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07 November 2011 at 10:45 - Posted by Anonymous

'Someone could come after us'


The attempted theft of a Soweto man’s bakkie has left one alleged thief dead and another recovering in hospital.

When George Maile* saw two men trying to steal his bakkie from his driveway, it was the last straw.

He had been the victim of several robberies and violent incidents at his Rockville home before.

Moments later, one of the men would be dead, the other with a gunshot wound, and their getaway car crashed into a neighbour’s garden wall.

Maile’s wife had heard a noise outside their house just before 3am on Saturday.

She woke up her husband, but the pair dismissed the sounds as someone being loud across the street.

But when the noise persisted for some minutes, the wife got up, looked out of the window of the guest bedroom, and saw two men in her driveway next to her husband’s bakkie.

She woke Maile and the 57-year-old jumped out of bed, put on his pants and grabbed his 9mm pistol.

“I was scared, but as an Englishman would say, a man’s house is his castle,” he said.

Maile went to the kitchen door, which opened onto his driveway, and confronted the would-be thieves.

But they ignored him and went on pushing the bakkie down the driveway towards the open gate.

Maile said he called out to the men and they responded by swearing at him and threatening to kill him if he interfered.

He then fired a shot in their direction, causing them to flee.

One of the men got into a getaway car and drove off while the other tried to flee on foot.

Maile went in pursuit, firing several shots at the man on foot.

According to Moroka police spokesman Captain Mpande Khoza, one shot was fired from inside the house, but more than a dozen were fired outside.

One of the bullets connected, killing the man before police arrived.

Mpande said Maile had called them shortly after he went back into the house.

The man in the getaway vehicle made it several metres down the road before crashing into the garden wall of a neighbour’s house.

A relative who the driver had called to help him arrived at the scene just as police pulled up, and was arrested. He now faces charges of trying to help the man in the car escape.

The wounded man was taken to hospital.

Maile said he barely remembered the exact details of the shooting, and that he and his wife were traumatised by the incident.

“It was such a terrible thing, but now we are worried that someone could come after us for fighting back.”

The couple are to undergo counselling this week, and the wounded man will be appearing in court after he recovers from his wounds.

Khoza said an inquest would have to be completed to confirm whether Maile’s case qualified as self-defence.

*Not his real name - The Star

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