Thursday, 18 March 2010

Four arrested for farm killing

March 15 2010 at 06:17PM

Four men were detained on Monday in connection with the farm attack which left a farmer seriously wounded and his wife killed in Colenso on Sunday night.

"Four men have been detained and they will be questioned by members of the Organised Crime Unit. They have not been charged," said Superintendent Jay Naicker.

The farmer, 70, was shot twice but he survived and was hospitalised, said Naicker. The farmer's wife was shot dead.

"The farmer was busy milking cows with his employees when they were approached by four armed men who demanded cash. The wife, 64, was shot dead and he was shot twice but he survived," he said.

Naicker said the attackers did not take anything from the farmer and that the members of the Organised Crime Unit were investigating matter.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in KwaZulu-Natal has commended the police for arresting the suspects.

"It is our belief that this senseless attack was incited by the proliferation of hate speech that is the hall mark of ANCYL president Julius Malema," said DA spokesman on safety, Sizwe Mchunu.

He said Malema's song "dubula ibhunu" (kill the boer) translated directly to a call for white people to be killed.

"There can be no place in our democratic country for provocative language of this kind," he said.

Mchunu said cooperation between the police and the members of Estcourt farmers' association and local community members had led to the swift arrest.

"That the suspects have been arrested, less than 24 hours after the crime, shows what can happen when a community forms a united front against crime."

This is the third attack on farmers in one weekend.

On Saturday night, a 46-year-old farmer was shot through his bedroom window while sleeping on his Rietfontein farm near Potchefstroom, the North West police said.

The man was taken to Potchefstroom Provincial Hospital in a critical condition while police search for those involved.

On Friday, 65-year-old Jan Wheeler was murdered outside Marble Hall in Limpopo. His killers gained access into the farmer's house by breaking the back door, Limpopo police said.

They overpowered Wheeler in the bedroom and repeatedly stabbed him with a sharp object. The men took a few electrical household appliances and ran away.

The DA member of the KwaZulu-Natal legislature, Tom Stokes said he believed the issue of farm killings was aggravated by [Malema's] singing of struggle songs that advocated the killing of farmers.

He was referring to Malema singing "kill the boer" song last week at a meeting while addressing students at the University of Johannesburg.

This caused an uproar as some people viewed it as advocating the killing of farmers.

"Malema's actions, along with subsequent attempts by the ANC's Gwede Mantashe to justify his conduct, stand in stark contrast to the pain and suffering being experienced by this family and the many others before them," said Stokes.

His view was supported by Advocate Anton Alberts of the Freedom Front Plus who said, as an influential youth leader, Malema created an atmosphere in which "reckless thoughts and actions flourished".

"No deep thoughts are needed to realise that Malema's comments are creating an atmosphere which is conducive for those who want to commit murder...he is an accessory to the wiping out of farmers in South Africa."

The argument by the ANC that the song was merely a preservation of struggle literature, rang hollow in the face of a family that had lost a wife, mother and grandmother, said Stokes, referring to Sunday night's farm murder in KwaZulu-Natal.

The Freedom Front Plus was in the meantime preparing a report on farm murders and Malema's role in it. This will be given to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

"We will also investigate the possibility to lay charges against Malema at the International Criminal Court, or in the least make the court aware of a growing phenomenon of the victimisation of minorities and specifically the Afrikaner in South Africa," said Alberts.

This, he said, could escalate to international crimes. - Sapa


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