Daleen van der Hoven, 80, who was assaulted by four assailants on her farm, Wanatha, in the Zastron district last Friday morning and abducted to Lesotho, has been discharged from hospital.
Lize du Plessis, of Bloemfontein, says her mother was discharged on Saturday after a week in Life Rosepark Hospital. She was in the high care unit for six days and another day in the regular ward.
The badly injured Van der Hoven was dropped off in Lesotho on the night of her attack at a temperature of -5 ° C. She was barefoot in her nightgown and without glasses and stumbled over rocks and rough veld to seek help at a hut.
Her attackers burnt her Audi, which they fled across the border with, about 2.5 km from where they dropped her off, when, according to one of them, who was arrested in the meantime, “no longer wanted to drive further”.
Du Plessis says her mother’s doctor, a neurosurgeon from Bloemfontein, said before she was discharged that “she is an iron woman and a real brave Voortrekker woman”.
“He has never seen anyone who was so strong and so courageous at her age as well as an inspiration to everyone in the high-care unit.”
Du Plessis says 80% of her mother’s brain hemorrhage has been cleared up and scans will be done again in three weeks.
She was hit in the head of her bedroom when the attackers demanded money. They got away with a few thousand rand cash, valuable family jewelry that was heirlooms and three rifles from her father, the late Naas van der Hoven, a Springbok shooter.
The four attackers, all presumably Lesotho citizens, fled with her in the back seat of her car across the border. After they assaulted her again, she had to drive the last stretch of road herself because they apparently struggled to drive the car.
Du Plessis says two men with criminal records in South Africa were arrested by Lesotho police in connection with the incident. One has already escaped and is fleeing.
Police are searching for three men, all believed to be in Lesotho.
Du Plessis says her brother, Wally van der Hoven, who lives on the farm with her mother, and who also runs his own farm on nearby farms, has meanwhile done everything in his power to improve security on the farm and to helping the police to follow clues to arrest the criminals.
Van der Hoven was not on the farm when his mother was attacked.
Du Plessis says her mother says she absolutely believes in the protection of the Higher Hand and that everything was just grace.
“The blue swells in her face look much better too.”
Van der Hoven lay in the casualty ward of Life Rosepark Hospital for 17 hours after the attack. She was first tested for Covid-19 and had to wait for the result before being admitted to the hospital’s high-care unit.
She says she received excellent treatment in hospital.