Dog frees attacked farmer’s wife

2012-02-21 12:17
Police investigate a murder scene at the Patriotfontein farm outside Fochville, where the owner was shot dead and the wife beaten up by five robbers. (Felix Dlangamandla, Beeld)

Police investigate a murder scene at the Patriotfontein farm outside Fochville, where the owner was shot dead and the wife beaten up by five robbers. (Felix Dlangamandla, Beeld)

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Fochville - A boerboel belonging to a farmer and his wife helped her to untie her feet after robbers bound her during an attack on their farm.

The five robbers overpowered the dairy farmer and his wife on Monday morning while they were milking cows. The farmer was shot dead.

After the dog helped her to free herself, Bernadette Hall, 44, ran to where her husband David, 48, was lying in the grass, a few metres from the dairy.

“He just lay there, still,” cried the badly traumatised Hall on Monday afternoon.

Shot dead

Her husband had been assaulted and shot in the chest.

The couple had been milking their cows at about 06:00 when she saw the men walking towards them through the maize field.

“I yelled at my husband that they were coming and had a gun. David went out but the dogs held me back.”

Shortly afterwards, she heard two shots. The robbers then forced her to the farmhouse, some distance from the dairy.

She tried to fight back. “I hit them with a pipe and with my fist.”

The robbers beat her on her head and body with a panga, gun and a pipe. She had to get stitches to her finger where she tried to shield herself from the panga.

“They wanted guns and money. I gave them small change and our wallets and unlocked the safe.”

But the robbers didn’t take anything and tied her up in the garage before fleeing in the couple’s Nissan Almera.

After their dog, Caesar, freed her, she first ran to her husband’s body and then called for help over the radio. Other farmers and the police where on the scene within minutes.

One farmer said that Hall was “beside herself”.

'So unnecessary'

Her husband’s elderly mother, Joan, and other family members comforted each other on the scene while his body was removed.

“We can’t describe how we feel, it is so unnecessary,” said Peter Hall, the murdered man’s brother.

“David put food on people’s tables and now he has been murdered.”

The couple’s two sons and their mother will continue farming alone.

"The farm was my father’s dream and passion,” said Bradley Hall, 23.

The car was found abandoned in the Kokosi township near Fochville several hours after the murder, said police spokesperson Captain Mvula Chaka.

No arrests have been made yet.

DA leader in the North West, Chris Hattingh, said on Monday that more than half of the farm murders committed this year in South Africa had been in the North West province.

“There is a big need for rural safety.”

Read more on:    mahikeng  |  farm attacks

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