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Fake nurses in farm attack

Couple survive after cops and neighbours move fast

The Witness

5 Aug 2020

NIYANTA SINGH

A DUNDEE farming couple are counting their blessings after an attempt to rob and attack them was foiled on Monday through swift action by police, security companies and community members.

The ordeal for the Strauss family began at about 1 pm on Monday when a vehicle with a Department of Health sticker arrived at their farm and two women, dressed as nurses, and two men got out of the vehicle.

“They said they were here to talk to us about Covid-19. We invited them in, they wanted some water to drink, they used the toilet and then suddenly one of them pulled out a firearm and cocked it against my husband’s head.

“At the same moment, through some divine intervention, I was able to press the panic button and all hell broke loose,” said Patricia Strauss.

She said the men tried to attack them with a chair, opened fire on them and fled the scene on foot, leaving the vehicle behind.

“I’m just grateful for all the help we received, that we escaped with our lives and no one was injured. They were after money and things of value, as they asked my husband for money when they pulled out the gun. I just cannot express my gratitude enough to the community, police and security companies for assisting us. It has been amazing,” said Strauss.

Herman de Wet, Dundee district farmers’ representative, said the community sprang into action immediately and managed to intercept the suspects.

Within 45 minutes, he said, the suspects were arrested.

“As these four were trying to flee the scene, police had arrived and intercepted them. They were arrested. Then, another vehicle, that had come to the farm with these four, was spotted on the premises and sped off when they saw the police.

“Everyone chased after them and they were cornered from all directions. One suspect was just overcome with everything that happened and shot himself. The other suspects were all arrested,” said De Wet. The man who shot himself died on the farm.

KwaZulu-Natal provincial police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said seven suspects were arrested and two pistols with ammunition were recovered.

“They will be charged with attempted house robbery and possession of firearms as well as ammunition. Their vehicles were impounded for further investigation. They will appear in the Utrecht Magistrate’s Court soon,” said Mbele.

KwaZulu-Natal provincial commissioner Lieutenant-General Khombinkosi Jula applauded the teams for swiftly responding to the incident.

“These suspects will be profiled to determine if they can be linked to similar cases,” he said.