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Man shot in armed robbery

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“We run a small vegetable business where we sell vegetables to the community. I also run a catering business in the town”

A DELPORTSHOOP man, Sam Rautenbach, is expected to undergo surgery to remove a bullet from his back following an armed robbery on the weekend.

Rautenbach and his partner, Nico Rautenbach, who have been married for five years, were attacked by three armed men at their home in Delportshoop on Saturday afternoon.

Sam was shot in the chest and was admitted to the Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe Hospital in Kimberley following the incident.

According to Nico, the three attackers entered their yard after pretending to be customers wanting to buy some tomatoes.

“We run a small vegetable business where we sell vegetables to the community. I also run a catering business in the town,” explained Nico.

“On the day of the incident, we first spent some time at my brother as there was load shedding. We returned home later that day as I had to bake some cakes. As we walked into the house we heard the dogs. It was about 3.26pm. Sam went to the kitchen door to see what was wrong and saw the three men in the corner of the property. The men were already inside the yard at that stage. Sam asked them what they wanted and they indicated that they wanted to buy some tomatoes.

“He (Sam) then went to get the garage keys from the kitchen, as we kept the refrigerators with the vegetables in the garage. He then indicated to me that I should walk with him to the garage. I did not think much of it and accompanied him. We walked together with the three men to the garage. One of the men went inside the garage with Sam and I remained outside with the other two.”

Nico said he could hear Sam asking the man how many packets of tomatoes he wanted.

“One of the two men who were outside with me started walking backwards. I heard Sam asking the person inside the garage if he wanted one packet of tomatoes and the man replied, ‘No, two packets’. That is when I realised that something could be wrong.”

He said the next moment he heard Sam scream from inside the garage.

“I knew there was something wrong when I heard Sam scream. I quickly turned and tried to run inside the house to get my gun, but I slipped and fell as I was wearing flip-flops. The two other men came and assaulted me by kicking and hitting me. During the assault, I asked them what they wanted as I held my arms over my head to protect myself from the attack. When I looked up, I saw them pointing a gun in my face. The next moment I heard a gunshot and the two attackers ran off.”

Nico said he then ran into the house to get his firearm and also called his brother for help. When he went outside again he found Sam covered in blood and holding a firearm.

Nico said Sam told him that he was attacked inside the garage by one of the men but he managed to get hold of the attacker’s firearm.

“Sam told me that as he turned around to give the packet of tomatoes to the man, he saw that he was holding a gun. The man told him to keep quiet. He then attacked Sam and hit him on the head. They then wrestled and Sam was shot in the chest. As they wrestled, Sam managed to get hold of the gun.

“When I saw Sam, I initially thought he had been shot in the head as the blood was running down his head. He told me that he had been shot in the chest.”

Nico said that he saw a vehicle leaving as he was waiting for his brother.

“When I walked out to see if my brother was coming, I could see a car driving off. I am not certain whether the car had anything to do with the incident or whether it was the getaway car of the attackers. My brother arrived at that moment and we rushed Sam to the local hospital.”

Sam was transferred to the Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe Hospital as the bullet had grazed his lung.

He is expected to undergo surgery this week to remove the bullet from his back.

Nico indicated that Sam’s diaphragm is torn and also requires medical attention.

Police spokesperson Colonel Dimakatso Mooi said yesterday that three men had been arrested in connection with the incident.

“The police in Delportshoop are investigating a case of armed robbery, attempted murder and possession of an unlicensed firearm following the arrest of three men.

“It is alleged that on February 8, 2020, at about 4pm, two male suspects entered a local shop on the pretence of buying tomatoes. Once inside they shot one male person and when they heard someone screaming from the other side, they dropped the firearm and fled the scene on foot. The police were immediately activated and they chased the suspects until they caught them. The victim was taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound.

“The suspects were found in possession of another firearm. A preliminary investigation led to the arrest of a third suspect, believed to be the driver. All three suspects, aged 33, 38 and 43, are expected to appear in court soon on charges of armed robbery, attempted murder and possession of an unlicensed firearm,” said Mooi.