Farm family grateful for eight arrests

2013-12-17 00:00

A PRIVATE security company has made a breakthrough in the Winterton farm robbery and murder case that happened two weeks ago. In a 72-hour investigation, private investigator for Magma Investigating and Security Unit Shaheen Suleiman, and his team, arrested eight suspects and recovered four firearms and items believed to have been stolen from the farm were recovered.

The firearms will be sent for ballistic tests.

The victim’s son, Ahmed, said the family are happy with the news but they will only feel fulfilled once the suspects are sentenced to life in prison and tortured as they tortured his parents.

“I hope that they would be sentenced in custody and would not be released on bail,” he said. He was grateful for the swift arrests.

During the robbery on a Thursday evening at about 11 pm, farm owner Mohamed Shafee Engar (65) was tortured with a hot iron, severely beaten and stabbed. He remained on life-support at Grey’s Hospital until the family decided to switch the machine off.

When he was attacked, Engar was still recovering from a gunshot wound that he suffered in another robbery in February.

During the recent robbery, his wife Razaia and farm worker Fortunate Hlongwane were also assaulted.

Suleiman said they started working on the case on Saturday of the same week after they were approached by the Engar family to help with the investigation.

His team’s investigation centred around Ladysmith, then moved on to Ekuvukeni about 80 km from Ladysmith, and then further on to Ezakheni, another 80 km, where they arrested the suspects.

Suleiman said, “I received a call from the Engar family after Jooma [Friday] prayers saying that they want to switch-off the life support machine and asked if I could help with the investigations in trying to arrest the perpetrators.”

He said he readily agreed and got his A-Team of eight members together and early on Saturday morning “we set our task into motion, determined to make arrests in this gruesome and torturous murder”.

He said on Sunday they were tipped off that some of the suspects were in Ekuvukeni where they arrested two members of the gang. “This led us to Ezakheni where we camped for the night and more arrests followed,” he said.

Yesterday morning part of the investigators’ mission was accomplished as they made their last arrest on the farm Noodhulp.

“Winterton police gave us their full support and helped us a great deal in this phase of our investigation, with the station commander also on scene. I am here to stem the tide of violence and crime. I don’t get paid for the many hours that me and my team put in,” said Suleiman.

He said he relies on support from his network of informers.

Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker confirmed that eight suspects aged between 23 and 32 were arrested. “They will appear in the Colenso Magistrate’s Court soon on charges of business robbery, murder and attempted murder,” said Naicker.

He said investigations are continuing. 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.

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