‘My son saved me from gangsters' bullets’
Proud mom Marilyn Baatjies, 47, says her son’s heroic act resulted in her only being hit once in the leg as he literally dragged her to safety while ruthless gangsters “opened fire on women and children” in Algoa Court.
The mother of six says her son, Jontrivino, 21, risked his own life as he hauled her into a nearby house as gangsters continued to shoot indiscriminately in the busy court, which was filled with kids.
Marilyn says she was walking home shortly before 8pm when the shooting started.
“I was by my friend and came over to the court because someone told me there was a phone call for me,” the mom explains.
“As I was on the phone, I just heard the skote (gunshots) and I felt my leg burning.
“My son John Boy [Jontrivino] was standing next to me and he just grabbed me by the shoulder and dragged me into the house on the corner.
“It was a bad experience and you can see the bruise on my shoulder. I just looked up at him and thought, yoh, I could have been dead. It was so many shots.”
A shy Jontrivino says he was listening to music on his phone when he heard the shots.
“I got a skrik (fright) when I saw my mommy was shot and I jumped in,” he says.
Speaking about his bravery, he says: “It was nothing, she is my mommy I only wanted to help her.”
A neighbour rushed Marilyn to Heideveld Emergency Centre where doctors told her the bullet had lodged in the muscles of her thigh and cannot be removed as yet.
“They don’t want to cause any nerve damage so they sent me home,” she says.
“I am in pain but I am just happy to be alive. He really is my hero and I am so proud to have a child like him.
“He doesn’t worry with girlfriends and is very shy, but he is sukkeling (struggling) to find work and just wants a job.
“I have six children and seven grandchildren and I work as a domestic worker here around Hanover Park. But he makes me very proud.”
Police spokesperson Siyabulela Malo confirms the shooting and says Philippi police have not yet made any arrests.