NATIONAL NEWS - Johan van Wyk, 41, and Hanli Barnard, 47, a couple from Hartebeespoort, have been through a hellish ordeal over the past six months after Johan was shot nine times during a farm attack in November last year.
Despite this, however, they are adamant they will be getting married in style, they told Kormorant.
The couple is slowly beginning to piece together their lives that were almost taken away by the intruders.
“We would have gotten married in December, and I was actually busy making wedding decorations on the day our lives nearly fell apart,” Hanli said.
Johan and Hanli were sitting on the porch of their farm near Lanseria when five armed robbers attacked them.
“While we were sitting and talking, Hanli suddenly screamed and I felt a pistol against my head. I pushed it away and they shot my fingers off,” Johan recalls.
He pushed Hanli inside the house to protect her, and was shot three more times, in the chest and lower body.
“After this, they shot me three more times before they walked past me. I didn’t lose consciousness, but I was powerless to help Hanli and [the] children.”
Their children, aged between five and 18, were in the house with Hanli’s mother. The intruders grabbed Hanli and forced her inside the house.
Johan’s eldest son came to investigate and when the intruders saw him, they shot at him. He managed to get away.
Hanli said: “I just kept pleading saying I need to fetch my little one. They made me fetch my five-year-old and my mother and have them sit in the lounge while they ransacked the house. At one stage, they gestured towards our wedding decorations and asked what they were for. My mother answered that they were getting married in a few weeks, one of the intruders kicked Johan and asked, ‘Why would you marry a dead guy?’.
“When the intruders fled with the stolen goods, I realised that Johan was seriously hurt … The blood was spurting out of his body like a fountain. I had to get him to a hospital immediately. I couldn’t wait. Some of the farm hands helped me load him into the car and I raced to the hospital.”
Johan was in critical condition. His large intestine and lung were badly damaged, as well as his hip and pelvis. He was in hospital for more than two months, and “came out of there like a baby,” Johan said.