December 03 2008 at 09:50AM
Three Pretoria pensioners and an eight-year-old boy were seriously injured in two farm attacks on Tuesday morning.
The attacks, which took place within 1km of each other, saw gangs of heavily armed gunmen cutting through fences of at least four game farms in Kameeldrift to reach their targets.
The latest attacks, which occurred on farms in De Wagendrift, brought the number of people attacked on smallholdings and farms in the area to eight in the past two months.
At least two people have been killed in the attacks.
Johnson said he was asleep when two men charged into their bedroom
In Tuesday's first attack, two gunmen overpowered and assaulted Keyaka Game Lodge ranger, Andre Reynek, 39, and his eight-year-old son, Ju-Andre, while they slept before attacking farm owner, Izak "Sakkie" Cloete, 65, in his house, shooting him three times when he tried to stop the attack.
The gunmen, who are believed to be part of a larger group terrorising residents in the area, escaped with money, jewellery and guns.
It is believed the same gang was responsible for attacks on neighbouring farmers, Allan Johnson, 62, who is wheelchair-bound, and his wife, Gertruida "Anita", 59, three hours later.
Watching the gunmen force Ju-Andre to take them to the main farmhouse, Reyneke said he thought he was killed when he heard gunshots.
Unbeknown to him, Cloete, who had woken to the sounds of dogs barking, had been shot as he surprised the gunmen outside his house.
Dad is convinced they wanted to murder him
The gunmen, spotting Cloete who had managed to fetch his gun, used Ju-Andre as a human shield to protect themselves.
Dropping Ju-Andre near the farm's perimeter fence, the gunmen threatened to shoot him as he ran to safety.
Describing his attack, Johnson said he was asleep when two men charged into their bedroom.
"Anita was attacked after letting the puppy out of the house. The men grabbed and threw her to the floor before they came and attacked me and then tied us up," he said.
He said the gunmen escaped in their car with a gun, cellphones, a laptop computer and a hi-fi system.
Cloete's daughter, Ann MacLeod, said her father underwent surgery in Montana Hospital yesterday.
"He is in a stable condition," she said, adding that her father had told her that the gunmen had wanted to kill him.
She said: "Dad is convinced they wanted to murder him. Why would they shoot him if they just wanted to rob him?"
Police spokesperson Johannes Jaftha said a man was taken in for questioning shortly after the attacks. "Investigations are under way to try to link him to the crimes," he said.
Jaftha said a case of attempted murder and two cases of armed robbery were being investigated.
Anyone with information on the identity or whereabouts of the suspects can contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111.
This article was originally published on page 1 of Pretoria News on December 03, 2008