Thumbs up from Naka Drotske as "hero" recovers from shooting

by RUGBY.com.au staff

Former Springbok World Cup winner and Super Rugby coach Naka Drotske was pictured making a thumbs-up sign from his hospital bed after being shot during an armed robbery.  

The 47-year-old was wounded in the abdomen and arm late Thursday at the home of his brother near Pretoria when he charged at three intruders, two of whom were armed.

After being rushed to hospital, Drotske was initially listed as "critical" but a hospital spokesperson confirmed on Saturday that he was now "stable".


Many on social media hailed Drotske as a "hero" for tackling the three men and pushing them out of the house.  

Drotske was shot three times during the melee and suffered a severe loss of blood while being rushed to hospital.

None of the other five people in the house, including former Springbok prop Os du Randt, were injured.

Du Randt tweeted for people to keep Drostke in their prayers.


Police said Friday they were questioning two men but no arrests had been made.   

News24 website reported that Drotske was with family, and business partner and former Bok prop Os Du Randt, at a braai when three armed men broke into the house and pointed firearms at them. 

"There was a struggle whereby one of the men was shot at," a Pretoria police captain told News24.

 
Former hooker Drotske was an unused substitute in the 1995 Rugby World Cup  final won by hosts South Africa against greatest rivals New Zealand in Johannesburg. 

Capped 26 times by South Africa, he was the first choice four years later when they finished third in defence of the title in England.

Drotske played for and coached the Bloemfontein-based Cheetahs in the domestic Currie Cup and southern hemisphere Super Rugby competitions. 

He also spent two seasons as a player with the London Irish club.

Cheetahs CEO Harold Verster told Sport24 website that said the Cheetahs community were in shock. 

"From what we hear it is stable and they think it is okay," Verster told Sport24.


"I had a chat with Os this morning. He is okay. He said it was like a war zone with shots going off everywhere ... he said it was chaos.

"We're just totally shocked and we hope that Naka will recover and that Os is okay ... they are friends and legends of the region".

Drotské played 26 tests for the Springboks between 1993 and 1999.