Thursday 21 November 2019

Munster hero "tasered" in terrifying gun attack in South Africa

Shaun Payne suffers horrific ordeal

Shaun Payne was kidnapped and
Shaun Payne was kidnapped and "tasered" in South Africa Newsdesk Newsdesk

Former Munster man Shaun Payne was kidnapped at gunpoint by a gang of four men in South Africa earlier this year, it has been revealed.

South African Payne scored 18 tries for Munster between 2003 and 2008 before taking up a role in the management team and he returned home to South Africa in 2012.

According to Today FM's Paul Collins, Payne's wife Michelle revealed the shocking details on her Facebook page.

"I often get asked questions or listen to statements such as: how are you doing? I don’t know how you able to carry on the way you are. Why don’t you leave SA, go back overseas," wrote Michelle.

"We don’t have all the answers but I can honestly say that the reason we are coping is because of the amazing support and help we have received from family and friends that we are surrounded by. Now that our kids have been told the exact details of the night (with the help of our trauma counselor) I see no harm in sharing - with the hope it makes people more aware and observant."

Michelle then went on to explain what happened.

Shaun Payne speaking during a Munster Rugby Press Conference in 2009
Shaun Payne speaking during a Munster Rugby Press Conference in 2009

"After Shaun had dropped the kids off with their friends for a sleepover he was hijacked outside the house by 4 men at gunpoint. Their initial demand was to enter the house where the kids were – any father's reaction would be to protect your children and he diverted their attention by saying he had no access into the house and emphasised there were allot dogs and children," she continued on Facebook.

"They then forced him into the car and drove to our house (they knew where we lived as the Vehicle Registration Camera’s later showed us they had followed him from our house earlier that evening). I won’t go into detail but they held us hostage, assaulted and tazer us then proceeded to clean us out of most of our electronic equipment, jewelry and anything of value."

Michelle also thanked the police for all their work and her family for the support they offered.

"The police that evening were incredible, the flying squad managed to recover some of our items within a few hours thanks to the technology of the vehicle recognition cameras. 3 days later my car was recovered," continued Michelle.

"Shaun’s sister and her husband made sure I got great medical care that evening and have since helped us with all the admin involved. My parents who flew in within 24 hours to be by our side and have been so supportive every day - it can’t be easy for any parents when their children experience something like this.

"My in-laws who selflessly took us into their home, after scaling down - having a family of 4 and 2 dogs move in for a few weeks must have been tough. My brother who spent a few days helping us move out that rented house."

Michelle revealed she is blessed to be surrounded by a loving family and husband in Shaun.

"To all our friends who have supported us in so many ways I couldn't possibly list them all. Please know that every text message, email and phone call from all over the world is so appreciated and helped us deal with this.

"I am truly blessed with the man I married. Every day Shaun would work his best to keep our lives on track - being self employed and 2 young kids we can’t allow life to stop - and thanks to him I have realised I am allot stronger than I ever thought I was.

"After living abroad for over 13 years we were delighted to finally come home 2.5 years ago. South Africa is who we are, these are our people. It’s about a sense of belonging. It’s about family. It is a country filled with so much diversity and beauty.

"We don’t know what the future holds and in our minds we know that God has a greater plan for us all – so for now we will just embrace what this country offers us and hope we as friends and a community work together and help make things better."

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