South Coast farmer dragged by throat, wife flung during brutal home invasion
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Durban - A South Coast farmer was dragged by his throat and his wife flung on to their coffee table during a home invasion on Friday afternoon.
Eric Nunkoo, 80, sustained injuries to his neck and body. His wife, Sona Nunkoo, 73, sustained injuries to her hip. She was admitted to a hospital in Durban where she underwent surgery on Monday.
The couple, who planted and sold fresh produce, have lived on the farm in Crowder near Umkomaas for 40 years. They shared the home with their son, who was at work at the time of the incident.
Vis Moodley, their son-in-law, said moments before the attack, Nunkoo had said goodbye to his workers and sat down to have his supper.
"My mother-in-law was in their bedroom. She’d just had a bath. While eating, he heard their dogs bark and when he opened the front door, three men were there. They wanted to buy mealies and when he said he did not have any, they asked for cabbage."
Moodley said before Nunkoo could respond, they attacked him.
"One suspect jumped him and as he fell, he shouted for help. The suspect grabbed him by the throat and dragged him across the lounge. My mother-in-law heard his screams and rushed into the lounge. Another suspect grabbed her and flung her across the lounge. She landed on the coffee table and fractured her hip."
Moodley said the suspects continued to assault Nunkoo and demanded the keys to the safe and his firearm.
"He told them he did not have a firearm and gave them whatever cash he had in his pockets. The suspects took three cellphones, the television, and the keys to the van. Before fleeing, they locked them in the home."
He said a few minutes later, Nunkoo left the home to get help.
"He had my number written in a book. With that book, he walked to a nearby farm and used the phone to call me for help. I live in a nearby residential area. While driving to their home, I put out a message on social media for help and before I knew it, the police, a security company, and members of a crime watch group were at the home. My mother-in-law was taken to the hospital and my father-in-law was treated for his injuries."
Moodley said he was thankful to everyone who assisted.
"We are still in shock. My father-in-law has returned to the home. We are in the process of installing additional security. We are praying that my mother-in-law recovers. She is fragile."
He said the area had always been safe.
"They lived in the area for 40 years, this is the first time they were robbed. They were taken advantage of because they were elderly. There was no need for the suspects to use such force on them because they would not have been able to fight back."
Moodley said he believed that because the police and security companies were clamping down on crime in residential areas near Crowder, the farming areas were now being targeted.
Captain Nqobile Gwala, a provincial police spokesperson, said a case of house robbery is being investigated and no arrests have been made.