Woman, 82, cheats death when bullet meant for her lodges in her Bible

Woman, 82, cheats death when bullet meant for her lodges in her Bible during home break-in in South Africa

  • Bettie Nel woke up to loud noises in her farmhouse in Mahikeng, north west SA
  • She went downstairs to find two intruders and threw a doorstop at one of them
  • The bullet missed Ms Nel and lodged in her bible which was resting on table
  • Police are hunting six suspects after firearms and mobile phones were stolen

An 82-year-old woman narrowly avoided death when she was shot at in her own home but the bullet lodged in her bible.

Bettie Nel woke up to loud noises in her farmhouse outside Mahikeng, north west South Africa on Saturday night.

She went downstairs to find two intruders in her house. The brave woman threw a doorstop at one of them and he fired a shot in retaliation.

An 82-year-old woman narrowly avoided death when she was shot at in her own home but the bullet lodged in her bible (pictured)

Luckily, the bullet missed Ms Nel and lodged in her bible which was resting on a side table next to her bed. The intruders then ran off. 

Police are hunting six suspects after firearms and mobile phones were stolen from the house, reported Netwerk24.

Ms Nel’s daughter, 61, and her 63-year-old boyfriend were beaten in their beds with the handle of a pick axe by the attackers and left with head injuries.


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It comes amid continued violence against white farmers in South Africa as President Cyril Ramaphosa attempts to quicken the pace of land reform.

The murder rate was up seven per cent in 2017/18 compared with the previous year. 

Last week the President dismissed fears that South Africa may come under sanctions if it carries out a proposal to expropriate white farms without compensation.

Ms Nel’s daughter, 61, and her 63-year-old boyfriend (pictured together) were beaten in their beds with the handle of a pick axe by the attackers and left with head injuries

US President Donald Trump tweeted last month that white farmers were being forced off their land and many of them killed, touching on the overwhelmingly white ownership of farmland in South Africa: one of the most sensitive issues in the country’s post-apartheid history.

Trump said he had asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to look into the reforms, which have raised fears that the policy could have disastrous repercussions like in neighbouring Zimbabwe, whose economy was ruined in the process.

‘We have no reason to believe that any country would impose sanctions on South Africa for any actions that we take, actions that are constitutional, that are lawful and consistent with international law,’ Ramaphosa told parliament, responding to a question.

Ramaphosa said South Africa would ‘keep on educating those who are interested in our affairs… those who may not understand the processes that we have gone through’.

Bettie Nel woke up to loud noises in her farmhouse (pictured) outside Mahikeng, north west South Africa on Saturday night

‘And it is for this reason that we respond as we do, not only to the Americans but to whomsoever has a question about this’.

According to Ramaphosa, white people, who make up eight percent of the population ‘possess 72 percent of farms’. In contrast, only four percent of farms are in the hands of black people.

A few days after Trump’s tweet, Ramaphosa reacted angrily saying: ‘I don’t know what Donald Trump has to do with South African land because he has never been here.’

‘South Africa belongs to all the people who live here in South Africa, it does not belong to Donald Trump; he can keep his America, when I meet him I will tell him.’

Ramaphosa told lawmakers that ‘no communication was received by my office from the government of the United States of America regarding the expropriation of land without compensation’.

Ramaphosa, who faces elections in 2019, has said expropriating farms without compensating their owners would ‘undo a grave historical injustice’ against the black majority during colonialism and the apartheid era.   

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