BY REX MPHISA
A 74-year-old South African white farmer and his wife were burnt beyond recognition following a robbery at their property in Levubu outside Thohoyandou on Wednesday, South African Police Services (Saps) said yesterday.
The suspects, believed to have been two, escaped on foot after they disturbed and abandoned the farmers vehicle they had loaded their loot on.
“The Provincial Commissioner of Police in Limpopo Lieutenant Thembi Hadebe has ordered a 72 hours Activation Plan to hunt down the suspects following an incident in which a 74 year old farmer and his wife pèrished after their farmhouse was allegedly set on fire during a house robbery on their farm at Levubu outside Thohoyandou yesterday on Wednesday 20 April 2022 at about 16h20,” a media officer for Saps Limpopo Province Lieutenant Colonel Malesela Ledwaba said in a press statement.
He said a passerby noticed two strangers wandering in the premises.
“Apparently the two who were about to leave the premises in the vehicle belonging to the farmer were somehow disturbed and fled the scene on foot, leaving the vehicle full of properties belonging to the farmer behind,” he said.
“Police were notified and on arrival, they reportedly found the farm house on fire, with farmer and his wife still inside. The victims were burnt beyond recognition.”
Preliminary Police investigations revealed that the farmer and wife were allegedly accosted by suspects who ransacked the farmhouse and took several items including fireams and loaded them into the family vehicle.
They apparently then set the house alight before leaving.
A Task Team comprising detectives from Provincial, District and Station levels has already been assembled to track down the killers.
We therefore call on community members with information to come forward and assist the Police in the investigations of this horrendous crime, he said.
Suspects face two counts of murder, house robbery and arson.
“Anyone with Information that can lead to the arrest of the suspects is requested to contact the Investigating Officer Captain Mashudu Lesley Muneri who is available on this number +2782 469 1260, the Crime Stop number +27860010111 or the nearest police station,” said Ledwaba.
SA police are worried about the increasing number of farm attacks that have resulted in deaths and general crime and the number of recorded attacks on farms and smallholdings rose in seven of the nine provinces of South Africa.
The increase is attributed to the distance from farms the nearest towns are viewed as a deterrent in identifying the property which the perpetrators intend to attack.
Farm attackers take advantage of the remoteness of most farms where most victims are mostly lonely and at long distances from neighbouring farms providing criminals a conducive climate to commit crimes without being noticed.