When my three year old grandson, was ordered to climb into the oven, all I could think was to pray and sing a song for Jesus. “Jesus let Your angels descend on me”, says Annelize Swanepoel about her reaction to the gruesome events that took place at the Witbank murder on August 28.
“I didn’t know what they were going to do next.”
“One of the attackers silenced me and told me not to pray for my grandson” she says.
“Then he was ordered to climb into the oven, but they never threatened to do anything to him. They gave him a soft drink and a banana while he stared at him quietly and motionless” she says about the ordeal.
There was only 73 Rand (5 Dollars) in her bank account and this upset them greatly.
Shortly thereafter, her husband, Peet Swanepoel (51), arrived home. He was shot in the face with a shotgun before he could respond at all.
Witbank murder: Peet Swanepoel died on the scene.
Annelize says she went to pick up her grandson, from his mother like every other morning. “I walked home just after 7 am and went straight to the kitchen. When I opened a kitchen cupboard, five men appeared.”
“All five then pointed their weapons at me. At first, I thought it was a joke. I then started screaming and one of the attackers ripped my cap off my head and pushed it down my throat. When I bit his fingers, he punched me in the face.”
Another attacker grabbed my grandson by the mouth and said in Afrikaans: “You’re not going to cry, are you?”
The attackers tied Annelise’s hands with a cellphone’s cord and took her and grandson to the master bedroom. “They threw me to the ground and wanted money. I explained there was no money in the house. They said “you talk too much” and then one of the attackers hit me on the head with the back of his gun. I then lost my consciousness for a little while.”
They then started knocking and kicking me around again and dragged me back to the kitchen. “An attacker then told Franco to open the stove and climb in.” They threw her purse in front of her and ordered her to show them on her banking app how much money was in her bank account.
“One of the attackers snatched a knife. He wanted to cut off my ear first and then my nose. He grabbed my breasts and was twisting my nipples as his attention was drawn. I heard three shots and the robbers were out of the house. I just sat there and showed my grandson that we should hide.”
One of their workers then came into the house and told her that her husband had been shot dead. Annelize says the most painful moment for her was when police informed her that her husband’s most reliable worker was linked to the robbery.
“He was my husband’s right hand and his left hand. If my husband lit a cigarette, he lit one for his worker and if he made coffee for himself, he also made for this worker. “It is hard for me to understand how the worker was apparently waiting at the gate while he knew what the attackers were doing with us inside the house.”
Arrests Made for the Witbank murder
According to a local newspaper The Sowetan Live, on September 11, three men linked to the murder and brutal home invasion, appeared in court in Mpumalanga.
Kholofelo Makhudu, 19, and Gift Mbola, 22, made their second appearance in the Witbank magistrate’s court on Monday on charges of murdering 51-year-old Peet Swanepoel.
An alleged accomplice, Negus Simelane, was handed over to police by his family six days after the murder and an investigation led to the recovery of eight firearms, ammunition and a home-made gun.
He appeared in court on September 4, for possession of a firearm without a licence and was remanded in custody.