Durban - A retired policeman who was shot on Sunday while fishing at Winklespruit Beach, south of Durban, remains in a critical condition.

Hendrik May, 46, was breathing through a ventilator at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital, his fiancée, Marisa Peyper, said yesterday.

“The breathing machine is basically keeping him alive right now. He has not yet woken up and the doctors are still monitoring him.”

Peyper said May’s daughter and son-in-law had arrived in Durban from Gauteng to be with him.

“When she saw her father with all these tubes running into him, she just cried and cried. At that moment it looked like there was a frown on his face and he was responding,” Peyper said. “His expression gave me a lot of hope.”

May was shot in the chest, shoulder and stomach after he refused to hand over the keys to his car to two men who held him at gunpoint.

According to Peyper, one bullet was lodged just below his heart and another went through his shoulder.

Doctors said the bullets punctured his lungs and liver.

The would-be robbers fled empty-handed in a waiting car.

Police are investigating and are yet to make arrests.

May was a former Pretoria policeman who was boarded five years ago because of a heart condition, Peyper said.

He moved to the South Coast around the same time and took up fishing for relaxation, Peyper said.

He usually fishes at a beach near his home in Umkomaas, but decided to fish at Winklespruit on Sunday because he had caught a 7.5kg shad at the beach a year ago – to the date.

Peyper said the past two days had been very stressful, but she had been comforted by dozens of well-wishers, especially from the fishing community.

“People, because they know Hendrik’s car, have been stopping me and wishing us well,” she said.

“I am so thankful for all the well wishes. We are hopeful and are praying to God that he gets well.”

May was expected to go back into theatre again today for more surgery.

Daily News