21/11/2005 22:50 - (SA)
Marietie Louw , Beeld
Polokwane - A farmer was shot in cold blood in front of his six-month-old baby daughter and his girlfriend's six-year-old son in one of two farm murders in Limpopo at the weekend.
Billy Meyer, 43, of Lovedale farm in the Mara district near Makhado was shot in the head on Saturday night by a burglar who fled with about R200 and a cellphone.
Shortly before midnight that night, another farmer, John Louis Steyn, 73, was found dead in his house on the Sand River smallholdings between Makhado and Polokwane.
He apparently had been hit on the head with a blunt object and dragged to his kitchen. Only a cellphone was missing.
Meyer's friend, Alida Grobler, 27, told on Monday how Meyer was shot while he was putting their six-month-old baby girl, Christelle, down on the floor.
"She was sitting on her dad's lap and while he was putting her on the floor he was shot," she said.
She was preparing the baby's bottle in the kitchen when the attacker entered through the back door.
Boys started screaming
"At first I thought he was one of our workers, but then I saw the gun in his hand.
"He signalled me to go to the lounge where the children were with Billy.
Her son, Justin, six, from a previous relationship and his brother, Shaun, three, who had been asleep, started screaming hysterically.
"The baby also started crying. I was afraid the man would shoot my children. I told him I would give him anything as long as he didn't shoot."
The attacker demanded money, and Grobler gave him about R200 that she had in her handbag.
He also took her cellphone before fleeing.
Grobler's two sons will receive psychological counselling.
"Last night, my three-year-old wanted to know if the robber would return," said Grobler sadly.
300 farmers in hunt for killer
Stephen Fick, Meyer's neighbour, said the shooting was a tragedy.
"He was a tomato farmer and there are tomatoes ready to be harvested. Who will do it now that he's dead?"
About 300 farmers have been searching with the police since Saturday night for the suspect.
Superintendent Ailwei Mushavhanamadi of the Vhembe police said on Monday nobody had been arrested yet for either murder.