door was still open.
Five men, all armed with guns, entered the house and demanded jewellery and money, and started attacking the two pensioners when they did not get what they wanted.
Tuc’s wife, who is mute after suffering from a stroke, was seated on the couch. Tuc said one of them approached her and began throttling her. The man pulled off her neck chain. When Tuc intervened to explain that she could not speak, they beat him up again.
“They hit me in the left temple with the gun. They took my wife’s jewellery off her and my gold chain around my neck. They manhandled us and then ransacked everything.”
The men took about R5 000 in cash as well as jewellery and cellphones.
“They tried to lock me in the storeroom but I told them they must just go, so they left. Then one guy came back, he hit me and told me to open the gate.”
Tuc did as he was told, after which he hit the panic button to alert his security company. At the time, he did not realise that one of the men was still in his garage trying to steal his car. He was scared off by the sound of the alarm and the five men got away.
“My wife and I are very traumatised. We haven’t even checked what has been taken yet.”
Anton Buckner, community police forum chairman for Puntans Hill, said it is believed this same group of men has been involved in a number of other house robberies in the area over the past few months.
“It’s the same method, attacking people at home. There are four or five men in an Audi A1, bronze colour.”