Virginia Keppler, Beeld
Pretoria – Three armed robbers on Tuesday used an eight-year-old boy as a shield to lure the owner of a game farm from this house and shoot him.
Juandré Reyneke, 8, and his father, André, 40, were overpowered and assaulted at about 02:00 in their rondavel on a farm at Varkfontein near Cullinan, east of Pretoria.
André, a professional hunter, and his son were guests on the farm.
“We were asleep. When I woke up, I saw someone pushing a pistol against my son’s head,” said André.
“The next moment one (of them) hit me in the face with his fist and pulled me off the bed.
“They wanted money, a safe and firearms. My child became hysterical. I talked to him to calm him down, but then they jumped on my head and back and kicked me in the ribs.
“They also hit my son against the head with the pistol and slapped him in the face and on the chest,”André said.
Then the robbers tied André and his son’s hands and feet with boot laces. One of the thugs stayed with André while the other two dragged his son to the rondavel in which Kassie Cloete was sleeping.
On Tuesday Cloete was speaking from his bed in Montana hospital in Pretoria. He said he woke up when he heard Juandré calling him outside.
“I went to the sliding door of my room and saw the child standing there. I asked him what was wrong and the next moment a man emerged from behind a wall and shot at me.” He was hit twice.
“I grabbed my pistol and fired a shot, and the robbers fled,” Cloete said.
But they dragged Juandré along until they reached the farm gate.
“There they shouted at my child: ‘Run or we’ll shoot you,’ but his feet were still tied,”André said.
André said a robber was just about to cut off his ring finger to get his ring when Cloete fired the shot.
“Then he stopped and ran outside. Even though the oom had managed to reach his weapon in time, he couldn’t have shot the buggers because they were using my son as a shield.”
Juandré’s mother took him for psychological counselling on Tuesday.
The robbers fled with André’s pistol, two cellphones, R1 000 and the apparatus he uses to measure his blood sugar.
Police spokesperson Johannes Jafta said one suspect had been arrested.