Hellish attack at heavenly gardens

Christinah Motlhabane
STOLEN AND RETRIEVED: Car found dumped at Colored

Having amassed many happy memories during his 25 years in Botswana, the evening of Wednesday 26 April will live long in the memory of a British pensioner for all the wrong reasons.

73-year-old Rod Monroe was left bloodied and bruised after two intruders forced their way into his Heavenly Gardens home and beat him up in a hellish attack.

Narrating the traumatic incident to The Voice, Monroe revealed the thieves tripped the power by the main gate at around 8pm before sneaking into the premises, located just off the Francistown-Matsiloje road near Sekukwe.

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“They proceeded to my employee’s house, stabbed him and then dragged him to the gate, where they tied him up and left him,” said Monroe, who moved to Botswana in 1998 and is the owner of Heavenly Gardens, an events centre that hosts weddings, parties and other such gatherings.

Having stolen P2, 800 from the employee, who works as a Manager at the venue, as well as helping themselves to his clothes, the two bandits then headed to Monroe’s house, dreaming of a big payday.

Enroute, they broke into the Brit’s tool shed, grabbing a spade and an iron bar.

“I heard a knock on my door and when I opened, they whacked the security gate with a spade. It took them around five minutes to get through,” continued Monroe, adding he used the agonizing wait trying to summon the courage to stand up to the burglars.

The old man’s brave attempts to fight back proved futile, however, and he was swiftly overpowered.

“As soon as they got in, they struck me with the spade numerous times on the head, splitting it open and also cutting my arm where I tried to block the blows,” said the father-of-two, sporting stitches on the crown of his head as well as fresh scabs on his nose and arm.

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The thieves then locked Monroe in his room, before proceeding to his son’s house, also located on the premises.

Once inside, the duo tried to rip the TV down from the wall, breaking it in the process.

In the end, on top of the cash and clothes they stole from the Manager, they pocketed a further P300 as well as Monroe’s TV, before making their getaway in his car.

When he realised the men had gone, Monroe quietly left the house and walked down the farm, where he found his manager tied up.

“We limped to the main road together, and although it was getting late, managed to hitch-hike a lift to Francistown,” he said, adding they were dropped off at his Donga home and then drove to Nyangabgwe Hospital, where they were treated and discharged the same night.

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Although no arrests have been made in connection with the break-in, Monroe has at least been able to recover his car, a Mazda Demio.

“It was found dumped a few days back in Colored location. The window was broken but I managed to fix it this morning.”

While he did not see his attackers’ faces as it was dark and they dazzled him with the light from their cell-phone, Monroe noted they were probably local as they spoke fluent Setswana.

Unfortunately, attempts to contact the police proved unsuccessful as Matsiloje Station Commander was on leave and his Assistant held-up at a workshop and unavailable for comment.

Hellish attack at heavenly gardens

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