Armed robbers pounce on crowd-fund custodian’s home, get away with R25 200 and US$1 100


A Brutal Home Invasion in Beitbridge

Last Tuesday was a terrifying night for the Gora family in Beitbridge. Around 3am, armed robbers broke into their home through the back door. What ensued was a traumatic 15 minutes of violence and fear.

Babongile Gora, a journalist at local radio station Lotsha FM, was assaulted repeatedly along with her husband Claude. The robbers made away with around $1 130 USD in cash, R25 200, and several mobile phones and a laptop.

The family had been storing money raised through crowdfunding by local residents. Their intent was to help fellow citizen Taurai Amani, who had lost his home under dubious circumstances. Several years ago, Amani’s son fell victim to an online scam that promised winnings. Struggling financially, the family took out a US$2 000 loan from a man named Collen Goden.

What followed was a saga that ultimately led to Amani losing legal ownership of his house, valued at US$25 000. Amani, who says he did not understand the papers he was made to sign, appended signatures to all the papers which officialised his loss of the house to Collen Goden Junior, the minor son of the loan shark. Amani and his family were left homeless.

Moved by Amani’s plight, Babongile and others in the community aimed to raise funds to help him recover his property. Tragically, news of this effort seems to have put the Gora family directly in harm’s way. While the targeted cash was untouched, the senseless violence committed against innocent citizens has shaken the tight-knit neighburhood. Local police have pledged to investigate but provided few additional details at this time.

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