Saturday, 3 June 2006

Farm couple killed for a gun

30/05/2006 22:49 - (SA)

Sanri van Wyk , Die Volksblad

Vrede - Two killed for one gun - this is the sad fact of the latest eastern Free State farm attack.

Superintendent Veronica Ntepe said on Tuesday morning a cattle herder had found the body of Kobus van Tonder, 78, of Merino farm outside the town.

Van Tonder's body was next to his abandoned bakkie in the veld. He had a bullet wound in his head.

Later, police found the body of his wife, Charlotte, 68, at the back door of the farmhouse. She was probably stabbed to death with a pair of scissors.

The couple's son, Hancke, said his parents had lived on the farm for about 30 years.

Their dog barked hysterically

Ntepe said it was believed the couple might have been murdered at the weekend, and their bodies found only on Tuesday.

On Tuesday afternoon, the homestead appeared deserted, apart from various police cars and a team of police trackers from Theunissen.

Members of the Bethlehem police's unit against serious and violent crime, as well as detectives from Vrede, were at the farm.

Only the couple's dog, Bruno, barked hysterically at the front door.

Hancke had difficulty calming him down.

It was learned the couple did not have permanent staff on the farm, as they used casual workers. They had two employees.

Ntepe said the attackers apparently gained access to the house through a veranda door.

She added it appeared only Van Tonder's firearm had been stolen.


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