March 15 2010 at 10:13AM
By Lesego Masemola
A 64-year-old Limpopo farmer was shot and killed and his wife assaulted by two robbers at the weekend.
Frik van Deventer and his wife, former residents of Centurion, were attacked on their farm near Dorset on the Botswana border on Saturday night at 7pm, said Limpopo police spokeswoman Ronel Otto.
"The victim's wife was in the kitchen when she heard voices in the garden where her husband was. There was a gun shot. Then two men appeared in the kitchen. They assaulted the woman, slapped her around and tied her down in the kitchen," she said.
The suspects then took a safe believed to have hunting rifles in it and fled the scene in the couple's bakkie, while Van Deventer lay in a pool of blood in the garden with a gun wound to the head.
Otto said the suspects lost control of the bakkie. It overturned on a road in a remote area and the suspects apparently fled on foot.
Police recovered the vehicle with the safe still locked.
No one has been arrested yet.
Craig Pidduck who lives on a nearby farm said: "A neighbour heard a shot but thought nothing of it until Van Deventer's wife came running for help. She managed to untie herself and ran through the bushes to get help, that's when my neighbour called me. She thought her husband was still alive," he said.
Otto said police were concerned at the increase in farm attacks in the province which started escalating last month. She could not give statistics on the number of incidents.
Pidduck said farmers in the area were shocked at the incident which comes less than two weeks after another farmer had his throat slit by two men who have since been arrested. He said they were starting to think that there was a syndicate running farm attacks.
"We are very far away from everything. Our community policing forum is not that strong and the criminals are taking advantage of that. We are easy targets for them."
This article was originally published on page 3 of Pretoria News on March 15, 2010