Intruders attack, torture disabled farm manager

2019-12-12 16:33
Foto ter illustrasie....FOTO: ANDRE DAMONS

Foto ter illustrasie....FOTO: ANDRE DAMONS (file)

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A farm manager already debilitated by a past stroke was attacked and tortured in his house in Mooi River.

Rodger Huntley, who lives alone with his dog at a timber farm, was held at knifepoint by two intruders demanding firearms and money while beating him continuously over the head on Tuesday night. One of the assailants has already been arrested.

The intruders tried to lock Huntley in a cupboard before leaving with his wallet and Toyota Hilux bakkie, which was later recovered in Ladysmith. One man has been arrested, police said.

Huntley, who is in his late 60s, suffered a stroke some years ago and doesn’t have full use of his left arm and leg, and it took him nearly an hour to stagger and crawl to a neighbour’s house on the farm property to get help.

The incident happened less than one kilometre from the farmhouse where artist couple Burgen and Chantelle Thorne were attacked with knives and sticks in September, leaving Burgen wheelchair-bound.

Huntley is a friend of the Thornes, who yesterday went to his farmhouse to check if Huntley’s dog was alright.

Paul Brand, the tenant on the farm who helped Huntley, told The Witness Huntley had sustained lacerations to his head and chin and was bruised all over his head.

“He told me he had opened the door to let his dog out, and as he opened the door he was hit over the head with a knobkerrie. Two guys wearing balaclavas were hitting him and demanding money and firearms. He had neither.”

Brand said the intruders continued hitting Huntley until they realised there was no safe on his property with money and firearms.

“They took his wallet and beat him up until he told them his PIN numbers. They tried to lock him in a cupboard but left him when they realised the cupboard couldn’t lock. The last thing you ever think you’d see at night is your neighbour outside your house covered in blood,” Brand said.

Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said a 33-year-old man was arrested for robbery and will appear in court soon. The other man is still at large.

Huntley’s Toyota Hilux bakkie was recovered by the K9 Unit in Ladysmith, Gwala said.

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