Lizzy Simango sustained minor injuries during the ordeal. 
Photo: Herman Steyn

Domestic helper in gunfight drama


Ronél van Jaarsveld   l   Views: 149

An elderly couple, who lived on a farm outside Bela-Bela, was on Wednesday, 13 September, attacked by intruders who killed the wife and seriously injured the man of the house.

An emotion-charged Lizzy Simango,  decribed in chilling detail how four masked intruders tormented and opened fire on her elderly employers.

The woman of the house, Pattie Peterson (73), later died from a stomach shot wound. 

Her grieving husband, Cecil (83), was rushed to Eugene Marais Hospital in Pretoria, after being shot in the face.

Simango decribed how she was surprised  by the intruders as she arrived for work on the farm at around 8am on Wednesday, 13 September.

She said the four men, all with their faces concealed, ordered her to go to the farmhouse back door.

When one of her employers opened the door, the intrruders stormed the house, and one of them opened fire indiscriminately.

Pattie was shot in the stomach during the confusion.

Cecil responded by dragging his wounded wife through the corridor and behind a burglar door into the main bedroom.

According to the police, Cecil drew his own firearm and started shooting back, but could not hit the target with the intruders using Lizzy as a human shield.

Another worker on the farm, James Mandlate arrived, only to be met with gunfire from the retreating intruders.

James said he scaled a high wall on the farmstead, and phoned someone he knew in the SAPS.

Warrant Officer Thomas Makhubela was in the area when he swiftly responded to the stress call in a matter of minutes.

He forced his way into the locked main gates, but at the time the intruders had fled on foot.

Community Policing Forum (CPF) members from the neighbourhood also  descended on the Eersbewoond area near Klein- Kariba Holiday Resort, manning roadblocks and stop-and-search operations.

They also scoured the Emarentia Geldenhuys camping area, and also a nearby granadilla farm, on the Eersbewoond Road, searching for the suspects.

The search for the suspects continued until at the time of going to press.

6 months ago       14 September 2017