Two KZN farmers shot in ambush

2015-06-03 17:32
(File, Nielen Bottomley, News24)

(File, Nielen Bottomley, News24)

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Durban - Moments before two farmers stepped inside an Nyoni farmhouse on the KZN North Coast, gunmen lying in wait opened fire with assault rifles.

In the hail of bullets, Peter Johnson, 56, was felled with a fatal gunshot wound to his chest while his brother Ian, 54, was stunned by a bullet which shattered his jaw.

Had the bullet, which tracked from behind his ear and through his cheek, been mere centimetres higher, Ian would likely have been killed.

The brothers, both prominent Zululand cane farmers, grew up on the plot where they were ambushed on Monday night.

Speaking to News24, Ian’s wife Cheryl Johnson said that her husband remained in a critical condition.

“He is in the ICU at the moment. He is still very sedated and his mouth is swollen which makes his speech almost indiscernible,” she said.

“He [Ian] is incredibly lucky to be alive. The trauma doctor and neurosurgeon that have seen him have said that the bullet missed a lot of vital nerves and organs and it could have been a lot worse,” she said.

'He saw two men waiting in an ambush'

Johnson recounted her ordeal, describing how gunfire from automatic rifles had shattered the silence that evening.

“My husband’s brother came for supper and as he arrived, my husband opened the front door to greet him. When he did that he saw two men waiting in an ambush who then fired a number of shots at the two of them,” she said.

“My brother-in-law fell to the ground outside and my husband managed to get into the house and I locked the front door, and he was bleeding a lot from his face and phoned our neighbours for help.”

As they raised the alarm, they shuffled into an adjoining office and listened as their attackers tried to kick down their front door.

“When we heard the guys outside trying to kick down the front door, we rushed into the farm office and locked that door. They broke in through a window. We were locked in the room and they could have easily kicked down the door,” she said.

IPSS Medical Rescue spokesperson Paul Herbst said medics had found Peter Johnson lying near his car when they arrived on the scene.

“He had sustained a gunshot wound to the chest and there was sadly nothing we could do for him and he was declared dead. We turned our attention to his brother and quickly stabilised him before he was rushed by ambulance to an area hospital,” he said.

Police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said officers had launched a manhunt for the gunmen.

Two rifles belonging to the brothers were stolen.

Read more on:    durban  |  crime  |  farm attacks

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