The Maree couple from Mpumalanga says their lives feel threatened after being attacked and robbed early in their farmhouse at Balfour on Sunday morning.
“We’ve been here for 25 years and our lives have been shaken,” said Mike Maree, 59, who farms with cattle, corn, and beans on the farm.
He and his wife, Riëtte, 55, were tied up by four men and threatened with guns. Riëtte was also assaulted by some of the men and sustained minor injuries.
According to Maree, he was still working on his bicycle at 23:00 on Saturday as he would take part in a marathon on Sunday.
“The power was off and in the dark, I forgot to set the alarm on. Our bedroom has two doors and I also forgot to close the one, ”says Maree, he always does“ out of habit ”.
He said the attackers broke their back door’s security gate from the wall around 3 am and entered the house.
“I woke up with a gun to my head and saw someone holding one against my wife’s head. I tried to stay calm and said, ‘I will give you everything you need, just don’t hurt us,’ “says Maree.
Riëtte’s hands and feet were tied with ropes. Two of the men kept watch over the couple in the couple’s bedroom while the other two forced Maree to open his safe.
“I was always worried about her safety and she about mine.”
He says there is a smaller safe in his safe.
“They wanted the key. I didn’t know where it was and we were back to my wife in the room. When she didn’t know where the key was, they hit her and snatched it, ”says Maree.
The robbers then tied him to a pillar with a ribbon and fled with his white Toyota Land Cruiser station wagon.
After the suspects fled, Maree was able to get himself out and go to the bedroom to release his wife. They drove with his bakkie to neighbors nearby, after which Maree reported the case to the police.