Drotske reveals shooting bravery: "I decided to attack them"

by RUGBY.com.au staff

Former Springbok hooker Naka Drotske has revealed how he charged armed intruders before being shot last month because he believed the attackers would kill members of his family.

Drotske was shot twice when fighting off the armed intruders at his brother Thinus’ home in Pretoria, where he was at a braai with family, and good mate and fellow ex-Bok player Os Du Randt.

Drotske spent six weeks in hospital after suffering an infection in his wounds but has now recovered, and the former Cheetahs coach recounted the ordeal – and incredible bravery - with TimesLIVE website.

He had just dropped his sons at the airport and joined his brother’s family at a property in Pretora when intruders charged into the compound.

“When I turned around I saw four guys, wearing balaclavas, armed with guns, and spraying tear gas as well. Instinct kicked in,” Drotske told TimesLIVE.

“I didn’t believe they were looking for money because our mobile phones and wallets were on the table in front of us. They saw that.

“They tried to force us into the house and I felt that if they got us in the house we were going to die. I knew that my brother’s two little boys [aged 13 and 11] were in the house as well as his partner’s daughter [aged 6], and they would be in danger.”

“I believed they had a different agenda and I just decided to attack them.”

With enormous courage, Drotske charged in to tackle the assailants off some steps, trying to take a gun from them.

“So I targeted the middle man – the leader – and took the other two or three with me down the stairs and onto the lawn,” he said.

“I was wrestling on top of him when he shot me in the stomach, another guy shot me through the arm and a third attacker shot but missed.

“My brother’s son had in the meantime pressed the panic button and by then sirens sounded and luckily they all ran away.

“My adrenalin was pumping and we all rushed back into the house and locked it. That was when Os saw me and said, “I think you’ve been shot.’ I assessed the wound and told him to get me to a hospital quickly.”

Drotske underwent many surgeries after being shot in the stomach, arm and chest, and after an initially rapid recovery, suffered a major set-back when a wound was infected.

“The doctors said it was touch and go at one stage, which you only really hear afterwards," he said.

"They even called the family together to maybe start preparing them, but with God’s grace I got through it."