Motive behind KZN farm murder questioned

2015-06-04 14:15
(Nielen de Klerk, News24)

(Nielen de Klerk, News24)

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Durban - The ambush murder of Zululand farmer Peter Johnson in Nyoni on Tuesday night has raised questions about the motive for the attack.

Johnson and his brother Ian were attacked by a group of gunmen armed with assault rifles, who had been lying in wait in the bush near the farmhouse.

The latter was badly wounded in the hail of bullets and remains in the ICU of a Verulam hospital.

KwaZulu-Natal Agricultural Union spokesperson Koos Marais said the nature of the attack was “different” from that used in most farm murders and that it was a cause for concern.

“It is very difficult to make a comprehensive comment without having solid information surrounding the motive of the attack, but this style of attack is definitely different to what we have been seeing in the past.

"It is seldom that we have seen farmers ambushed in this way,” he said.

Marais said that at the end of April they had recorded twelve farm attacks and three farm murders in the province since the beginning of the year.

“Farmers are soft targets and obviously we are concerned about any murder or attack.

"We warn our members that if they return home and notice that anything seems amiss or out of the ordinary, they must turn around, leave and seek help,” he said.

'Violence in KZN is out of control'

South African Community Action Network head Brian Jones said that, along with farm attacks, instances of violence had been on the upswing.

“From a broader perspective in the last month, the violent attacks in KZN have been unbelievable.

"We have had policemen that have been attacked all over the province and on the same day as the murder in Nyoni we had a full blown shoot-out between robbers and a home owner in Pinetown.

“Whilst farm attacks are hugely prevalent and it is something that we can ill afford, violence on the whole in KwaZulu-Natal is out of control and what we are experiencing is a groundswell,” said Jones.

He added that the prevalence of illegal weapons and the audacity of criminals that wield them had brought the safety and security situation in the province to a tipping point.  

“What is distressing is that it is not as if there is a lone gang that is responsible for these attacks. Criminals have become so brazen that the use of deadly force is on the up. This is a desperate situation,” Jones said.

The police confirmed that no arrests had yet been made in connection with the murder of Johnson. 

Read more on:    durban  |  crime  |  farm attacks

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