Ixopo farm attack

2014-03-24 00:00

ARMED robbers “tasered” a well-known Ixopo farm couple, held a gun to their heads and repeatedly punched them on Friday night, while taunting them with references to the brutal murder of Underberg farmer Dan Knight.

Knight was bludgeoned to death with a hammer last October.

Shaun Biggs, son of the robbery victims Cheryl (58) and Dave Biggs (65), of Sutherland farm, said yesterday the family feels lucky the couple survived the attack without sustaining worse injuries.

Three intruders bashed down a door and took his parents by surprise, while they were watching a movie at about 8 pm on Friday. The ringleader had a gun and the trio was also armed with a Taser, which they used to shock his parents.

His mother was the most severely injured, having suffered extensive bruising and swelling of her face, a blue eye and a cracked rib.

His father was “tasered” at least 10 times, knocked to the ground and punched by the assailants, he said.

“One of them had a gun, a 9 mm pistol, and held it to their heads during the robbery … They mostly interrogated my mother, so she was punched quite a bit in the face, and they also used the Taser on her. They were looking for money and guns, and it seems as if they were convinced that there was another safe in the house, because they took pictures off the walls and pulled up the carpets looking for it,” he said.

Biggs said that according to his parents, the attackers spoke good English, “were very aggressive and seemed professional”.

While demanding money and pin numbers for the couple’s bank cards, they’d made references to the shocking murder of Underberg timber farmer Knight, who was beaten to death with hammers while his partner, Beth Bucher, was forced to watch.

“They were using that to threaten my folks,” said Biggs.

The robbers eventually fled with a large quantity of goods and firearms, which they loaded into the couple’s Isuzu double-cab. A pearl necklace and a Kruger Rand were among the items stolen.

The assailants tied the couple up before fleeing. They managed to free themselves and called Shaun Biggs for help shortly after 9 pm.

His home is situated only about 800 metres from his parents’, he said.

The stolen bakkie was later found abandoned on the Underberg road, near Bulwer, by police and members of Magma Security company, who are assisting with the investigation.

The Witness was told the police are following up a number of leads. By late yesterday no arrests had been made.

The Biggs family has lived in Ixopo for about 70 years. Dave and his sons farm timber, beef and sugar cane. They also own Sutherland Seedlings nursery, and Cheryl Biggs runs an upmarket guest house, Kings Grant Country Retreat, on the farm.

Biggs said they have never been attacked or had even a burglary before.

“We don’t know why this happened now. We don’t have any disgruntled staff to speak of,” he said.

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