Handcuffs. File Photo. Image by: SUHAIB SALEM / REUTERS
Four suspects have been arrested after a family – a man‚ his wife and both his parents – were found murdered at their farm house in Modderbult on Tuesday‚ the Hawks in Mpumalanga said on Wednesday.
Lieutenant Colonel Robert Netshiunda said members of the Hawks‚ Crime Intelligence‚ members of the K9 unit‚ SANEB‚ Visible Policing members and the Local Criminal Record Centre officers responded to a farm attack incident which was reported in the area. “When they arrived they found four bodies‚ lying dead with bullet wounds.”
Two men were swiftly arrested at a nearby town for being in possession of two laptops which belonged to the victims‚ he said.
“While continuing with the investigations‚ the officers spotted a vehicle which also belonged to one of the deceased. Two men were spotted getting into the vehicle and when the police introduced themselves‚ a shootout ensued.
“The suspects were overpowered… One of them sustained injuries during the exchange of fire and is currently in hospital.”
The suspects are aged 20‚ 26‚ 30 and 36.
The national head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (the Hawks)‚ Lieutenant General Mthandazo Ntlemeza‚ applauded the officers for a swift arrest. He said the investigation must leave no stone unturned to ensure that justice is served.
“These are ugly scenes and perpetrators have no place in our society. Farm attacks are one of our priorities and we will dig very deep to establish the motive of the killings and ensure that those responsible for this heinous crime receive the harshest punishment‚” Lt-Gen Ntlemeza said.
There has been a spate of farm murders recently.
- Limpopo police have launched a manhunt for the killers of a 36-year-old farmer near Bela Bela on Monday night. The body of Ryno Janse van Rensburg was found by a co-worker in the entrance to the kitchen on the small holding he was living on.
- Two farmers in Underberg have been killed.
Trevor Rees was attacked by a gang of men on his farm Pudsey last week and died after several days in the Edendale hospital. He had been shot twice in the attack and had survived an entire weekend before he was discovered‚ bloodied and bound‚ by an employee who arrived back at his farm after a pay weekend. It later emerged that Rees had been viciously tortured‚ made to drink bleach and attacked with pliers.
A week prior‚ Gavin Carter was shot and killed on his farm West Ilsley. According to a statement issued by police‚ Carter had been asleep with his girlfriend when he was woken by a group of men. He was shot in a scuffle and died at the scene. A total of 11 farm murders and 30 attacks have been recorded in the first two weeks of this month‚ according to AfriForum.