Farmer beaten to death

2013-10-19 00:00

A KWAZULU-NATAL farmer has been beaten to death on his farm while his partner was locked up by the assailants.

Dan Knight (56) died at his Outlook farm at Himeville, near Underberg, on Thursday night.

He and his partner, Beth Bucher, were in the house when five men attacked them. Bucher, who survived the attack, recognised two of the five men as employees at the farm.

The men allegedly locked Bucher in the bathroom while they were assaulting Knight.

Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said Bucher stayed locked in the bathroom until she managed to escape and alert the neighbours to the attack. The suspects had by then fled the scene.

A close friend of the couple’s, Liz Mackay, told Weekend Witness that Bucher had escaped through the bathroom door after spending more than an hour there.

She said: “He [Knight] was the most friendly person you would ever wish to meet.”

Lauren, Bucher’s daughter, told Weekend Witness that her mother was in shock and had been sedated. She said the farm attack had affected her badly.

“Dan was a friend to everyone. He was big-hearted. He was working as a timber contractor in the area,” said Lauren.

“Surprisingly enough, two of the five suspects were his workers,” said Lauren.

Koos Marais of the KwaZulu-Natal Agricultural Union (Kwanalu) security desk said: “We call on all landowners to take extreme caution.

“All strangers must be noted and dealt with by lawful means. Farms are private property and access must be controlled,” said Marais.

He added that Kwanalu records show that including the murder of Knight, eight farmers had been killed this year in the province thus far. Last year, four farmers died in farm attacks.

The attackers took a Land Cruiser, an Isuzu bakkie and a shotgun before they fled the scene. Other items have not been identified.

Police are investigating a case of murder. No one has yet been arrested.

Other farmers killed in KwaZulu-Natal this year

THE Witness has reported on the killings of the following farmers in the province this year.

On May 7 — Peter Hackland (61), of Cromleigh Farm in Carisbrook, Ixopo, was shot and killed by two unknown men after a short confrontation inside the farmhouse. His female associate was attacked and wounded in his house.

On May 25 — Dave Maratos (65) was farm-sitting for a friend at Brydom Farm, along Mispah Road in Greytown, when he was attacked by unknown men who stabbed him several times. He died at the scene.

On July 28 — George Fakude (46), a popular Wartburg farm manager, was killed in an ambush in the sugar cane fields. He left his home at around 5.30 am to collect labourers for work. His killers waited in the dark for him. A single shot through the chest and lungs caused massive internal haemorrhaging.

On August 11 — Timothy Green (44), a Newcastle farmer, was killed at his Mellon Green Farm near Chelmsford Dam after he disturbed a burglary at his home.

On September 27 — Micky Hampson (69), an Eston sugar cane farmer, was killed by men who were on his farm. He was on the lands with his son when the two unknown men attacked them.

On October 9 — Eugene van der Merwe (61), who was living at Sunnyside farm, Ixopo, was beaten to death.

Agricultural union Kwanalu were unable to confirm the identity of the other person they say has died in a farm attack this year.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. 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.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.