PLETTENBERG BAY NEWS - "They were trying to kill me."
These are the words of a man who survived a brutal attack at the hands of three robbers who struck during broad daylight at his Plettenberg Bay home last month.
The reflection came after two of the suspects were released on R3 000 bail and are again free to roam the streets of the coastal holiday town. The third suspect remains behind bars due to a previous conviction.
The victim, who did not want to be identified, was overpowered by three men in his home in Zenon Street at about 16:00 on 27 January.
He described his harrowing ordeal as a calculated and vicious attack and could not believe that the suspects, whom he had positively identified as his attackers, had been released on bail.
He said that he was working at his desk when he noticed a man on his veranda. "I got up and shouted at him to get away, but before I knew it there were two more men in the house," the victim said.
It was this commotion on the veranda that may have saved his life, because a domestic worker at a neighbour's home heard the screaming and contacted a local security company to assist.
He said that all three suspects were armed with knives and stabbed him several times during the attack.
"They took me into the house where they tied me up and kicked me in the head. I passed out, but when I came to, they sprayed teargas in my face. I passed out again. When I regained consciousness, they forced my eyes open and poured ant poison in my eyes, before taping my head up and attempting to suffocate me with cushions."
He said he then lost consciousness again while they ransacked the house. "Every time they passed by me, they kicked me in the head."
After what felt like an eternity, the victim managed to untie himself and jumped out of a window to try and escape - the fall inflicting further injury. He said that when he got outside he saw the security company vehicle and called out to them.
"My assailants were still in the house, but when they spotted the security company, they jumped over the fence and made a run for it. I believe the men, especially the main aggressor, were intending to kill me. They had no sense of remorse and went about their business in a cold and calculated way."
While the security company personnel assisted the man, PBCPA members - including police, Bitou law enforcement, the Plett Security Tactical Response Unit, PBCPA patrollers, Plett Security, Fidelity ADT and Plett Watch members - flooded the area.
They spotted one of the suspects and he was tracked, chased down and arrested in dense vegetation nearby. The other two suspects fled towards the N2. Crime fighters gave chase and the other two suspects were arrested in the bushy area near the Formosa Garden Village.
All arrests were made within 49 minutes. The stolen goods, which included a laptop, a camera, cellphones and various other high-value items, were also recovered.
Police spokesperson Captain Marlene Pieterse said the items were estimated to be worth about R200 000 and the suspects were aged between 17 and 20. It is believed that they appeared in the Plettenberg Bay Magistrate's Court soon after the arrest, where two were released on bail.
"It is unbelievable that these guys are roaming the streets again," the victim said. He added that not only did police find the suspects' fingerprints on the scene, but he also managed to identify his assailants and police found the stolen items in their possession. "The knives, stained with my blood, were also recovered." He said he feels sorry for everyone who put their lives on the line to arrest the attackers, only for them to be released so soon.
By the time of going to print the NPA (National Prosecuting Authority) had not yet responded to questions as to why the suspects were released on R3 000 bail.
'We bring you the latest Plettenberg Bay, Garden Route news'