Winterton farm raided in decoy fire

2010-07-31 00:00

THE Wolmarans family is lucky to be alive after they were attacked on their Groeneveld farm in Winterton on Thursday evening.

The attack in Winterton comes barely two weeks after another farm attack in Nottingham Road left three people dead — the farmer’s wife, a domestic worker and a gardener.

In Nottingham Road, the suspects gained entry into the family home by setting fire to a nearby field. Police believe they killed the three victims when they returned unexpectedly from the fire.

And yesterday, criminals apparently used the same modus operandi, setting fire to a nearby field as a decoy.

Peter Wolmarans, the owner of the farm, left his wife and 13-year-old daughter in order to fight the fire. However, according to sources, he remembered what had happened to the Karg family and he returned to his family and found everything was calm.

The source said that after the fire was put out, Wolmarans was taking his workers home when he received an urgent message from his wife.

The source said “he rushed home only to find that the criminals had already left”.

His wife had apparently been assaulted and robbed by two men who took at least R22 000 in cash, a firearm and a cellphone.

Police confirmed that there had been an attack on the farm, adding that investigations are continuing and that no one has been arrested.

Koos Marais of the security desk of the KwaZulu-Natal Agricultural Union said the organisation is greatly concerned about the attacks on farms and the methods that are used by the criminals to lure owners off their property.

“The land owners cannot let the fire burn because it will cause untold damage to the communities and to the property, but now we think it is advisable that before going out to fight any fires, the land owners seek the help of neighbours to protect their families,” said Marais.

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