Farm suspects arrested

2013-10-22 00:00

THREE men aged between 22 and 32 have been arrested in connection with the murder of the Underberg farmer who was beaten to death with a hammer in front of his partner.

Dan Knight (56,) who was a timber contractor, was with his partner Beth Bucher at home on his farm Outlook when five men attacked them on Thursday night.

The men tied his feet and hands, gagged him and assaulted him. Police have said that the attackers forced Bucher to watch while they were using a hammer to assault Knight.

They later tied her up and locked her in the bathroom, perhaps not realising that the window was big enough for her to escape through and seek help.

Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said the suspects were arrested at the Nkwezela area in Bulwer on Sunday.

He said police had found the suspects at their homes in possession of items stolen during the murder and robbery.

Brett Deavin of Berg Protection Services in Underberg said the hard work and determination of the police and the community paid off.

“The swift response by the police in this murder showed that there are still dedicated members of the service. The community is sick of these crimes escalating in the area recently. This used to be a peaceful community with not even a single house robbery or housebreaking. Lately this has changed and there have been these brutal attacks. What makes it worse is the fact that they forced open Bucher’s eyes to make her watch, while they were assaulting her partner.”

Zwane added that the suspects have been charged with murder, robbery, possession of firearms and ammunition and will appear today at Himeville Magistrate’s Court.

KwaZulu-Natal provincial commissioner Lieutenant-General Mmamonnye Ngobeni commended the members of Himeville police for the speedy arrest of the suspects and the recovery of the goods they allegedly stole, including two vehicles— a Toyota Land Cruiser and an Isuzu bakkie — a cellphone and three shotguns.

John Pearce of the Underberg/Himeville Community Watch said the communities in the area are united to fighting crime.

“We will be holding a protest outside the court in opposing them getting bail. We cannot allow brutal killers back into our society.”

Berg Protection Services believe that a man who was shot by one of their security guards after he was caught breaking into a cottage on a farm on Sunday night could be linked to the murder of the farmer.

“The investigation is still continuing and we believe that he could be linked to the murder of Dan,” said Deavin.

There will be a memorial Service at Kenmo in Underberg for Dan Knight on Friday at 11.30 am.

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