Farm worker in court after attack on Hankey family

Farm. File picture
Farm. File picture

The former farm worker who allegedly attacked a woman and her three children in their Hankey farmhouse two months ago briefly appeared in court this morning.

The man, 32, who cannot be named until he has pleaded, was caught weeks later after fleeing the town.

Police have since confirmed the suspect was a former farm employee of the family.

The arrest was made after police tracked the suspect to a small town near Palmietfontein – about 3km from the Lesotho border.

This follows the attack on a woman, 44, and her three children, who were accosted inside their farmhouse during the late hours of March 23 and into the early hours of March 24.

The woman is not being identified due to the nature of the attack.

Police spokeswoman Captain Gerda Swart said that man appeared in the Hankey Magistrate's Court before 10am for house robbery, four counts of attempted murder, four counts of kidnapping, rape, illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, theft and aggravated robbery.

Swart said that the only motive they have been able to establish is robbery.

All other details pertaining to the case would only be revealed during the trial.

"All the evidence is sub judice and will be revealed during the court case,” she added.

The arrest comes after a team of detectives from the Port Elizabeth- based Provincial Organised Crime Investigation unit travelled to the Palmietfontein area last Wednesday.

The team tracked the man down to a family home in the KwaGuna administrative area in the Nketlana Location, near the Lestho border.

Police found stolen clothing and takkies taken during the incident.

The incident saw a lone attacker enter the house by firing several shots through a glass door, wounding the mother in the lower back while she was trying to shield her children.

He took the woman in her vehicle to an ATM to withdraw cash and she then managed to escape.

The man was remanded in custody until June 14 for detectives to gather more evidence and continue with the investigation