Man (53) fights for his life to save wife during farm attack in De Wildt

Pieter Gouws (53) fought for his life against armed farm attackers in De Wildt on Wednesday afternoon in an attempt to get the attention away from his wife.

Pieter and Sonja (40) were outside their house on the farm where Pieter was chopping wood shortly after 12:00, when two men, armed with a pistol and knife, jumped from the bushes. “I asked them what they wanted and one threw a rock at me. The next moment the pistol was pointed at us. They demanded guns and money,” Pieter said.

“One grabbed Sonja and they wanted to force us into the house. I thought if they get us into the house, there would be no chance of Sonja escaping. The one holding Sonja was not aggressive, so I distracted the aggressive one by trying to move away. My idea was to put up a fight so they would leave Sonja alone.”

The man picked up a panga Pieter was working with and hit him. A struggle ensued. “While we were fighting, I moved away from Sonja and the other man. I managed to get the one attacking me into a reed bush and all the while he was telling me they were going to kill us and kept hitting at me with the panga. I managed to block most of the blows. At one stage, I felt I was getting the upper hand and he called for the other man.”

In the meantime the other man had forced Sonja at gunpoint into the house to get their cellphones. She was then dragged outside again. When his accomplice called for help, Sonja was hastily tied up with fencing wire and left sitting on the ground. “He told me to sit quietly because the other one was the boss,’ Sonja said. Both men tackled Pieter and overpowered him.

Sonja managed to loosen herself from the wire and ran to neighbours for help. Pieter was tied up with boxing wire and they wanted to force him back to the house. “I pretended I couldn’t walk anymore. They left me lying face down in the bush.”

 By this time the neighbours had raised the alarm and help from the community policing forum and neighbours was arriving.

The attackers fled with the couple’s television set, cellphones and food from the fridge into the mountain. Community members searched to the suspects but they had gotten away.

Pieter sustained cuts and bruises during the attack. “I was luckily not seriously injured.”

“We just want to thank the CPF and all the community members who responded to quickly and came to our assistance,” he said.