[Fwd: Eye surgeon loses sight during "crime"]

[Would anyone please care to explain whether this was in any way
motivated by poverty, hardship, a lack of food and basic nourishment
brought about by the previous apartheid regime, or a simple act of
cruelty, barbarism and greed blanketed by the comfort of knowing the
chances of capture, arrest and conviction are virtually zero? -Ed.]


By Shaun Smillie

An ophthalmologist could lose his sight because a robber tried to gouge
his eyes out after the elderly man "looked at him".

Dr Marius Pretorius will possibly only know in January if he will regain
the use of his eyes when a colleague performs a second operation on him
to attach torn muscles to his eyeballs.

The doctor was attacked while leaving his home in Vereeniging on
Wednesday morning.

His daughter Hannelie Warren said that just weeks earlier he had treated
someone whose eyes had been damaged in a house robbery. *A robber had
apparently tried to gouge the patient's eye with a pool cue*.

Three men, one of them armed, forced Pretorius to the ground at the door
to his flat.

"One of the men sat on top of him and basically tried to pull his eyes
out. He had told my Dad, 'Don't look at me,' and had gone straight for
his eyes," said Warren.

One of the robbers then went into the bedroom where Warren's mother,
Lien, 68, was. They forced her to the floor and tied her up and tried to
strangle her.

"He also continually bashed her head against the floor," said Warren.
They threatened Lien with a knife, which, Warren said, they kept to her

"A robber then sat on my father's back while he lay on the floor, and
smoked a cigarette," said Warren.

The men found the couple's walk-in safe and took money before they
triggered an alarm. The three men, all (dressed in) black, then made
their escape.

Warren said the robber had ripped Pretorius's eyelids off but that his
cornea had not been damaged. His right eye was more damaged than the
left, she said.

Pretorius is a well-known ophthalmologist who, Warren said, had
pioneered a cataract operation. He was president of the International
Southern African Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery for 21
years, said Warren.

Last night police said no arrests had been made.

* This article was originally published on page 3 (!!!) of _The
Star_ <http://www.thestar.co.za/index.php?fArticleId=5287124> on
December 15, 2009


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