Thursday, 15 December 2005

Kneeling farmer 'executed'

15/12/2005 22:30 - (SA)

Marietie Louw, Beeld

Roedtan - A local farmer was forced to kneel next to his bakkie at the gate to the farm Doringfontein before being shot in the forehead.

Hennie van Vuuren, 53, had minutes before found his wife Celia's blood-spattered body when he arrived at the farm after having dropped off workers.

Celia, 53, had been shot dead in the garden in front of their house at about 18:0 on Wednesday.

The attackers did not take anything.

TLU spokesperson Dries Joubert described the attacks on farmers as "low-intensity war".

"The fact that nothing was stolen, proves once and for all that the police are wrong in claiming that the motive is crime."

The chair of the Roedtan South farmers' association, Hendrik Botha, said he and Van Vuuren had been at an auction and year-end function earlier in the day.

According to Botha, Van Vuuren had tried to flee the attackers after he'd found Celia's body.

"But they shot at him and hit him in the leg through the bakkie's door," Botha said.

It is not clear what happened afterwards, but it is believed that the farm's electronic gate opened too slowly for Botha to escape the killers.

"Hennie was pulled from the bakkie at the gate, forced to stand on his knees - in a similar manner to being executed - and shot in the forehead.

"We found his body next to the bakkie," a shocked Botha said.

"This was no farm robbery," said Botha.

"It was murder, plain and simple."

Agri SA's Kiewiet Ferreira said given attacks on farmers, it was becoming increasingly difficult to convince them not to take the law into their own hands.