By Gill Gifford
"Apart from having a bullet in me, I'm absolutely fabulous," said controversial news columnist David Bullard from his hospital bed on Thursday morning, hours after being shot during an armed robbery at his Parkview home.
Bullard, of the Sunday Times, and his wife Jacquie, a journalist at the Financial Mail, were enjoying a glass of wine and some quiet reading time in the lounge together when two armed robbers barged into the room at about 7.15pm.
"We were just sitting and talking. We'd switched the TV off, and I'd started reading something when these two guys just walked in from the bedroom area," Bullard said.
"At that point Jacquie looked up and said 'Oh no, oh no, not us' or something like that. I just got really angry when they started demanding stuff, and told them 'F*** off, you're not having anything'."
But the couple's protests were ignored by the robbers, one of whom had a gun.
They shouted that they were looking for firearms, which the Bullards don't own, and demanded access to a safe.
"I managed to get to the front door and hit the alarm, which I think messed things up for them a bit because the Chub guys arrived pretty quickly," said Bullard.
Captain Cheryl Engelbrecht, police spokesperson for Johannesburg, said it was believed that the robbers had entered the Bullard home through the bedroom window. One had tried to force Jacquie to open the safe, leaving the other with Bullard.
During that time Bullard's wife heard a gunshot go off.
"They (the robbers) were looking for a gun, and that was it. The guy who did have a gun decided to put a bullet in me. There was no real need to, he was just having a bit of fun," Bullard stated. The shot pierced his left arm and entered his abdomen.
"I was absolutely covered in blood, and it made an amazing mess of the house," he said.
Bullard was rushed to Milpark Hospital, where he is currently lying in Trauma ICU.
"I'm feeling stiff this morning, but I'm a very, very lucky guy. There's been no real damage to the tendons or bone in my arm or my bowel. The bullet was just millimetres away from doing some very serious harm. It was obviously just not my time to go," said Bullard.
"The robbers took only the wife's handbag and a cellphone. They fled the house through the bedroom window, in the same way they came in. They're still on the run and we are hunting these suspects," Engelbrecht said on Thursday morning.
Bullard is outraged by the attack and keen for his shooting to be made public.
"I'm alive, but (murdered historian) Dave Rattray's not so we need to highlight this kind of thing."
Bullard said he had received "the most amazing" treatment from the Parkview police and excellent care in hospital.
"All I want to say now is that you shouldn't wear your very best jeans if you're going to get shot because they just get cut off you. Yes, if you're going to get shot in the northern suburbs, I'd advise wearing some really casual clothes."
Netcare Milpark Hospital spokesperson Amelda Swartz said Bullard would not undergo surgery to have his bullet removed.
"He would probably be transferred to a normal ward during the day and then discharged in a day or two, as soon as his doctors say it's okay."