Durban - “He saved us all, I don’t know what they would have done to us."
These were the words of Seaview resident Suvina Gandhi, whose 69-year-old father-in-law, Rohith Gandhi, took on a gang of armed men in the family’s home early on Thursday morning.
He was shot in the leg during the confrontation during which the inside of the house littered with bullets.
He was rushed to hospital, where he remains in a stable condition.
On Saturday, his daughter-in-law Suvina said she had stepped outside at 6am to pray. “Everything was quiet and normal. While I was praying, I saw a car coming past and then it stopped. A man jumped out. I noticed it had Gauteng number plates. The car drove on and then it turned and came back,” she said.
“Two of the men suddenly jumped over the wall. I felt as if I was going to die,” she said. A third man also came over the wall, grabbed her and held a gun to her head.
“I started screaming and he put a gun to my head, telling me to be quiet. Then he put his hand over my mouth and said, ‘let’s go inside’.”
The other two armed men were already in the house.
Suvina’s daughter, 13, and son, 21, had both hidden, but her husband and mother-in-law had been grabbed by the men. One of the men had hit her 63-year-old mother-in-law with a gun, injuring her face.
After being dragged inside, the next thing Suvina remembered was seeing her father-in-law standing in the doorway holding a gun. “Suddenly, there were bullets flying everywhere.
The police later found 19 bullets inside. The man holding me just let me go and ran away,” she said. The other two men also fled to the car waiting outside the property.
Suvina said her father-in-law normally battled to walk, but had not hesitated when it came to protecting the family. “My father-in-law saved me, he saved us all. I don’t know what they would have done. They all had guns.”
She added that while Blue Security company had responded to their emergency call within minutes, the police did not arrive at the scene until close to 7am.
“Dad had been shot in the leg and was taken to hospital. He has a heart condition, so they will only be able to operate on Monday,” said Suvina.
Blue Security community and media liaison officer Andreas Mathios, said: “Paramedics arrived on the scene and transported the victim to hospital,” adding that police found multiple bullet casings at the scene.
SAPS KwaZulu-Natal spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said a case of attempted murder and malicious damage to property had been opened at Bellair Police Station. She said the intruders shot at Rohith Gandhi.
“The victim retaliated and shot back towards the suspects. The vehicle which was parked in the premises was damaged during the shooting. The victim was injured and taken to hospital. His firearm was taken by the suspects before they fled the scene,” she said.