- Police say preliminary investigations revealed "a different version" of events to those a farmer initially reported about an attack at his Kroonstad home.
- The farmer is accused of shooting dead three suspects on Thursday after they stormed his premises and stabbed him in the head and neck.
- The farmer's lawyer says he has not changed his version, and he was acting in self-defence.
A Free State farmer who shot dead three apparent intruders in his home - after they stabbed him in the head and neck - has been charged with murder, police confirmed on Friday.
This was after preliminary investigations revealed a "different version of incidents" as to those the farmer gave initially, said police spokesperson Brigadier Motansi Makhele.
But the accused's lawyer told News24 his client's version had not changed and the shooting was in self-defence.
The farmer, 37, who lives alone at Boskoppie in Kroonstad, was at his residence when four intruders stormed in as he opened his door around 07:20 on Thursday, Makhele said previously.
Makhele also reported initially that the farmer was overpowered and stabbed in the neck and head, before he managed to get hold of his firearm and fired several shots, killing three of his attackers.
Another suspect fled the scene.
News24 is not naming the farmer because he has now been charged and is expected to appear in the Kroonstad Magistrate's Court on three counts of murder on Monday.
"Out of these developments he had to be taken in for questioning, which led to a conclusion to detain him while the forensic team will be thoroughly working at the scene from today to collect more evidence," Makhele said.
The farmer's lawyer, FC Schilling told News24 he was still hospitalised and under police guard.
Makhele said it was standard rule of the law to press charges of murder where there were suspicions that someone broke the law, using, self-defense as their reason for retaliation.
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He said the outcome of further investigations, such as the post-mortems and other forensic probes, would guide them on whether to lay other charges apart from murder.
In a twist, Makhele revealed that two men and a woman, all in their twenties, had been arrested and charged with among others, conspiracy to commit a crime.
Schilling told News24 these suspects were arrested after the farmer pressed charges against them.
He added that they were going to fight and apply for bail on the basis that the farmer was defending himself when he shot and killed the three who entered his home.
Schilling added that the Organised Crime unit on farm killings in Bloemfontein was investigating the matter.
The lawyer said while some of the facts were sub judice, because they were yet to present their facts before court, they were, however, certain that the version given by the farmer had not changed, disputing the police's preliminary findings.
"I really do not know where they (police) come from to say his version is not what it initially was. That is not correct," he added.
Schilling said it was important to note that the other three suspects arrested for conspiracy to commit a crime, were arrested separately, and not with the farmer.
They were also expected to appear in the Kroonstad Magistrate's Court on Monday.
"[He is appearing] for murder, which we will end up raising as self defense ultimately," the lawyer said.
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