Man gunned down while walking dog

Published Dec 28, 2007


By Louise Flanagan

Dennis Polack was fighting for his life after being shot while walking with his wife and dogs on a Midrand smallholding on the Day of Goodwill.

"Three men came out of the bush, shooting. They shot my father three times and he is now fighting for his life," said the couple's daughter, Debbi Talmage.

Seriously injured, Polack managed to pull out his gun and returned fire.

His wife Sally was left cut, bruised and shocked.

"She attacked them with her walking stick," Debbi said, adding that the assailants fled and that Sally had called for help on a cellphone.

Talmage said her parents had been walking on the smallholding in Glen Austin, near their home, for 39 years.

Polack was shot in an arm and leg and had to undergo a three-and-a-half-hour operation at Sunninghill Hospital.

Not only have the Polacks both been attacked before, but Talmage and their entire family have been crime victims.

In January, The Star published a photo of the family and detailed the crimes committed against them:

- Dennis Polack was hijacked;

- his wife Sally was mugged;

- Talmage and her daughter, then five years old, were robbed at gunpoint;

- Talmage's sister-in-law and her two children escaped after being abducted by armed hijackers;

- Talmage's brother has been held up and robbed twice and burgled 10 times;

- and her sister narrowly escaped a hijacking.

Some of their friends and employees have also been attacked.

On Thursday, Talmage said the police may have been on the scene after Wednesday's attack, but her mother was too traumatised to remember.

The family had not heard from the police since the incident was reported, she added.

"We haven't heard a thing from the police, absolutely nothing, and they were informed."

Talmage said nobody had been prosecuted in connection with any of the previous attacks on the family members.

Superintendent Lungelo Dlamini confirmed that a case had been opened with the Midrand police. He said no investigation had been conducted as police had not been able to interview anyone.

Dlamini said the police went to the scene on Wednesday, but that the victim had already been taken to hospital.

He said police returned on Thursday, but there was nobody on the smallholding and nobody had submitted a statement.

"The information was very sketchy," said Dlamini, adding that no arrests had been made.

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