In the fourth incident this month, the Police and farmers are searching for suspects after the suspects shot at farm workers on a farm in the Parys district on Tuesday morning, 11 October 2016. The workers apparently came across the suspects while inspecting the fields. The farmer was alerted and the local safety structure activated, and farmers and Police are searching the area. No injuries are reported during the search incident.
Four suspects were arrested on Monday, 10 October 2016, after they attacked a farmer of Vierfontein on Sunday, 9 October 2016. The incident occurred when Oosie Oosthuizen from the farm Olieboomfontein arrived home on Sunday afternoon after fetching a housekeeper from Orkney.
One of the suspects is apparently a child of one of Oosthuizen’s farm workers. Oosthuizen was hit over the head with a wooden object and the suspects demanded access to a safe/safes. It is suspected that they wanted firearms. They fled the scene without stealing anything. Oosthuizen was admitted to hospital. His physical injuries are luckily not serious. During a second incident this month, a worker was attacked on the farm Oom Japie in the Clocolan district. The woman was home alone on Thursday evening, 6 October 2016, when two men forced her to open the door. They held her at gunpoint and demanded money. They fled the scene with money and cell phones. According to the Police, the suspects are still at large.
In the meantime, the VKB/FSA Safety Desk reports that a farm attack was prevented on Thursday between Tweeling and Reitz. Three suspects who wore balaclavas and gloves were apprehended due to cooperation between the Police and farmers. The suspects poisoned the farmer’s dogs. After one of the farmer’s workers saw a suspect looking through a window, he alarmed him. The farm safety structure was activated, after which the suspects were caught. The suspects could be positively connected with a burglary on a neighboring farm, and it is expected that they’ve been watching the farm for a while.
According to the desk, this is the 14th farm attack that could be prevented in the province this year. 41 farm attacks have been recorded in the Free State for the year up to now. Tommie Esterhuyse, chairperson of Free State Agriculture’s (FSA) Law and Order Committee, says good cooperation between the Police and farmers within the framework of the Rural Safety Plan (RSP) prevented these attacks. “The cooperation is to the benefit of the whole community, and it is spreading. We can see this in terms of the pro-active actions to prevent attacks and other crimes. The cooperation also contributes to the fact that the rotten apples in the system, whether in the community or within the Police, are being bypassed more and exposed.”
Esterhuyse encourages farmers to be vigilant, especially over weekends and on Sundays, and to organize patrols, especially around church times. “Criminals don’t take weekends. They especially chose weekends to be more active, because their chances for success is better.”
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