Dawie Roodt says load shedding saved his life

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SELLWANE KHAKHAU

While most people feel generally unhappy about load shedding and the inconveniences that it causes, Efficient Group Chief Economist, Dawie Roodt, says during his attack on the night of July 23rd, load shedding came as rather a blessing.

Roodt and his family were attacked in their Pretoria home by three armed suspects who tied them up, blindfolded them and held them at gunpoint.

He spent six days in ICU and undergone two operations, due to sustaining serious injuries in the attack.

Just two weeks after the attack, Roodt shared details of the ordeal in an open letter which he posted on Facebook. He wrote:

“I was working in my study at home. My wife was bathing the two-year-old twins and our eldest daughter was on her way home from university. It was about half past seven on a cold winter’s evening.

My daughter appeared in the door of my study with me hardly noticing and instead of the normal ‘hallo pappa’ she just said ‘pappa’. The strange tone of her voice made me look up. Next to her was a young man – young, her age – subtly showing me the revolver in his hand. There were three. They waited in the garage for her.

My daughter looked at me for some kind of guidance – my beautiful clever little girl – I saw her. And for a moment I also saw the future of this country standing next to her: young, poor, uneducated, unemployable and violent: the flotsam and jetsam of a failed society.

Our ordeal had begun.

Not much happened initially. We were told to be quiet, we were tied up, gagged and blindfolded. We were good hostages. Once we were immobilised they took turns unhurriedly exploring our home, gathering the easy pickings: cell phones, laptops – that kind of thing. Now and again they would ask for ‘’the guns’’, ‘’the money’’ and ‘’the safe’’.

Gradually these questions became more frequent and more intense. ‘’We will ask the babies were the money is!’’

It was going to be a long night.”

Recalling the moment of the power cut, he added:

“The power went off, startling them. The questioning became more urgent, ‘’where’s the money?’’. The threats became more explicit, the pushing around more forceful. My moment had come, I had to choose my fear.

I convinced the one with the knife that I had money in my car if he would only allow me to show him. Eventually I was led outside. He battled to open the garage door. I heard the babies cry.

I succeeded in getting my hands loose. Standing there, hands loose, but held behind my back. My moment was now, choose your fear this instant and then live with it! The right moment shows itself. I attack him, I hit him, I hold onto him as he tries to escape, I fight for what is mine – I choose the greater fear.

He whimpered as he tried to escape my grip, slashing my arm, cutting through muscles and sinews and scoring a wide wound on my head. He escaped from my clutches, but not from his fear. He ran screaming from a wounded man; I will be his nemesis from now on. But I chose and conquered the greater fear.”

In the letter, he extended his gratitude to people who played a role in saving his life as well as his family’s. He also thanked South Africa for their support.

The perpetrators are, meanwhile, still on the run. Police spokesperson, Katlego Mogale said they are still working hard to find the perpetrators.

sellwane@centralmediagroup.co.za