THE determination to survive and the grace of God is what saved a 72-year-old woman from Odendaalsrus from certain death.
“I am going to kill you,” her assailant screamed at her as he relentlessly pummelled and punched and kicked her.
The woman was attacked in her home at about 10:30 on Thursday morning (21/07).
“I was in the spare bathroom. As I came into the bedroom, he overpowered me.”
Esterhuizen says the man was big and he had a stubbly beard and a moustache.
“It was like a circle on his face.
“I fought back with every ounce of fight I had in me. I am sure I broke two of his fingers. I was bending them and I heard something snap. I offered him money if he would let me live.
“I must have said about five times, if you let me go, I will give you money. But he was adamant he wanted me dead.”
Esterhuizen says he eventually had her down on the floor.
“That’s when I grabbed his knackers and squeezed very hard. He put his foot on the side of my face and ground it hard into my flesh. I did not let go and he backed off. He threw the spare bed on top of me before leaving the room. I just lay there quietly as if I was dead, just in case he came back. The next thing I heard my neighbour, Isabel (Janse van Rensburg). She was standing over me asking me why I was lying under the bed.”
Estehuizen says her neighbour had heard her shouting.
“She thought I had fallen and came to my rescue. She did not realise that I was actually being attacked.”
Her neighbour notified friends of Esterhuizen’ s ordeal. She tried to phone the police. Among others, Bunny and Brian House rushed from Riebeeckstad (15 minutes away) to be with her.
“It was only when we eventually threatened the police with Vista that they came to the scene. That must have been one and a half hours later,” says Bunny House.
Esterhuizen was admitted to hospital, but released on the same day. She had sustained a concussion and severe abrasions and lacerations.
Capt. Stephen Thakeng of the Welkom police has confirmed the incident. He says that the police did not take as long to get to Esterhuizen as was alleged.
“The vehicle that attends to complaints was at the culpable homicide case, where a pedestrian was hit and died.
“The station commander, Col. Disebo Cezula, immediately took her private vehicle to the scene.
“So it is very clear that we did not take one and a half hour to attend to the complaint,” says Thakeng.
According to Thakeng, the man was wearing a balaclava when he overpowered Esterhuizen in the kitchen.
Esterhuizen is recuperating at home. She is being supported by her grandson Keith Shannon and his wife, Leandri.
“Gran is a fighter. She has always taught us to be strong,” says Keith.