‘He had a knife against my throat and he told me he would kill me’

Kimberley – With a knife pressed against her neck and the chilling words “keep quiet or I’m going to kill you”, was how a Monument Heights resident was woken up early on Friday morning.

The elderly woman, who lives alone, said she was sleeping in her bedroom when she was roused from her sleep by a figure with a blanket over his head at around 6.30am.

It is believed that the man gained entry to her home through the study window where he broke the burglar bars with a wooden pole.

The suspect first went through the woman’s entire house, opening all the draws he possibly could, before going into the kitchen and taking a bread knife out of the drawer and entering the woman’s bedroom.

“He had a knife against my throat and he told me he would kill me if I didn’t keep quiet. He then told me to undress because he was going to rape me. He also told me that he had four other friends waiting outside if I screamed or made a noise,” the woman said after the ordeal

She said that while the intruder was talking to her, memories flooded back to her about an earlier incident when her garden worker had attempted to rape her.

After the man had taken off her pyjamas, he asked her where her cellphone was. “I told him I don’t have one as a result of the last robbery. I thought I could bluff my way out of having to give up my phone as it had my family’s contact numbers on as well as pictures,” she said.

However, the man pulled her naked body off the bed and started ripping the blankets and pillows off the bed in order to find the phone, which he did.

She added that she then tried to bargain with him not to take the phone. “He asked for money because he claimed he was hungry. I found R200 in a hidden compartment in my purse and gave it to him. He then laughed in my face and told me he wasn’t as stupid as he looked and obviously he didn’t give me back my cellphone.”

All this time, she said, she was wondering where her dog was. “He normally barks if he wants to go outside, but I heard nothing.”

She said that while the intruder was ransacking her room, her dog eventually came in and the intruder ran to the dog and held the knife against its throat and said, “I told you to stay in the other room.”

The woman said that some of the items that were stolen held a lot of sentimental value to her.

“My husband passed away approximately three years ago and I still had a lot of his clothes in the cupboard. It made me feel safe knowing that it was there although I was planning to donate some of it to the church. A lot of it was name brand clothing.”

Other items the intruder managed to get away with was jewellery. “Fortunately I had a lot of costume jewellery on my dressing table and my more expensive jewellery was in a cupboard right next to the dressing table. Thank goodness he didn’t go in there and take that.”

She said he also emptied out her handbag and took all of its contents. “My make-up and even some Beechies I had in it.”

She said that the intruder ripped off all the mattresses in the spare rooms and threw the pillows out of their casings. “I think he was looking for money.”

Once the intruder had finally finished ransacking the house he told her to stay in the room and wait 15 minutes before coming out.

She said as soon as she heard he had gone she quickly got dressed and ran to her neighbours for assistance.

110435950 - 'He had a knife against my throat and he told me he would kill me'
The window where the man gained entry to the house. Picture: Danie van der Lith/African News Agency (ANA)

The woman indicated that this was not the first time that something like this had happened to her or her neighbours.

“This is about the third time for me. My neighbours on the one side had their offices broken into and equipment stolen. The neighbours on the other side have also been targeted.

“Where do you go to feel safe? Wherever you go they will get in. Even if I have all the security systems in place they will still get in. I’m also afraid of installing more security around my house because then it is almost telling them that you have things worth taking. I just don’t know.”

A member of the Community Policing Forum (CPF) said on Sunday that they had exhausted all avenues in trying to trace the elderly woman’s cellphone.

The CPF representative further stated that “we have definitely seen that criminals are doing their rounds in this area”.

The police were contacted to provide comment but at the time of going to press had still not done so.

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