Durban - ‘Mom, please don’t let them kill me!” They are words no mother should ever have to hear, but at lunchtime on Sunday Karen Daley, 43, watched in horror as her 13-year-old son, Matthew, was frogmarched into their Glen Hills house by robbers, with a gun at his head.
“The robber was screaming, ‘Don’t look at me,’ as he dragged Matthew inside,” Karen said.
The Northwood High grade eight pupil had been looking in the garage for bits and pieces for a school project when intruders came over the wall and took him hostage.
The gang herded the family into one room while they ransacked the house looking for the safe.
The gun was kept at Matthew’s head and the thieves told his father, Mark, 47, they would pull the trigger if he did not point out the safe.
Daley at first denied there was one, but eventually the robbers found it.
They then pushed the gun into the child’s mouth and, terrified, his father accidentally punched in the wrong code and was hit with the gun and kicked until he got the safe open.
The robbers took R70 000 he had collected from a client.
One of the men took Karen’s chain from around her neck, using the opportunity to grope her breasts.
“I thought he was going to rape me,” she said.
Her mother, Elly Rossouw, 72, who was in her bedroom, was kicked in the stomach and dragged out of her room to join her family on the floor.
“I asked one, who was wearing a balaclava, if I could sit in bed, but he said I must sit on the floor next to my family,” said Rossouw.
“He ripped off my gold chain, bangles and took my handbag which had money, my driver’s licence and my identity book,” she said.
Neighbours saw the men leaving the house with their loot but assumed they were visitors, as it was broad daylight.
Matthew’s nine-year-old sister, Rachel, had gone to the beach with a friend at the time of the robbery.
On Monday Karen received an unexpected call from a security guard who said he had found her phone book and credit cards dumped in a bin in Dr Pixley kaSeme (West) Street.
Matthew has returned to school but has been receiving trauma counselling. Greenwood Park community police forum chairman Robin Candy said the community was under siege and the police needed to “cultivate informants and ensure convictions of house robbers”.
In a separate incident a Westville couple were robbed in similar circumstances early on Sunday.
Basil Miller, 66, was asleep when his wife, Beatrice, 63, opened the kitchen door to let the dog out at 4am, but before she could close it, an intruder kicked it in.
Four men stormed the home and forced Miller out of bed at gunpoint, demanding he open the safe.
Miller said the gang hit him with the gun and kicked him to the floor, threatening to kill Beatrice if he did not point out the safe. “They bashed it open and took money and jewellery she had collected over 40 years,” he said.
The gang tied up the couple and stole one of their cars.
Police spokesman Thulani Zwane confirmed both robberies but said no arrests had been made.