Two elderly ladies were overpowered when they arrived home near Roossenekal on Friday afternoon.
They were tortured for hours, and beaten with sjamboks. Throughout the ordeal, all their two attackers wanted to know was, “Where is the money?”
When darkness fell, the two women were loaded into their own car, one on the back seat, one in the boot. They were wrapped in sheets with pillowcases pulled over their heads.
The one victim later told how she was convinced her friend was dead.
On the way to Lydenburg, the attackers took the first victim and swung her off a steep hill at the side of the road.
She managed to hold on to tall grass and shrubbery to stop herself from tumbling further downhill.
The second victim was dropped off in the same fashion a few kilometres farther away.
The car was spotted by police in Lydenburg. During a resultant shootout, one suspect was fatally wounded. Another disappeared into the darkness. Two sex workers who were allegedly picked up just after the torture and beating were left behind with the car.
The first victim managed to reach help and was taken to hospital by ambulance, while the search for the second victim continued. Farmers and local residents joined the search for the second victim who was later found, cold and beaten up, but alive. She told her rescuers how she had played dead. When they dumped her next to the road, she hid, too terrified to look for help in fear of running into her attackers again.
When the sun rose, cloudy conditions made her disoriented. Two policemen eventually found her next to the road.
She was airlifted from the scene to Middelburg.
“How sick are these men?” one of the people involved with the search asked afterwards. He was referring to the fact that the two men had picked up the sex workers after torturing elderly women.
“In what type of mind does torturing someone make you think of sex?” he asked.