Quizmaster attacked in his home

2010-03-30 07:48
Magdel Fourie, Beeld
Johannesburg – Former radio and television presenter Edwill van Aarde, 71, was attacked and assaulted in his house in Krugersdorp on Monday.

He described in tears how he tried to fight back, but soon realised the robber was "too young and strong".

"I just knew I couldn't. I couldn't do a thing," the former sports commentator and presenter of the quiz programme Flinkdink said.

Van Aarde's wife, Piena, 67, had just gone to the shops when he heard a noise at the kitchen door at about 11:30. The Van Aardes have been living in the house for 37 years.

At the kitchen door he saw a skinny young man working on the security gate. The man said Piena had sent him to fix the lock.

The man had a gardening fork, a rusted file and spanner with him.

Tried to fight


"When I asked him where my wife is, he said she's in the garage at her yellow car - she's on her way. And so I thought, she does drive a yellow car," Van Aarde said.

He unlocked the door.

"Then he punched me to the ground. He dragged me down the hallway by my feet, all the while kicking and beating me," said Van Aarde, clearly still shocked.

Initially he tried to fight back, but soon realised he didn't have the strength. The knife in the robber's hand also made him think twice.

When the robber had dragged Van Aarde to his bedroom, he struggled to his feet.

The robber pulled the drawers out and rummaged in the cupboards in the bedroom, and stuffed about 30 jewellery cases in a bag.

The Van Aardes bought the precious jewels in the cases during trips abroad to cities like Paris, London and Vienna.

"They're irreplaceable. We'll never go overseas again," said Van Aarde.

My photos

The robber also stole Van Aarde's camera and binoculars.

"I asked him very nicely to leave my camera behind, because there are photos of my grandchildren and dogs on the camera."

The couple's much loved dogs recently died of old age.

While the robber was plundering, Van Aarde spotted the panic button and managed to get hold of it.

Although he knew he was taking a huge risk, he pressed the button.

When the alarm started sounding, the robber "just swore" and fled.

"One thing I'll never forget is the look in his eyes. At the beginning he was still friendly and chatty. But once he was inside, there was only hate in his eyes."

The police and a paramedic were at the scene shortly after the incident to treat and help Van Aarde, who was complaining of chest pain.

Shattered

"I'm shattered. I don't have scars on my face, but my body is in a lot of pain. But I'm still glad I wasn't more seriously hurt," said Van Aarde.

He feels this attack should serve as an example to others. "One can never be too careful, even in broad daylight."

This attack took place mere weeks before a concert in aid of Van Aarde is to be held on April 12. Several artists, including Steve Hofmeyr, will perform during the show.

After the attack, Hofmeyr furiously slated attacks on vulnerable children and the elderly.

"He's a really good friend of mine - an old man, crippled by ill health, who can't defend himself. This is tragic," said Hofmeyr.