Six suspects held for Ixopo farm murder

2016-03-11 06:00
Police officers and Magma Security detectives line up the six men believed to have robbed and murdered Ixopo farmer Anton Verwey.

Police officers and Magma Security detectives line up the six men believed to have robbed and murdered Ixopo farmer Anton Verwey.

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SIX hours was all it took for police­ and private detectives to arrest six men the murder of an Ixopo farmer on Monday.

Various police units with the help of Magma Security combed the valleys outside Ixopo for six men who stabbed 67-year-old farmer Anton Phillip Verwey to death.

At about 4am on Monday, Verwey was stabbed to death during a ­robbery at his farm house off the D56 road, about 20km from Ixopo.

It is believed the gang first burgled the house on Friday, and returned yesterday. The gang may be linked to other cases of house robbery in the area.

According to a police source close to the investigation, five men broke through a window and entered the house while another stood guard.

Verwey, who was apparently awake and working on his computer, was confronted by the gang and a tussle ensued.

“You could see there was a fight,” the police source said.

The gang members allegedly stabbed Verwey twice in the ­abdomen before making off with ­bicycles and electronic goods.

All the while, Verwey’s wife was asleep and, according to the source, awoke when she heard a noise to find her husband stumbling in the ­hallway, covered in blood.

It is believed she ran into a room to call the police, and when she ­returned, found her husband lying dead on the floor.

When police arrived at the house, Verwey’s body was found lying face down in a pool of blood.

Immediately rallying officers from the Ixopo detectives unit and ­Kokstad K9 unit, a team were formed with Magma Security’s detectives to hunt down the gang members.

Verwey’s wife, who asked that her first name not be used, was too traumatised to comment after the incident, but sent a message saying she applauds the police for arresting her husband’s alleged murderers.

Speaking to the media, Magma Security director Shaheen Suleiman said although Verwey was not a client, he put a team together after clients in the area asked his company to assist.

Traversing through dense plantations and narrow valley roads, a manhunt was launched and only a few hours later, the first man was caught.

Using information provided by the man, the team began roping in one suspect after the other until all six were rounded up. The men were aged between 14 and 24.

In their possession, the team found two bicycles, a television set, computer, laptop, cellphones and other belongings believed to be stolen.

Suleiman commended the ­policemen involved, saying that “good team work” led to the arrests.

KZN Agricultural Union security desk chair Koos Marais said they are “shocked and saddened” that another “food producer” has been killed.

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