Farmer's widow sues police for R4m

2011-10-17 07:31

Johannesburg - A farmer's widow is suing the police for more than R4m for loss of spousal support after her husband died in a shooting incident involving policemen, according to a report.

On January 20, 2011 Babanango farmer Kobus de Vries, 54, died in a hail of police bullets after a stand-off with about 40 armed policemen at his farmhouse, IOL reported.

His widow, Rentia, is taking the minister of police to court to hold him accountable for the death.

In court papers filed this week by her legal representative, attorney Carel Taute, Rentia, a vet who has since moved to Somerset West, is asking for R4 008 000 to compensate her for the loss of spousal support.

She is also requesting interest on the amount.

Taute said that Rentia de Vries had been looked after by her husband to the tune of R200 000 a year. She did not work at the time, but had been forced to accept a poorly paying job since her husband’s death.

When news of the killing broke, police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said the information at his disposal indicated that De Vries was shot when he fired at local police and tactical response team members after a stand-off at his farmhouse.

The legal matter now resides with the office of the state attorney, which has 20 court days to respond to the papers.

After that time they will note their defence, and at a time yet to be determined, pleadings will start.

  • herman.brummer - 2011-10-17 07:45

    ye, come on, only half the story, wake up news24.

      SimnikiweNtingi - 2011-10-17 07:50

      Why were police in their farmhouse in the first place?...was this guy a criminal ?...more info please

      Horst - 2011-10-17 08:28

      This may shed some light on it, did some cutting and pasting from the IOL article: "When news of the killing broke, police spokesman Colonel Jay Naicker told the Tribune the information at his disposal indicated that De Vries was shot when he fired at local police and tactical response team members after a stand-off at his farmhouse."

  • Preshen - 2011-10-17 07:48

    I shot the sheriff But I didn't shoot no deputy

      Albert - 2011-10-17 08:02

      40:1 What heroes!!!!!!killers. Where was the negotiator?

  • Mzamo - 2011-10-17 08:10

    R200 000 p.a for staying at home!!! Dat must have been a happy woman!! I have a full time job but I don't earn that!!! Yerrrrrrr....!!

      Robs - 2011-10-17 08:26

      Join the government gravy train and you'll earn that a month. Mess up and be put on paid leave until your hearing and you might get it without being at office for a very long time.

  • Dan - 2011-10-17 08:33

    Very very poor reporting again by News 24. Quality of news on News 24 is becoming shocking.

  • loftycrane - 2011-10-17 08:51

    He was shot in the back as he returned into his house after a discussion with the police. Kobus was my nephew. He was a Gunsmith and Taxidermist - His loss is sorely felt by his family.

      sonet.vd.westhuizen - 2011-10-17 09:01

      I remember this case clearly. How can a man shoot at cops whilst his back is turned to them was my thought at the time? Funny how news pages turn the story, or neglect(FAIL) to mention the true happenings!!!

      PyroSA - 2011-10-17 09:37

      Thanks, the article didn't go into details so I was wondering how it happens that a farmer is shot by such a large group of policemen. Sorry for the loss Lofty, I've know it feels lose someone to the wrong side of the law; I cannot imagine how it feels losing them to the 'right' side.

      Debbi - 2011-10-17 12:56

      @loftycrane, seeing as we can never completely trust that the media will report the "whole truth", could you enlighten us as to what really happened? Why would a man suddenly start shooting at police - it does not make sense.

      JohhnyBGood - 2011-10-17 15:32

  • Melanie - 2011-10-17 08:54

    Maybe people should read the related articles in stead of criticizing News 24 all the info is there.

      PyroSA - 2011-10-17 09:41

      Well spotted Melanie. Links are near the top of the article if you need more details.

      Vincent - 2011-10-17 10:08

      Fair enough, but who has time to go through each and every link to get "the whole story"?

  • jconn1 - 2011-10-17 09:11

    why did the farmer get shot?news24 please report the correct stories in future please

      Peter - 2011-10-17 09:43

      There are other articles on this He was reportedly involved in an accident with an Eskom vehicle which was reported. The cops went to the farm to talk to him. Kobus returned to the farm house and repotedly started firing at the cops. ( why is not mentioned ) They then returned fire and Kobus was hit.

      Towtruck - 2011-10-17 15:33

      Peter, how many cops were needed to "talk" to him?

  • Koos - 2011-10-17 11:30

    mmm... sien news 24 report weer so hulle gatte vandag!

  • blipsie - 2011-10-17 12:54

    Mmmm...not entirely sure how you fire at police standing behind you? Two shots in the back? Because your not exactly going to fire and then turn your back on 40 armed trigger happy police members are you? This smells like police-covering-their-asses fish.

  • Vincent - 2011-10-17 16:44

    Only 4 Million? He was young enough to so claim more...What about your children education and and and and

  • Poloyatonki - 2011-10-17 18:44

    R200 000 a year. Wow

  • Gail - 2011-10-17 20:37

    Ivaguely remeber this incident. If it was about a MVA with ESKOM why did it require 40 highly armed policemen to confront hi, Remember the context here - he is a farmer and a gunsmith known to have an arsenal. Police were being careful. On his side being confronted by heavily armed men/women in police uniform was an excessive show of force by people who are supposed to be upholders of the law but known to support JM and the general ANC heavies would make most farmers a bit trigger happy and so he wanted them to know he was armed so fired off shots to warn them off and then turned around to go inside as they returned fire? Speculation but possible. He made money through the gun and he died because of it. Sad, but R4million in damages I don't know. If sge is qualified as a vet then she should be able to make a decent living. Maybe she is traumatised or maybe she is just spoilt. Cops have the right to return fire and take adequate precautions against a person known to have an arsenal which he obviously was not afraid to use. His death may well have averted police deaths as well as ultimately his own. Context is important at this point in the story, Look at what happened last year with the weird French couple on a farm. People asked questions then as to why the police hadn't taken the necessary precautions. Did the police intend to kill him and fire first provoking him? Can it be proved?

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