During the early hours of Friday morning, those two pitbulls, Riddick and Sandy, saved her life by attacking and killing a robber.
The intruder’s lifeless body was found lying in the garden by the family’s domestic worker on Saturday morning when she went out to hang clothes.
Nomusa Hlengwa, 80, said she was still in “utter shock” but thankful that her grandson Hlube Radebe had left the dogs with her when he moved into his new premises that did not allow pets.
“We could be talking about a different story now because those men came to hurt us. God knows what could’ve happen,” said the pensioner tearfully.
“I never thought there would be a lifeless body lying in my garden. I heard the dogs barking and I didn’t make anything of it until someone started shouting for help. I am old and frail so I was scared to check what was happening. It also didn’t sound like it was happening at my yard, I didn’t pay much attention. In the morning, my helper came to me shaking and tearfully saying that a dead body was outside, ” she recalled.
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“It is not something I would want anyone to see, I am still trying to get over that gruesome sight,” interjected the helper.
Radebe said both Riddick and Sandy were socialised dogs, that had undergone training in Hilton, and it was not in their nature to be vicious.
“They protected my family, which is what pit bulls do best,” said Radebe.
Alexandra Police Station Captain Kholeka Mhlongo said it is believed that the intruder had jumped over the fence into the yard with the intention of breaking in and without suspecting there were dogs on the property.
Mhlongo said housebreaking apparatuses were found next to the mauled body, linking the man to robbery.
“He was wearing gloves, a screwdriver was found in one of his pockets, and a knife was lying next to him.”
The fate of the dogs at this stage is still unknown. It is unclear if the dogs will be removed from the home, or whether there will be intervention from the Pitbull Federation of South Africa (PBFSA).
Jeanette Erasmus, chairperson of PBFSA said that pitbulls were not aggressive dogs, despite their appearance.
“They are loyal dogs, if trained and socialised from an early. If treated like a member of the family they are very protective,”she said.
An inquest docket has been opened to investigate the intruder’s death, and a case of attempted robbery, confirmed Mhlongo.