Living in fear
09 December 2011 | Stacy Castles
Lorraine Stahnke (51) from Brakpan Central was almost killed for R10, her wristwatch and a cheap cellphone.
She was robbed on Friday evening, November 25, as she walked home after visiting family who live in a block of flats at the Brakpan Mall.
"I can't remember what time I left to come home, but it wasn't very late," said Lorraine.
She stays only a few blocks from the mall and has undertaken the trip many times before.
Lorraine is on heart medication and has suffered several strokes.
She walks and talks with difficulty and cannot drive.
"While walking, I was grabbed around the neck," she said.
The robbers, both young males, didn't say anything to her as they started beating her.
"They just started hitting me and there was nothing I could do," Lorraine tearfully told the Herald.
She lost consciousness and remembers waking up in great pain and feeling that her face was wet.
Lorraine was found in a bloody heap by two teenage boys.
"They helped me to my feet and called an ambulance," she said.
Lorraine recalls that the boys' names were Gertjie and Riaan.
"I thank them from the bottom of my heart," she said.
Lorraine was taken to the Far East Rand Hospital with horrific injuries and was later transferred to a hospital in Pretoria.
She sustained cuts and bruises to her face, as well as injuries to her facial bones and ribs, and was discharged from hospital five days later.
A week after the incident and bruises are still visible on her face and body.
Finger marks imprint the tops of her arms where the men held her and her left eye is red and inflamed.
She starts to cry again as she explains that a doctor at the hospital told her relatives that she was lucky to be alive.
"He said those men were trying to kill me," she said.
The incident has changed her life forever and she will need to go for trauma counselling .
"I've been robbed once before, but they didn't hurt me like this," said Lorraine.
"I'm too scared to go out and will never go anywhere on my own again."