Hankey farm attack suspect released

The man who allegedly attacked a Port Elizabeth businesswoman and her three children inside their Hankey farm house over the weekend has been released. The 30-year-old suspect had been arrested at 10:30pm on Sunday night – less than 48 hours after the attack – but was released on Tuesday. The attack happened shortly before midnight on Friday and continued into the early hours of Saturday morning. Police spokeswoman Captain Gerda Swart confirmed that the suspect had been released after detectives consulted with state prosecutors about the case. Swart said that the suspect, who was meant to be charged in the Hankey Magistrates Court on Wednesday, was released due to “due to insufficient evidence”. Earlier this week, Swarts said that a suspect had shot through the glass door of the farm house, while the mother was home alone with her three children, to gain entry. “It is alleged that the suspect gained entry into the house after firing several shots through a glass door wounding a 44-year-old female in the process. The suspect took the female in her vehicle to an ATM in town (Hankey) to withdraw cash. Whilst the suspect was busy withdrawing cash, the victim managed to drive off with her car to another farm in the area and police were alerted,” she said. The woman has since been discharged from hospital. The businesswoman, who commutes between her Hankey home and her business in Port Elizabeth, is not being identified due to the nature of the attack. At the time of the attack, the woman was shot in the lower back while shielding her three young children – who witnessed the ordeal - from the attacker. Nothing was stolen from the house during the attack however police maintain that motive was robbery. Due to the nature of the farm attack, the Port Elizabeth based Provincial Organised Crime Investigation Unit have taken over the case. A case of house robbery, attempted murder, rape, pointing of firearm, assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm, theft and abduction is under investigation. Swarts said that detectives were still flowing leads.

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