‘I refused to lie down’ – Port Alfred farmer speaks of attack

LAST week an elderly couple was attacked on their Port Alfred farm and robbed of a revolver, money and three precious rings.

Francois Vosloo, 70, who describes himself and his wife as ultra-cautious, was getting ready to leave his farmhouse at Port Alfred Park, about 2km from Bathurst Street, to attend a meeting in town. At the last minute Francois went back into the house to say goodbye to his wife Wendy who was busy preparing dinner at the time.

“Because I was going to come out immediately, I didn’t lock the gate,” he said.

As he was leaving, his attention was caught by a news clip on TV discussing the latest controversial book by Jacques Pauw, The President’s Keepers: Those Keeping Zuma in Power.

“The next thing I knew there were two guys standing in the house and one was pointing a pistol at me,” Francois said.

He said the taller of the two men was holding the pistol and was wearing camouflage pants. He demanded that Francois lie on the floor while the other man walked through to the kitchen where Wendy was. “He made her lie on the floor, he then noticed her rings; an engagement ring, her wedding ring and a 25th anniversary ring,” said Francois.

“The man in the lounge with the pistol had my full attention, so I was not aware whether the other man was armed and if he had a knife at Wendy’s throat.”

Francois said the man then forced Wendy to go into the bedroom and made her open the safe. The robber then forced Wendy to take out the couple’s loaded 38 special revolver and a fair quantity of money from the safe. The robber took it all, Francois said.

During the safe raid, Francois refused to follow the orders of the armed man to lie down on the floor. “I attacked him and grabbed his hand with the pistol and we were now fighting in the dining room, moving chairs about,” Francois said.

The man in the room came running out to help his partner and Wendy managed to come out from the bedroom and press the panic button. According to Francois, when they saw Wendy press the panic button they called off the attack and fled, closing the front door behind them.

“I landed on the floor due to the struggle and could not see which direction they were fleeing,” Francois said.

He said the whole ordeal lasted for about five minutes. MultiSecurity confirmed that the panic signal was received at 5.17pm. His first thoughts when he saw the two men in his home were that he was going to die.

“When he told me I must lie on the floor, I realised that he was very nervous and that’s why I decided to take him on. When I refused he even said please,” Francois said.

The couple sustained minor injuries, and Francois suspects that they weren’t very experienced. He praised MulitSecurity and SAPS who were there within minutes of the attack.

“What distresses me the most is that there is a loaded 38 special on the streets,” he said. “Don’t be complacent, lock your doors.”

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