09/10/2008 14:22 - (SA)
Bloemfontein - A Free State farmer was killed by unknown men after he went to investigate why dogs were barking at his farm near Harrismith on Thursday morning.
Police spokesperson Sergeant Mmako Mophiring said Johannes Spies, 73, and his wife were asleep when they heard the dogs barking outside their farmhouse around 05:00 on Thursday.
Spies went out twice to investigate. The second time, his wife, who was in the house, saw two men in the yard through the window.
"She later heard several shots being fired. Suddenly, her husband walked inside the house and he was bleeding profusely."
Spies had been shot in the chest and left arm. An ambulance was called to the scene but Spies died an hour later.
Meanwhile, police, the farm guard and neighbouring farmers were alerted to the incident on Spies' farm, Gravellot, and rushed to the scene.
A police helicopter and a private helicopter also started to search for the attackers.
Mophiring said farm guard personnel, on their way to the farm, stopped a vehicle with four occupants.
"They stopped and tried to search the suspects, but three of them fled into the nearby bush. One suspect was arrested and their vehicle seized by the farm guards."
Police said the motive for the murder was not yet known but the search for the other three suspects was continuing.
A 27-year-old man from Bergville, who was arrested by the farm guard, was expected to appear in the Harrismith Magistrate's Court soon.