Three slain on farm

2010-07-22 00:00

THREE people were brutally murdered and left in pools of blood in what is believed to have been a well-planned attack on a farm in Mooi River yesterday evening.

The attackers murdered a 58-year-old farmer’s wife and a 65-year-old worker, stabbing them and slitting their throats. A third victim, a 34-year-old domestic worker, was shot several times in her employers’ kitchen.

The horrific attack happened at Sherwood Farm on the Corrington road outside Mooi River town at about 8 pm.

It seems that the attackers started by distracting the farm owner.

Police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said they set a grass fire on the farm and waited for the farmer to leave the house to put out the blaze.

“The farmer went to put out the fire while his wife went to collect an employee to help. On their way to the fire, they [the wife and the labourer] were confronted by two men,” said Naicker.

The motive for the attack remains sketchy. Naicker said the attackers did not take anything from the farm.

“After the attack the men just ran away on foot,” he said.

He said police officers, with the police dog unit, were still searching for the attackers late last night.

A paramedic with the Mooi River-based Nsele Emergency Service, Fritz Erasmus, said the wife’s body was found in a garage, the labourer’s body was outside the kitchen door while the domestic worker’s body was in the kitchen.

“There is plenty of blood at the scene and everybody is distraught,” said Erasmus.

A police officer, who arrived at the farm about an hour after the attack, described the scene as “nothing nice to look at”.

“I’m seeing very traumatised family members and friends. It is a very sad scene,” he said.

Netcare911 spokesperson Jeffrey Wicks said the three victims died before the paramedics arrived at the scene.

A farmer who declined to be named said a group of local farmers tried to barricade about 15 roads with the aim of catching the suspects. He said about 100 people went to the scene.

“It is a brutal murder. That is what happened here.

“We came out in numbers to barricade the network of roads, including district and dirt roads,” said the farmer.

The KwaZulu-Natal Agricultural Union (Kwanalu) expressed shock at the attack. Its security desk manager, Koos Marais, said he believes the attackers had gone to the farm to rob it, but were distracted.

He said that since the beginning of the year there have been 18 farm attacks and three murders, excluding last night’s incident.

He added that the farmer whose wife was killed is a respected member of the union.

“Kwanalu calls on the government to take drastic action to halt the senseless killings of our nation’s food producers. Kwanalu wishes to express its condolences to the family [of the farmer’s wife] and families of the staff,” Marais said.

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