Injured farmer tied up for four hours while attackers ransack his home

2017-09-04 11:43
Mike Botha (45), from a smallholding between Emalahleni and Middelburg, before the attack on Saturday morning. (Facebook)

Mike Botha (45), from a smallholding between Emalahleni and Middelburg, before the attack on Saturday morning. (Facebook)

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Mbombela - A vegetable farmer, whose leg had been broken by attackers, lay tied up for more than four hours on Saturday in the living quarters of one of his workers before he was rescued and taken by helicopter to a Johannesburg hospital.  

Mike Botha, 45, who lives on a smallholding between Emalahleni and Middelburg, was assaulted, tied up and robbed – in all likelihood by one of his workers, Netwerk24 reported.

Willie Botha, Mike's brother, visited him on Sunday and said that one of the suspected attackers was a man named Moses. The police are looking for him.

According to Willie, Mike had told him that "Moses" woke him up just after 06:00 and said he should help him look for a snake and kill it.

"My brother got out of bed and walked to a heap of ground where the supposed snake was. When he bent forward, the worker attacked him from behind with a pick axe."

Both bones in Mike's right leg, just under the knee, were fractured. A struggle ensued after which the attacker called others to come and help him.

"People arrived and they dragged Mike to the living quarters, all the time assaulting him. They tied him up, dragged him into the room and closed the door."

Botha lay there for more than four hours, listening how the robbers cleared out his house.

'Badly injured'

At about 11:00, his friend, Willie Erasmus, and his 7-year-old daughter arrived at the smallholding. Botha heard a car door open.

"Mike suspected that it was Erasmus getting out of his car and shouted to him to be careful, because his attackers were still in the house."

Erasmus grabbed his daughter, ran about 200 metres, then called the neighbours and asked them to look after her.

When Erasmus got back to Mike's house, he saw the workers get into Mike's bakkie and drive off, said Willie.

"In addition to Mike's Ford Ranger [registration number HNP 103 MP], his wallet, a TV set and a 9mm pistol were also stolen. My brother was badly injured.   

"We suspect his nose was also broken in the attack. However, his condition is stable," said Willie.

Mike lives on his own in his house on the smallholding.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said no arrests had been made.

Read more on:    mbombela  |  crime  |  farm attacks

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