Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Farmer found shot dead at home

25/09/2007 07:27 - (SA)

Stephanie Saville

Durban - A Cramond vegetable farmer was found shot dead on his farm on Monday morning.

Police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram said that 52-year-old Andy Main, from the farm Gilmore, was shot several times as he returned to the farm late on Sunday night.

Main lived alone at the farm.

Budhram said Main's Mazda bakkie was stolen in the attack and was later found abandoned in sugarcane fields on a neighbouring farm six kilometres away. Although Main's attackers entered his house, it could not yet be ascertained if anything else was missing, said Budhram.

Budhram said the farm supervisor found Main's body when he arrived, as usual, to fetch the workshop keys.

Broke down doors

Police learned that Main arrived at his farm at about 23:30 on Sunday night after driving one of his children to Pietermaritzburg.

Budhram said it appeared that Main was shot before he entered the farmhouse.

"It is believed that the attackers then broke into his home by forcing the doors open."

Budhram said police found several expended high-calibre cartridges, indicating that a rifle may have been used.

Main's death came as a shock to his farm foreman, Hilton Shongwe, who discovered Main's body early on Monday morning when he went to the farmhouse to discuss the farm activities for the day.

"I went to the main house and I didn't see his car so I thought he must be out on the farmland at first," said a shaken Shongwe.

"Then I saw his body lying on the veranda and I rushed back to my house to tell everyone and call the police," Shongwe said.

Main's four dogs were missing when he arrived at the house on Monday.

"I think they must have been frightened off by the sound of the gunshots," he said.

Three of them returned later, but one was still missing on Monday.

Leaves two daughters

Shongwe said Main's home had been broken into twice.

Main is survived by two daughters, Nicky and Kate.

"We are in big trouble here now," he said.

Koos Marais from the security desk at Kwanalu (KwaZulu-Natal Agricultural Union), said Main was the 11th KZN commercial food producer murdered this year, according to his records. Fifteen more have been victims of criminal attacks.

"Kwanalu urgently appeals to the government to urgently address crime in rural areas and put an end to the senseless killing and attacks on our nation's food providers."

He said that more visible and proactive policing is needed in these areas.

"Crime and security factors costs farmers here R200 million each year. A farm is an open yard and very difficult to make secure."

He said reports that KZN food prices are the most expensive in the country are true and that this is exacerbated by the cost of crime for food producers.

A year ago Cramond was the scene of another farm murder, which claimed the life of Eric Ezkaa Podolski, who was allegedly killed by three temporary workers at his farm, after they allegedly attacked and robbed his wife Miriam and their domestic worker, Gloria Ngidi.


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