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Pretoria - A Pretoria mother is fearful for the safety of her two young children after they were allegedly kidnapped by their “armed and dangerous” father on Saturday morning.
The children, Mekayla, four, and Shaun, six, were allegedly taken by their father, Willie Joubert, in the early hours of Saturday morning after he had held his estranged wife, Chantelle, at gunpoint.
A tearful Chantelle spoke to the Pretoria News on Sunday, almost a day after the last time she saw her children.
“I have no idea what he will do to them, he has a gun and a knife and is very violent. I keep hearing my son’s last words in my head, “lots of buses mommy, that’s all I see”, she said and broke down in tears.
Chantelle said she had requested a divorce from Willie in June after months of assault and near-death experiences allegedly at his hands. Now all the mother wants is her children safely in her arms.
“He started beating me in March after we lost our four-day-old baby, who was born prematurely. I think he couldn’t cope with that and blamed me. He would hit me very badly in front of the children. He also threatened my life many times with a gun,” she said. Willie moved out in June but regularly visited the children and on occasions slept over, but in a different room to that of Chantelle and the children.
In tears, Chantelle on Sunday told the Pretoria News of another near-death encounter at Willie’s hands last week Sunday as he allegedly tried to suffocate her after she refused to give him a second chance.
“He pushed me down into the bed, sat on top of me and closed my mouth. I fought him off and shouted at him to leave. He told me he would be back for the kids because he got a job in Durban and was going to move there. I told him he couldn’t take my children,” she said.
Chantelle again saw Willie on Friday evening when he came to spend time with the children and spent the night.
Little did she know the children would not be there the next day.
A 4am wake-up call by Willie and a knife to her throat signalled the start of a horrible ordeal for the young mother.
“He woke me up and told me to dress the kids. I told him he was crazy because it was still dark and cold and they were sleeping. He pushed the knife to my throat and then hit me in my ribs. I begged him to stop so that the children wouldn’t wake up, and he went outside.
“I went back to bed instead of taking the kids and running away because I was afraid he would shoot us. I knew he would hurt me, and I didn’t want that. I was hoping he would just leave.” When the young Joubert children woke up at 6am, their father had allegedly packed their bags, put a gun to their mother’s head and told her not to follow them and left with the children.
“I started going frantic, called my family and police,”she said.
Chantelle heard from Shaun on Saturday afternoon around 6pm.
“Willie called me and I asked where my children were. He gave the phone to Shaun and I asked him where he was and he said all he could see was lots of buses, so I’m assuming they were at a bus station.”
Police spokesman Johannes Jafta said police were at this stage investigating a case of pointing a firearm.