A Westville family’s Christmas Day took a terrifying turn when a gang of armed men stormed their home, held them at gunpoint and threatened to kill them while they ransacked the premises.
One of the victims, who asked that his identity be withheld, said the ordeal – which lasted almost an hour – had left him paranoid.
He was made to lie down on the ground and was kicked and assaulted over and over.
He could hear other members of his family being assaulted but could not move to help them.
The family had decided to spend Christmas Day at home and had a braai.
At around 10pm, after they had finished dinner, between six and eight armed men stormed their home.
There were five people at the home at the time, including an elderly woman.
“They hit me over the head and assaulted me numerous times, kicking me,” the man said.
He said that other members of his family were then also assaulted, and that the men told them they were going to kill them.
“They went through the house and took cellphones, televisions and electronics,” he said.
The men only fled when neighbours who realised what was going on screamed that the police were on their way.
The man thanked those neighbours, as well as police and paramedics who responded.
He warned others never to let their guard down.
“It could happen to anyone,” he said.
He said his family had lived in the area for more than three years and the house robbery was the first negative incident that they had experienced.
Police spokeswoman Captain Nqobile Gwala said Westville police were investigating a case of house robbery and the theft of a motor vehicle.
“A group of suspects, armed with firearms, entered the house and demanded cash,” she said.
“They took some of the property in the house and a Nissan Qashqai.”
The vehicle was later recovered in Bonela.
There has been a spike in violent crime in Westville and surrounding areas.
Last month New Germany resident Philipus Retief, 58, narrowly survived being shot in the chest in an attempted home invasion outside his Mountain Ridge Road home.
Earlier that month, 46-year-old Powerhouse Security Service boss Paresh Bodalia was gunned down in front of his 6-year-old twins outside his Chearsley Road home, in a botched hijacking.
And in September, Gary Mackay was killed protecting his wife and young children during a home invasion in their Duncan Road home.
Source : The Mercury