November 07 2008 at 06:58AM
A Pretoria farmer was gunned down and his wife seriously injured during a late-night attack on their smallholding.
Tersius Wehmeyer was turning off an outside tap after watering the garden of his Kameeldrift West smallholding near Hercules, when two men walked up to him and opened fire on Wednesday night.
The men then turned on his wife as she ran outside to investigate what had happened.
After beating her repeatedly over the head, the men ransacked the couple's home before fleeing with jewellery and cellphones.
The men are yet to be arrested.
A paramedic who responded to the attack said Wehmeyer's wife, who police declined to name, was in a city hospital where she was recovering from her injuries.
Police spokesperson Inspector Wanda Olivier, who confirmed the attack, said Wehmeyer died on the scene.
She said the men had shot Wehmeyer without saying a word, after which they proceeded to attack his wife.
Olivier said a case of murder, armed robbery and assault with intent to commit grievous bodily harm was being investigated.
She urged people living on smallholdings to maintain strict control over access to their homes and not to keep large sums of money on their property.
She also urged them to make sure that weapons were securely locked away in places which outsiders would not be aware of and to ensure that their cars were not used as getaway vehicles.
Olivier also urged people living on farms and smallholdings to belong to community groups such as farm watch groups, and to maintain up-to-date communication networks and security plans.
Handy tips when you come under attack
Think, do not panic, evaluate the situation, talk in a calm manner;
If the attackers request keys or goods, hand them over;
Do not resist your attackers but take down their particulars;
Calm down the attacker;
Keep smaller children close to you. Safety precautions:
Have a fence around your home and lock gates at all times;
Cut bushes and long grass around entrances, fences and foot paths and keep dogs;
Razor, barbed wire or empty tins can be attached to fences to increase early warning signs;
Erect security gates to divide sleeping quarters from the rest of the house, and make sure communication systems are in the sleeping area as well;
Ensure firearms are readily accessible and regularly serviced, and that everyone knows how to use them;
Maintain a good relationship with your employees and keep copies of IDs of everyone on your farm, their photographs and fingerprints;
Encourage all workers to be alert and to report strangers;
Remunerate workers for useful hints and provide adequate protection to their homes;
Lock away heavy tools and change locks when keys disappear;
Always notify family of where you are going and your route;
Teach children not to tell strangers about things in the house and keep a torch at hand at night;
Keep a camera in a vehicle and take photographs of strangers in the area or visiting your farm;
Know your area well in order to facilitate an escape if needed. Early warning signs:
Strange vehicles in the area;
Inexplicable deaths of dogs;
Strangers trying to buy goods or stock or requesting help at odd hours.
This article was originally published on page 2 of Pretoria News on November 07, 2008