June 20 2006 at 03:29PM
Two armed intruders shot dead a 66-year-old farmer and wounded his wife in Carolina, Mpumalanga police said on Tuesday.
Thys Boshoff was shot in the face and his wife in the hand as they were trying to prevent the intruders from coming through a door, spokesman Captain Klaas Maloka said.
Democratic Alliance (DA) MPL Anthony Benadie said Boshoff's murder was the third farm attack in the area in the past week.
The DA earlier warned the government that farmers faced a security risk due to a questionnaire circulated at a local school which required pupils to provide "private, confidential and sensitive information" about the farms on which they lived.
Benadie said all three attacks occurred within a 10km radius of the Moedig (Thokozani) Combined School where the questionnaire was circulated.
"The government chose to ignore the warnings and said that there is no security risk for farmers in Mpumalanga and that the DA are being alarmist," said Benadie.
Last Tuesday a black farmer and his family were attacked on their Bonnievoye farm and were still in hospital with serious injuries.
Benadie said the attackers fled with cash.
On Wednesday another attack took place two kilometres from the Moedig School on the Drenthe farm.
"The owner of the farm appointed security guards to look after the farm. The guards, Mr Msiza and Mr Nkosi, were attacked by two assailants who threatened to kill them if they did not tell them where the firearms were.
"The guards eventually disclosed the whereabouts of the firearms and the two attackers fled with firearms," said Benadie.
Two shotguns were stolen which were allegedly used in the attack on Boshoff and his wife.
Leader of the Wonderfontein farmer protection unit Ernst van den Berg said that war had been declared. Farmers would start acting with force to protect themselves against criminals.
"A farmer should rather shoot first with the risk of going to jail and still be alive than try to act according to government regulations and get murdered."
Van den Berg added that if the intruders were simply robbers, as police claimed, they would not have shot Boshoff through the door.
Van den Berg said security on farms had "definitely deteriorated". - Sapa