Man, 64, killed on Midlands farm

2017-05-11 15:47
SA Police. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

SA Police. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

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Durban - A 64-year-old farm owner has been found dead, his body burnt, in his home in the Midlands, KwaZulu-Natal police said on Thursday.

He had sustained burns to his entire body, and was found on his farm Tatoon, near Bulwer, on Wednesday evening, Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane said.

He was likely killed around 20:00 on Wednesday. The motive for the murder was not known yet and no arrests had been made.

"They poured petrol onto the man and set him alight in the corridor," Berg Protection Services spokesperson Brett Deavin said. The house did not catch fire.

A garden fork was found in the guest bedroom, but was it not immediately clear if it was used to kill him, as his body was so badly burnt.

Farm murders increase

The man's wife was not home at the time. She had gone out for the evening and when she returned, saw the smallholding gate was locked and blood on the front door. She called neighbours, who entered the home to find the burning body in the passage.

"They ransacked the home. They stole a television and a suitcase, so I assumed there were clothes stolen as well," Deavin said of the killers.

They likely entered the home from the back and found the man sitting on the veranda drinking coffee.

"If they entered from the front the man would've seen them."

Deavin said there had been an increase in farm murders in the Southern Drakensberg area over the past year. There were three in January.

"Some were staff related and others robberies. It is increasing like the rest of the country."

Deavin blamed poor security for the increase in farm murders.

"The areas are so large that it is impossible to police. The problem is that people living in the rural areas must take responsibility. I know I am being harsh here, but they can't live with their doors open expecting nothing to happen," he said.

"I have been monitoring reports of farm murders the past year. The people that protect themselves live. People need to be able to keep themselves safe for at least 15 - 20 minutes while they wait for armed response to arrive."

Read more on:    durban  |  crime
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