2007-10-09 : Ex-PMB woman´s horror hold-up


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2007-10-09 : Ex-PMB woman´s horror hold-up

Postby GOSA » Fri, 2007-10-26 08:14

Ex-PMB woman´s horror hold-up

Tue, 9 Oct 2007

By Alet van Zyl

A FORMER Pietermaritzburg journalist, who was attacked in her
home in Johannesburg last week, said yesterday it is pointless
to hold a "Homecoming Expo" in London if it is too dangerous for
former South Africans to return to the country.

Primarashni Gower (37) - who wrote for The Witness as
Primarashni Pillay before her marriage - and her husband, David
(46), her mother and their three children were held up by armed
men on Saturday night and robbed of their most valuable

"That afternoon we were sitting on our verandah talking about a
recent murder in a nearby street, and I said to my mother that
we have been in this house for six years and I´m sure it is just
a matter of time before it´s our turn," said Primarashni, the co-
editor of the Higher Learning supplement in the Mail&Guardian.

David went to the gym and returned at about 7.45 pm, pulling up
in front of his garage in pouring rain. The garage door suddenly
opened and a man held a pistol to his head.

The man pulled him roughly from the car and took him inside,
demanding the key to a security gate between the garage and the

"Security is like a religion [for us]," he said, explaining that
the gate is one of several that close off various parts of the

"I couldn´t remember where the key was. One of them grabbed me
between the legs, and I told him that wasn´t helping, he must
give me a chance to think. That I was scared. And I was scared,"
David said.

After he unlocked the gate, they went to a room where
Primarashni, her mother and the children were watching TV.

The robbers tied David up and took Primarashni through the house
to point out all the most expensive items.

One of the couple´s daughters kept asking what was happening.

"I told her not to worry, that daddy and the men were just
playing a game," said David.

Primarashni said she was terrified that the men were going to
rape her, but she thought that if that happened she would keep
quiet, so that David would not try to rescue her.

"I thought that if they raped me I could get anti-retrovirals at
Milpark Hospital, because I know they have them," she said. "But
if they killed my children, I thought I would ask them to kill
me as well, because then I would have nothing to live for."

The men eventually left in the Gowers´ Peugeot 206 and Toyota
Corolla Verso filled with their computer, jewellery and,
specifically, their LCD television.

"They wanted to know if we had a plasma-screen TV and how big it
was. One of the robbers phoned someone in Soweto and told him
what sort of cars and television we had," Primarashni said.

"It´s ironic that next week there´s the Homecoming Expo in
London. We have a wonderful country, but I would never advise
someone to come back," she said.

"Our government is out of touch with what is really going on. I
voted for the ANC, but I feel abandoned.

"I wish the politicians were affected by crime."

Published: 9 October 2007
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