Farmer dies in police stand-off

2011-01-23 22:43

  • Police
    A 'behind the scenes' look at how the emergency services work. Now R310.00
    buy now

Pietermaritzburg - In a series of events resembling a Hollywood film, a man was shot and killed in his farmhouse after he had been involved in a four-and-a-half-hour-long stand-off with police.

A police report stated that Kobus de Vries, 54, was shot in the neck and that it is unclear at this stage whether the bullet that killed him was fired by a police officer or if he resorted to suicide.

The incident in Babanango, northern KwaZulu-Natal, happened on Thursday  the same day the fugitive French couple died on a farm at Sutherland following a week-long search after they shot and killed a policeman.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Phindile Radebe said police arrived at De Vries’s farmhouse to follow up on reports that he had been involved in several altercations and minor accidents, allegedly with Eskom workers, on his way home from town.

His family said he was unhappy over constant power black-outs on his farm.

“He had hit two vehicles with his vehicle before going home,” said Radebe. “The owner of one of the vehicles alerted police of the situation and his whereabouts.”


Police went to the farm, but, Radebe said, before they even got out of the van they came under fire from the house and were forced to call for back-up. “… the officers couldn’t move and one of the police vans was damaged from (sic) the gunfire”.

Radebe said De Vries used a shotgun as well as a .303 rifle.

However, members of De Vries’s family have expressed doubts over the police’s version of what transpired.

“The allegation is that my brother was involved in two accidents on the way home, but it does not make sense as there was only a scrape on his car,” said De Vries’s brother, Thinus.

There is further confusion regarding the way that De Vries was shot, with his uncle, Phillip van Vuuren, 83, saying that De Vries was shot by a police bullet in the back while attempting to run back into his house.

“A worker was asked to convince him to come out with the promise that the police would not shoot if he surrendered,” explained Van Vuuren.

“When the farm worker walked out with him [De Vries] the police apparently started firing.”

'Very rich, happy'

The idea of suicide was further expelled by Thinus de Vries. “He was very rich and very happy; he would never commit suicide,” he said.

Radebe said that she had no knowledge of De Vries being asked to come out of the house. She confirmed that 19 firearms were found in De Vries’s house, which is likely to be explained by the fact that he was a passionate gunsmith.

Radebe added that De Vries was seen with a glass of liquid in his hand during the shootout, but could not confirm that he was drunk.

De Vries was returning from dropping his wife, Rentia, described as his childhood sweetheart, but whom he only married last year, at King Shaka airport.

Thinus de Vries added that members of the family, including Rentia, will be visiting the farm today (Monday) with two private detectives and a private pathologist to begin their own investigation into what happened.

An inquest has been opened into the cause of death.

Read more on:    police  |  pietermaritzburg

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Numsa prepares for life after Cosatu

Numsa has not only reiterated its call for President Jacob Zuma to resign but it is also preparing for life outside of Cosatu, a report states.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900

The Blackberry Bold Touch 9900 is as the name says...

From R3565.00

I'm shopping for:


You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.