Monday, 14 May 2007

Gang strikes twice at farms

14/05/2007 09:39 - (SA)


Rustenburg - A father was killed in cold blood and a businessman wounded after a gang of farm attackers hit twice within a few kilometres in the North West Province on Saturday.

Willie Potgieter, 43, was killed with a single shot on his smallholding near Marikana in the Rustenburg area on Saturday.

His wife Marieta found her husband's body in the lapa.

A special task team from North West police were still searching for clues at this farm and on another farm about 24km from it where another farm attack had taken place on Friday.

Police spokesperson captain Elsabe Augoustudes said the attacks were probably related.

Hugo Wenhold, 53, narrowly escaped death after what was suspected to be the same gang fired several shots at him.

'Pure grace'

One of the bullets grazed his head and another penetrated his liver.

Sandra Wenhold, 44, said on Sunday her husband was in stable condition in Unitas Hospital in Centurion.

He was on a ventilator in the intensive care unit.

"It was pure grace," she said. "God held his hand over us."

The gang of seven men surprised the Wenholds and Arnold Theron, 22, their daughter Benita's fiancee, about 19:00 while they were in the bar area of their house on the Buxtehude Estate in the Kroondal district.

The suspects simply walked in through an open sliding door.

Wenhold started strugling with one of the robbers and was shot in the side. He immediately collapsed.

Mrs Wenhold ran around the bar in an effort to flee through another sliding door to get help. One of the suspects pursued her, but she hit him in the face with a bottle and managed to escape outside.

Theron ran through the kitchen and smashed into a closed sliding door. One of the suspects followed him and forced him to the dining room.

Benita locked herself into a bedroom and pressed a panic button when she heard the anguished shouts and shots.

Son tied up

"We suspect Hugo crept to the dining room in an effort to reach the guns."

Another struggle broke out when Wenhold told Theron "Donder die ding" (Hit the thing) while one of the robbers held a firearm to Theron's head.

Theron was forced down onto the floor next to Wenhold. One of the robbers fired another shot at Wenhold, but the bullet just grazed him.

The robbers, who were on their way outside with Theron in order to steal vehicles, fled when the tenant of a flat on the premises came to Mrs Wenhold's aid.

After the attack the family found that their son Heinrich had been overpowered and tied up in a flat on the premises.

The robbers fled with a laptop computer, several cellphones and handbags.


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