KZN farmer and wife held at gun point, bound and assaulted

2014-11-19 00:00

A NORTHERN KwaZulu-Natal farmer and his wife were held at gun point by three armed men during an attack in the early hours of yesterday.

Luke Gibbs and his wife were caught by surprise when the perpetrators stormed their Waterfall farm, in Elands­laagte, between Ladysmith and Dundee, and bound and assaulted them at about 1.45 am.

Police spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane said one of the criminals was armed with a firearm, and the other two had a panga and a crowbar.

“The three suspects ransacked the house and got away with jewellery, a television, cellphones and other items, which they loaded onto the farmer’s bakkie,” Zwane said.

He said they used Gibbs’s vehicle to escape.

Zwane said the couple sustained slight injuries during the incident and the vehicle was later recovered by the police about 30 km from their home.

A case of house robbery was opened for investigation by Elandslaagste police and no arrests had been made.

Attempts to get comment from Gibbs were unsuccessful as his phone was stolen during the attack.

The attack came just two weeks after another farmer was attacked, assaulted with a knobkerrie and hacked with a panga at his Mooi River farm. Police arrested a 56-year-old man and he was charged with attempted murder.

Koos Marais, spokesperson for agricultural union Kwanalu, said the union is concerned about attacks on commercial farmers and asked them to be vigilant. “We call on the police to do everything in their power to apprehend the perpetrators and bring them to book. Police must increase patrols in rural areas, as they have indicated in their festive season operational plan, and farmers must be extra careful at this time,” he said.

Meanwhile Transport, Community Safety and Liaison MEC Willies Mchunu welcomed the life sentences handed to Tsepiso Ramonyane and Bonginkosi Nya­wose for the murder of Underberg farmer Dan Knight.

Mchunu said the sentences served as an example to those who kill and injure members of the farming community.

“This should send a strong message to those who have taken it upon themselves to attack innocent people that the long arm of law will always catch up with them.”

The MEC said the farming community must work together in harmony to provide this critical service to the people of the province.

“Members of the farming community — farm owners and farm workers — are critical for providing food security and contributing to the economy of the province. If there are any differences, they should be resolved amicably through a constructive dialogue without resorting to violence.”

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