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Durban - A Botha’s Hill family experienced a different kind of goodwill on December 26 when their house was broken into by armed burglars who took time to play with their six-month-old son.

It was about 6am on Wednesday when Kate Robertson heard her husband, Ross, shout out from the kitchen. He had gone to take out the rubbish while Kate stayed in bed with their baby, Henry. Their two-year-old daughter, Emma, was asleep in her own room.

As she went to investigate, she walked in on five robbers who pointed a gun at her.


She tried to grab the gun but the thief pulled it away and told her they were not there to harm the family.

After taking her jewellery, Kate asked if she could go to her children – but was told she could not go anywhere.

“My daughter started crying in her room,” she said.

Accompanied by one of the men, she was allowed to console Emma.

Under the thieves’ watch, Kate asked if she could fetch Henry. She was told “no”, but one of the robbers fetched the baby and, gun in hand, the thief did something unexpected.

“He tried to make my child laugh. He was going ‘coochie coochie coo’ and being friendly to him,” she said.


Kate said the men were calm during the ordeal.

“I think it was important for us to stay calm and co-operate,” she said.

The men made off with jewellery, cameras, laptops and other items that were “easy to carry”.

When they tried to leave, the burglars pushed a panic button linked to the alarm system as they tried to open the garage. When the alarm sounded, the men fled with the stolen items.

Robertson said her in-laws, who were staying with them in a granny flat on the property, were tied up during the robbery.

Private investigator Brad Nathanson, who will be investigating the matter pro bono, said crime could never be condoned, but the elimination of violence out of criminal activities was one of his main goals.

“We are never going to stop house robberies, but we need to stop the violence,” he said.

Hillcrest police are investigating, but no arrests have been made.

The Mercury