2009-02-23 : 'Your life is never safe'

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2009-02-23 : 'Your life is never safe'

Postby GOSA » Wed, 2009-04-15 10:52

'Your life is never safe'
Graeme Hosken
February 23 2009 at 07:36AM

Moments after telling his heavily pregnant wife that his biggest dream was
to hold his unborn daughter, a Pretoria father-to-be, Johan
Boshoff-Serenata, 28, was gunned down in front of her.

"That's the last thing he said to me. Those were his last words," said an
emotional Grazietta Boshoff-Serenata, 29.

Johan, who owned the company Hand-O-Man which designed and developed
sporting fields, was shot dead on Saturday night in his Pretoria East home
in Savannah Hills Country Estate - described by residents as the safest
security complex in the capital.

The couple had only hours before completed their move into their new home,
built close to Silverlakes Estate.

As the two prepared to go to bed, Grazietta, who is nearly seven months'
pregnant, was alerted to a group of men breaking into their house by the
barking of their dogs.

The men, who were armed with guns and knives, apparently dug a tunnel under
the perimeter wall near the N4 highway to gain access to the complex, which
is surrounded by high voltage electric fencing as well as CCTV cameras.

Looking out of the window, Grazietta spotted two men climbing through a

Screaming for her husband to lock and barricade their bedroom door,
Grazietta watched in horror as the robbers opened fire, shooting him twice
as he tried to keep their attackers out.

After kicking open the door, the gunmen continued to shoot, hitting Johan
again as he lay bleeding to death on the floor.

As she hid in a corner to protect herself and her unborn child, one of the
gunmen tried to rip her wedding ring off her finger.

Unable to do so, the man tried to bite her finger off to remove the ring. He
was stopped by one of his accomplices as Grazietta pleaded with him to leave
her alone and allow her to take the ring off.

Grazietta managed to suck her ring off her finger and give it to her

As she tried to move towards her dying husband, the men beat her before
ransacking her house, stealing cellphones, jewellery and other valuables.

Describing her husband as the most adoring man in the world, a distraught
Grazietta on Sunday said all he wanted to do was hold his unborn daughter.

Grazietta said the attack had felt like it was never going to end.

"There was so much noise. People were screaming and shouting. I just
remember Johan screaming at the men over and over again to leave us alone
but they wouldn't.

"He was not trying to fight them. All he was doing was trying to protect me
and our unborn child.

"When they started shooting, he yelled and then fell. That was when they
came inside.

"They carried on shooting before one of them jumped over the bed while the
others attacked me.

"I was petrified. I did not know what was happening.

"All I could think of was protecting my baby and saving my husband.

"I tried so hard to help Johan but they would not let me. They kept on
stopping me," she said.

Grazietta said they had moved to the estate because of its renowned
security, only for this to happen.

"It is clear that your life is never safe no matter where you live. There is
no such thing as a safe place in South Africa.

"The proof is that I am a widow at the age of 29 and that my child is
fatherless because of crime."

Police spokesperson Constable Mabel Sibande said the suspects, who had yet
to be arrested, had stolen a laptop computer, three cellphones and

She confirmed that the suspects had gained access to the estate by digging a
hole under the perimeter wall.

Sibande said a case of murder and armed robbery was under investigation.

This article was originally published on page 1 of Pretoria News on February
23, 2009
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