Rustenburg salutes a hero
Rustenburg – Gareth Roberts (23) died a hero. He paid the ultimate price when he laid down his life to save the life of a stranger.
“On Sunday, 28 January at about 10h00, Incredible Connection in the Waterfall Mall was robbed at gunpoint,” says captain Elsabé Augoustides, police spokesperson. The six suspects held the manager at gunpoint and stole 60-70 cell phones and smart devices including laptops and tablets.
They fled the scene, three in a getaway vehicle and three on foot. The mall’s security guards gave chase, and when the three suspects on foot reached the intersection opposite McDonald’s and BP garage at the mall, they decided to hijack a vehicle.
Gareth and his mother witnessed the criminals were about to hijack a Nissan NP200 bakkie – with a man, his wife and child still inside.
Without hesitation, Gareth decided to risk his life for the family. He rushed over to help and was shot twice in the chest. Thanks to his sacrifice, the family that was hijacked, escaped unharmed.
His mother witnessed the entire tragedy.
Gareth died later that day in the hospital.
The hijacked bakkie was later discovered in the Olympia Park area. “Cases of murder, hijacking and armed robbery have been opened and no arrests have been made,” Augoustides confirmed. Investigations continue.
Social media was ablaze in response to Rustenburg’s tragic loss of a hero.
Gareth’s funeral took place on Thursday, 1 February, at 11h00 at the Agapè Church. His remains were laid to rest in the Heroes’ Acre of the Donkerhoek cemetery.
“He was a dynamic young man with a heart of gold,” says Naomi Pasino of Staan Saam Rustenburg. “He was always willing to assist and was a big part of the Staan Saam Rustenburg-family. He was a valiant young man. Our prayers are with his friends and family.”
We extend our sincerest condolences to Gareth’s family and friends. May his soul rest in peace.
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