The #IamStaying movement has certainly exploded on the scene in South Africa. Using the hashtag, is a form of solidarity that says: we will endure the suffering imposed on us by a corrupt communist government, and against all odds somehow fix a broken democracy. For others the more sensible meme is, #IAmStayingOverseas. But what does it take to just give up your country?

For one of our readers who now live in the UK

The answer was, It takes ten minutes.

IamStaying Overseas

We let our reader tell her story:

#IAmStayingOverseas Charmaine Clark
#IAmStayingOverseas: Charmaine Clark

The Worst Ten Minutes Of My Life – By CHARMAINE CLARK

FARM ATTACK: 3 SEPTEMBER 2015 – Toitskraal, Limpopo

Around midnight I woke up hearing Masadi, a white long wire-haired Russell X, barking frantically outside my bedroom window. My first thought was to ignore her, but her bark was different from other barks. Too insistent.

I have a thick steeled security gate on my bedroom door. The bedroom door was also closed, and I have a small fan oscillating for grey noise to help me sleep through chickens clucking, cocks crowing and dogs barking.

So, I got out the bed; opened the bedroom door; disarmed the house and went to the side door on the enclosed verandah, which has a small opening to allow Masadi in, without me having to open the main door and security gate.

I called out to her and she came scuttling in as fast as possible and literally shot into my husband’s bedroom; dived onto the bed and hid behind Chris.

The other 2 large dogs; Scar and Simba; were both not visible and even though I called out to them a few times.

I thought nothing of it, that they were not responding.

#IAmStayingOverseas The Clark family's farmhouse at Toitskraal (Photo: provided)
#IAmStayingOverseas. The Clark family’s farmhouse at Toitskraal (Photo: provided)

At 1.13 am I woke up again, but this time to a strange sound.

I knew the time, as it’s a habit of mine to check the clock, every time I’m woken up.

I opened the bedroom door, it was quiet so I closed the door again. I went to the loo and whilst sitting there, heard the strange sound again.

Again, silence when I opened the door.

Something didn’t feel right so I stood quietly waiting for the sound. Then I heard it again, so I disarmed the alarm and opened the security gate.

When I peered around into the lounge and enclosed verandah, I saw a terrorist, with a dark blue balaclava bending by the window outside, trying to pry the window loose.

The sound I had heard, was window frame against window frame.

I immediately started shouting for my son Jethro and husband Chris, telling them there was a terrorist, trying to break into our home.

The moment my husband heard me, he reached for his shorts. At the same time, he saw a terrorist at the window, with terrorist’s arm through the burglar bars, aiming a gun at Chris.

A shot went out and missed him, embedding the 9mm bullet into the wall.

The hole in the wall from the bullet meant for Chris
#IAmStayingOverseas The hole in the wall from the bullet meant for Chris (Photo: provided)

When Chris was running from the room, he was phoning Lukas Terblanche. Jethro, my son was phoning Kobus Malan.

I tried pressing the panic button but was so frightened, I didn’t press long enough.

Apparently, you’re supposed to hold the panic button down for 3 seconds.

My brain didn’t comprehend three seconds. One second felt like a lifetime.

Both Chris and Jethro ran to the enclosed verandah. By this time the window had been opened and more terrorists arrived, one with a huge bolt cutter.

They were busy cutting the bars, whilst Chris was hitting at them with his heavy-duty torch.

Jethro was hitting at them with a pick handle.

The farmhouse window, destroyed with bolt cutters
#IAmStayingOverseas The farmhouse window, destroyed with bolt cutters (Photo: provided)

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At one moment, Chris dropped his heavy-duty torch on the outside of the window and one of the terrorists, bent down and grabbed it.

I rushed off to the bedroom, where I grabbed the Police Baton I have and gave it to Chris, where he continued hitting at the window bars, to stop the attackers from getting in.

Then Chris phoned SOS and all this time, both men are fighting, to keep the terrorists outside.

There were seven terrorists

One terrorist had a grey balaclava, the others were wearing blue balaclavas, save for one that had nothing.

I tried to take a photo, but my hands were shaking too much. None of the terrorists were recognisable.

#IAmStayingOverseas. Terrorists wearing Balaclavas. Archive photo for illustration purposes only.
Terrorists wearing Balaclavas. (Archive photo for illustration purposes only)

I ran around the house, checking all the rooms; making sure all lights were off.

Then I ran back to the men and shouted encouragement, for them to carry on fighting. And not to allow anyone in.

Eventually, the terrorists managed to pull the burglar bars out towards them and Chris grabbed it and pulled it back.

A tug of war ensued for what seemed an endlessly long time.

Three of the terrorists had guns. They shot a further four times, at us but missed.

Then another shot, the bullet hit my son in the chest.

The bullet that ripped right through Jethro’s chest.
The bullet that ripped right through Jethro’s chest. (Photo: provided)

The day after the attack; I could still smell blood and rotting meat on it.

They fired a seventh time, but again missed. Chris was shouting at them, that they are wasting their time, we have nothing.

The leader only snarled two words. “Fuck off”

I was so desperate for help, that I started shouting “I can see the Terblanche’s driving down the road.”

This made six of the terrorists, run away, whilst the main attacker still tried to gain access. He was determined.

The next moment Lukas Senior, Lukas Junior and Kobus, together with more farmers arrived.

The entire attack, only took about 10 minutes from start to finish.

Lukas Senior stood by the fence and called out to us. Asking if the terrorists were inside the house.

I responded “No! They had just run away.”

We opened the front door and security gate. Jethro went to talk to the farmers that came to help.

Jethro was taken by ambulance to Philadelphia hospital.

He received stitches and an x-ray confirmed the 9mm bullet, had just missed his lung, ribs and other vital organs.

Jethro Clark's bullet wounds. Entry in the chest (left) exit in the back (right)
#IAmStayingOverseas Jethro Clark’s bullet wounds. Entry in the chest (left) exit in the back (right) (Photo: provided)

Chris and I went around the garden calling out to our other 2 dogs.

Both big dogs had been poisoned.

Simba had already died and looked like he could have been dead for 2 hours.

Scar was lying under a tree and was obviously in a lot of pain. We found where he had vomited up the poisoned Russian Sausage.

The Clark family's dog was poisoned.
#IAmStayingOverseas The Clark family’s dogs were poisoned (Photo: provided)

We had to wait for the vet to open, before loading Scar on the back of the vehicle.

He managed to pull through and was released the following Sunday.

It was The worst 10 minutes of my life.

IamStaying Overseas

#IAmStayingOverseas – original news report

The story of this farm attack originally appeared in South African Today

Charmaine and her son left the farm in October 2018, and went to the UK, seeking asylum. Her husband Chris is in the United States. Charmaine, is one of our volunteers, wanting to help both those South Africans that want to stay and those that want to leave. As for herself, she says “#IAmStayingOverseas”.

You can volunteer too.

Arrests made for the attack on the Clark Family

No arrests have been made.

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