An elderly woman farmer is in a serious condition in Stutterheim Hospital after being severely assaulted on Wednesday afternoon.
Jean McLeod, 79, was attacked as she was entering her farm – situated a few kilometres outside Stutterheim.
According to police information, McLeod arrived home from a shopping outing in Stutterheim. She entered the house with her groceries, neglecting to close the door behind her because her arms were full. When she turned back to lock it, she was accosted and overpowered.
She was then allegedly dragged to an old shed on the property and assaulted.
Police spokesman Captain Thozama Solani yesterday confirmed the incident, saying the victim had broken ribs and was taken to hospital in a critical condition.
Solani said after McLeod had been beaten, sand was put into her mouth and thrown into her eyes. She was then gagged with masking tape and her legs bound.
The attacker then ransacked the house and drove off in the victim’s vehicle.
Groceries, paintings, jewellery, and about R500 in cash was stolen from the house.
McLeod managed to free herself and crawled to the house to call police.
The vehicle stolen from McLeod were found on the road to Cathcart. “Apparently the driver lost control and it veered off the road,” Solani said.
The attacker has not been found.
Solani said McLeod had identified the attacker as “someone who used to come to collect old stuff like wire from the farm for his personal use”.
Yesterday, neighbouring farmers were shocked to hear about the attack on McLeod.
“This is news to us. We are her neighbours, but we never heard anything about the incident,” said one woman, who asked that her name not be published.
“The only headache we have had here is the problem of stock theft, but police are working hard on that together with the community. This is very bad.
“We really condemn crime in the farming areas, especially attacks on vulnerable, elderly people,” said Solani. – Daily Dispatch