Shockwaves in Ixopo as farmer shot dead on eve of retirement

2013-05-08 00:00

AN Ixopo farmer was shot dead and his female associate was attacked and wounded in his house in broad daylight yesterday.

Peter Hackland (61) of Cromleigh Farm in Carisbrook, Ixopo, was killed around midday by two unknown men after a short confrontation inside the farmhouse.

Attempts to locate the family last night for comment were unsuccessful.

The Witness understands that Hackland had been working outside with his female associate.

When they went into the house they found the men waiting inside.

The men produced a firearm and shot him dead.

Hackland farmed sugarcane, citrus and timber and recently sold his farm and was heading for retirement. He had lived and farmed in the area his whole life.

John Foster of the Ixopo Farmers’ Association said they were shocked by the incident.

“We understand that it was two people who came in pretending to be looking for work. They then accosted his helper and his daughter, who is in her twenties.

“When Peter came in, a scuffle broke out and two shots were fired. Only one hit him and he was killed.

“It does not appear that much had been stolen. The female associate who was there doing some work on the farm was also attacked. We do not know the extent of her injuries,” said Foster.

He said the incident had sent shockwaves through the community. “The fact that this happened in broad daylight is quite shocking.

“It’s been a long time since something like this has happened, but if one looks at the statistics, it’s quite shocking.”

He said there had been no farm attack incidents in the area for 18 months.

By yesterday, local farmers and the police were in the area on the lookout for the suspected men and a helicopter and a dog unit had been dispatched.

Koos Marais of the Kwanalu security desk said farmers should be cautious of strangers pretending to seek employment.

“They should report any suspicious people,” he said.

“Kwanalu is shocked by the attack. That area has a general crime problem like theft and domestic abuse, but on the farming side it has been relatively quiet. There have not been any incidents of farm attacks for the past 18 months”.

“We are very grateful that the police responded very quickly and they even sent helicopters there. We are confident they will bring the perpetrators to book.”

The police confirmed that they were investigating a case of murder and house robbery at Cromleigh Farm in Ixopo.

They said an undisclosed amount of cash was stolen. No arrest has been made at this stage.

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