Gunshot scares off farm attackers

2013-09-21 12:37

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Pietermaritzburg - A 63-year-old Bergville farmer says he and his wife are lucky to be alive after they were attacked by at least five heavily armed men in their home earlier this week.

The farmer, who asked that he not be named for security reasons, said they were saved by the sound of gunfire that scared off their assailants, who ran away and left them without doing any more harm.

“I don’t know whose gun it was. There were three men inside the house with three guns and they had stolen four guns of mine, so they had about seven guns. They were trying to kidnap me when there was a sound of the gun and they all ran away.”

The police said on Friday they had traced and arrested at least five of the suspects in the past few days. They are to appear in the Bergville Magistrate’s Court on Monday, on charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances, possession of unlicensed firearms and possession of suspected stolen property.

Tied up

They said the farmer and his 60-year-old wife were at home watching TV when a group of armed men entered their home. The men demanded cash and firearms from the couple.

The couple were tied with cable ties, and the attackers fled, taking the farmer’s two shotguns, two revolvers and an undisclosed amount of cash.

The farmer said after the criminals ran away, it took him an hour to free himself and then his wife.

“They tied us up with cable ties and had gagged us. I hurt my arm pretty badly trying to get out of those ties.

“Because they had gagged us, it was very hard to breathe… After an hour, I managed to set myself free, called my son and set my wife free,” he said.

“This could have been very bad for us. I got the sense during this robbery that we were saved by the fact that they found something [to steal], otherwise they would have killed us.” he said.

Traumatised

The farmer said the attack had left them very traumatised and worried about their safety.

“They had managed to gain access through an open door. This area is very safe. I have lived here for 63 years and we never had a break- in, but I am very happy that some of them have been caught,” he said.

Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant-General Mmamonnye Ngobeni congratulated all role players for their swift response and arrests.

“This once again reaffirms our position that if police and the community work together, we can rid our communities of these criminal elements,” she said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  farm attacks

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