Man’s terror ride

2009-01-11 00:00

A SHAREHOLDER in the Mhlopheni Game Reserve near Muden claims that occupants at an informal settlement on the property are trying to drive them off with intimidation tactics.

Eric Bell, who’s been a shareholder in the reserve for many years, said that these occupants have always tried to intimidate landowners, and he was personally attacked twice last year.

The situation reached its climax in December when the informal settlers allegedly planned an attack against the owners, he said. “I had a friend and her two kids visiting on [December 26] ... and when they were ready to leave we drove off together and found a road block made of rock on the road leaving the farm. When we got out to move the rock, about 40 young children came from behind the bushes and started throwing rocks at us,” he said.

Bell said that when they managed to get away, they reached another road block about 100 yards later.

“This time, they started throwing big stones at us, thick and fast.

“I then pulled out my pistol and fired two shots into the riverbank.

“Only seconds later, 20 or so adults rushed to us from the bushes in front and started throwing stones at us asking: ‘Why are you killing our kids?’,” he said.

When they would not stop, Bell called the police. “When they arrived, they asked me ‘Why did you fire the gun?’ …

“If I really wanted to shoot one of them, I would have … They refused to clear the road even when the police told them to,” he said.

However, according to police spokesman Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram, a police report was received stating that the people from the informal settlement had blocked off the road with stones because “one of the employees of the game reserve discharged a gun shot in the direction of some of the children resident in the area”.

“No cases were reported [and] there were no injuries,” added Budhram.

Bell, however, insisted that he had opened a case of assault. This could not be confirmed.

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