A family from Ocean View has been left devastated after armed robbers caused their mother to die.
The family was attacked at their house shop in Virgo Street early on Saturday morning and held at gunpoint.
Johnny Blankenberg, 63, managed to fight off the three skelms, who fled with the float, cigarettes, crates of milk and cooldrink.
But the shock was too much for 59-year-old Rhoda Blankenberg who started getting “hot flushes”.
Johnny says his wife “stopped breathing” on the way to hospital and died of a heart attack before his children could get her there.
The dad of four broke down as he explained how he fought off one armed robber just after 2am, while the others spurred him on to “finish the job”.
He says: “I heard something on the roof and went to the door to check. As I opened the door a gun was shoved in my face. There were three guys. One was already in the shop while the other two were coming to me.
“Four of my grandchildren were sleeping in the lounge on the floor. I could not let him hurt my kids.”
He was almost shot several times as he struggled with the robber.
When he realised that they wanted to kill him, he stopped fighting. “I ran into the house and away from where the children were sleeping. I screamed for my family to call the police. I thought the robbers would follow me, but luckily they didn’t.”
He says as they waited for cops to arrive, his wife Rhoda became upset.
“She could not settle down and sat outside complaining of getting hot. Two of the children [Marilyn and her boyfriend Leonard] rushed her to hospital but she was dead even before she got there,” he sobs.
Marilyn Ruiters says through her tears: “My mother was a strong woman who never got sick. We will miss her.”
Johnny says the next day, while walking up the road, he spotted one of his attackers “and lost it”.
“We beat him up and I called the investigating officer, saying he must come and get him or I will kill him.”
Johnny says the cops took the suspect away.
However, police spokesperson Noloyiso Rwexana said yesterday there is no record of an arrest.