Three more die in farm attacks

Cape strawberry farmer among latest victims

Crime scene police tape. File picture
Crime scene police tape. File picture

Three people were killed just hours apart in three separate farm attacks in South Africa at the weekend.

Two of the fatal farm attacks were in North West and the third, of strawberry farmer Jeffrey Zetler‚ 62‚ was in Stellenbosch.

Western Cape police are investigating a case of murder and business robbery in connection with Zetler’s death.

Zetler‚ owner of the Mooiberge strawberry farm‚ was stabbed to death by robbers in his office on Saturday afternoon.

According to reports‚ he had survived four previous robberies.

Zetler had just paid his workers and was giving them a lift in his bakkie when the tragedy occurred.

Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk said Zetler had climbed out to open the farm gate, when two men – one armed with a gun and the other with a knife – climbed out of a white Toyota Quantum and ordered the workers off the bakkie.

“A witness had noticed the Toyota Quantum following them,” Van Wyk said.

“The suspects instructed [Zetler] to go to the office, where they demanded the keys to the safe and that he unlock the door.

“They then stabbed Zetler and fled in their vehicle.

“He died at the scene minutes later.”

Meanwhile, in North West, a 64-year-old man was shot dead on his farm in Hartbeespoort during a robbery, also on Saturday afternoon.

North West police spokeswoman Colonel Amanda Funani said after a family gathering at the farm of the father and his three daughters, two of the daughters had left.

“The other daughter, 28‚ had been standing outside when three armed men approached and ordered her inside, where they found her father.”

The suspects then allegedly demanded money.

While the father was trying to convince the men to let his daughter go‚ they shot him in the chest and he died at the scene.

“The daughter managed to escape and get help,” Funani said.

“The suspects fled with jewellery‚ two televisions‚ a laptop and cellphones and other household items.”

In a separate incident on Saturday morning, a man was shot dead when he rushed outside in response to the screams of his father and his daughter on a farm in Swartruggens‚ about 20km from Rustenburg.

“The five suspects then allegedly took the grandfather and granddaughter – who had been outside the house – inside and assaulted them as well as the deceased’s wife and another daughter,” police spokesman Sergeant Ofentse Mokgadi said.

“The suspects fled with a Toyota Fortuner‚ television sets‚ three firearms and laptops. We are not sure about money.”

Police are investigating a case of murder and house robbery.

North West provincial commissioner Lieutenant-General Baile Motswenyane condemned the incidents and requested residents to come forward with any information that could lead to the arrest of the culprits.