Farm murder: man in court

2009-05-26 00:00

INVESTIGATIONS into the murder of Bloemendal Estate farm owner Alan Rowe (58) have led to the arrest of a 34-year-old man.

The provincial crime intelligence unit and members of the SA Police Service in Rietvlei arrested Busane Machunamahle Mchunu last week and are hot on the heels of two other suspects.

Mchunu was arrested on Thursday in the Mhlanga area near Greytown and appeared in the Greytown Magistrate’s Court on murder charges yesterday. He was remanded in custody and will appear again on June 1 for a bail application.

Rowe’s murderers waited for him at his home on May 13, ambushed him in his driveway and chased him around his farm before shooting him in the chest.

He was found dead by a friend a few minutes later.

At the time, the attack was attributed to land claims disputes, but it has emerged that there are no records of outstanding claims on the Bloemendal farm.

Police spokesman Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram said three men attacked Rowe.

The police are looking for another two suspects.

Budhram said information about the case is being withheld due to the imminent “arrests of the outstanding suspects and the ongoing investigation”.

He said a pointing-out was made by Mchunu and will be of paramount importance to the forthcoming trial.

KWAZULU-NATAL Agricultural Union (Kwanalu) security desk spokesman Koos Marais welcomed the arrest.

“We trust the courts will hand down a just punishment that will serve as a warning to others who believe that they can kill innocent people,” he said. “We are still concerned with the ease with which people go around killing others.”

Marais said the farming communities live in constant fear of such attacks. “Farmers are vulnerable and easy targets in these surprise attacks because a farm is a wide open space and therefore cannot be protected as a house in the suburbs.”

Marais commended the police for their service. “We are looking forward to the arrests of the others,” he said.

— WR.

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