DURBAN – An elderly couple whose house was hit by two homemade petrol bombs in the early hours of Thursday morning believe the attackers wanted to trap their family in their Reservoir Hills home and kill them.
Seventy-three-year-old Ram Moothilal said both the front and back door – the only two exits out of the house – was set alight by petrol bombs just after midnight Thursday.
He said that if he had not been woken up by the noise of a faulty window, his ill wife, four grandchildren and son would have died in their home.
“I woke up to close the window, but when I looked down the passage I saw a lot of smoke and I knew something was on fire. I woke up my wife and she went to investigate,” he said.
Moothilal’s wife, Sabitha, said the front door was engulfed in flames.
“I started screaming and my grandsons rushed to see what was going on. They all threw water on the door, but by then I was already choking from the smoke,” she said.
Sabitha, a cancer patient who receives chemotherapy, said she had to find a space that was cleared of the smoke to catch her breath.
While the grandchildren attempted to put out the fire at the front door, they noticed that the back door was also alight.
“My tenants rushed upstairs and grabbed sand with their hands to douse the fire. We were trapped for almost an hour before the fires was put out,” she said.
The family said they were still reeling from the ordeal, but were concerned for their safety as police were still searching for those behind the attack.
“We have no idea who would want to attack us. We have no enemies and cannot even begin to think who would want to kill us. Whoever did this did not look to steal anything. They just attacked, and we are afraid they will come back,” Moothilal said.
When The Mercury visited the family yesterday, a strong smell of smoke and fire was in the air.
The roof above the doors was badly damaged and the walls were coated in a black sheet of soot.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane said a case of malicious damage to property was opened at Sydenham police station for investigation.
– THE MERCURY