July 27 2006 at 07:53PM
A Pretoria smallholder has been shot dead by four armed robbers wearing camouflage uniforms, police said on Thursday.
Manie de Jager, 59, was asleep with his wife, Serina "Tjoekie", 53, when the men broke into the house by bending back the burglar bars on a window at 11pm on Tuesday, said Inspector Katlego Mogale.
The couple woke on hearing what sounded like people trying to open the bedroom door, she said. While De Jager tried to fight off the robbers, his wife ran to a bathroom and locked herself in.
She heard shots fired and on emerging from the bathroom later, when she felt it was safe, she found her husband dead. He had been shot in the back.
Mogale said two cellphones were missing.
However, the De Jagers' son, Kahn, told the daily newspaper, Beeld, there was no motive for robbery.
"It's murder. It was nothing other than murder. They took two cellphones - and my father's life," he said.
"How are you supposed to feel when your father is cold-bloodedly murdered and the state turns its back on farm murders?" he asked. "Nothing is done. It's farm murder after farm murder. This is just another statistic," he told the newspaper.
Originally from Groblersdal, the De Jagers moved into the house two months ago with the intention of setting up a guest house.
It was not known what kind of camouflage their assailants were wearing, said Mogale. The serious and violent crimes unit was investigating.
The Freedom Front Plus condemned the murder.
The party's MPL in the North West Legislature, Andrew Gerber, said the current wave of farm murders had released an "unparalleled anger amongst the general population which will explode at some point if the government does not intervene".
Gerber said the promise by Minister of Safety and Security Charles Nqakula to cut crime was just empty words.
He said police officers sent to the Democratic Republic of Congo to assist there should be brought back to South Africa.
"How can the crime-riddled population of South Africa take the ANC government seriously when its most essential police force members are being sent abroad, leaving innocent victims without the required assistance? The call for justice from various quarters is falling on deaf ears. The public no longer believes that the government either has the will or the capacity to protect innocent citizens against murderous criminals," said Gerber. - Sapa