Holiday turns into nightmare

Braam Peens stand outside the home of his in-laws. Picture: Yoshini Perumal

Braam Peens stand outside the home of his in-laws. Picture: Yoshini Perumal

Published Jun 9, 2024


BRAAM and Shannen Peens arrived from London three weeks ago and were enjoying the usual touristy experiences. But they never imagined experiencing a tornado in South Africa.

They were living at Shannen's parent's home in Naidoo Knoll Road in Sandfield, Tongaat.

"We had just arrived with our 10-year-old son from Flag Animal Farm when we noticed the storm approaching and then hail struck the area," said Braam, 33.

“My wife told me to park her parent's vehicle in the garage as they were at work at the time. Shannen and I stepped outside and the strong wind flung both of us against the wall. Our son was inside the house. We managed to get inside but the door would not close as the wind was too strong,” he said.

Braam, his wife and son sought refuge from the flying debris behind a couch in the lounge. He said his instinct led him to cover his wife and child with his body.

“I lay on top of them to keep them safe from the debris. There was glass, wood, roof tiles, furniture, and trees flying into the house. Then the roof flew off. We thought we were going to die,” he said.

Braam said although his wife’s family home was completely damaged, he was thankful they were not injured.

“We will return to London on Monday. We have not yet made a decision as to how we will help my in-laws to rebuild their home, which is structurally unsafe and completely destroyed,” he added.