BLOEMFONTEIN – Four suspects have been arrested – one of whom has since himself died – in connection with the murder of a 56-year-old farmer and the stabbing of his 26-year-old son on their farm near Hennenman, the South African Police Service in the Free State said on Saturday.
Hennenman SAPS detectives and crime prevention unit members “worked round the clock” after the farmer and his son were attacked at their farm in Swartpan in the early hours of Friday morning, Free State SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Motantsi Makhele said in a statement.
The farmer was fatally shot in the head while his son was stabbed in the back and was admitted to a local hospital.
The officers conducted a “crime intelligence-led operation” which led to the arrest of four suspects in Phomolong in Hennenman on Friday night.
“One of the suspects, aged 47, was founded hanged in his cell in the early hours of the morning today [Saturday]. The other three suspects, who are in their 30s, will appear in the Hennenman Magistrates’ Court soon on charges of murder and house robbery,” Makhele said.
On Friday, Makhele said a manhunt was launched following the attack on the Swartpan farm.
A domestic worker at the farm made the “gruesome discovery at about 5am after she was called by the deceased’s wife who was concerned since she tried in vain to get hold of her husband and son”.
“The domestic worker alerted relatives after she found the 56-year old farmer and his 26- year-old son injured. Other farmers and the police were activated and the farmer was declared dead at the scene, while the son was referred to a hospital for treatment.
“It is alleged that the farmer was attacked in the house and shot in the head, while the son was overpowered on his arrival and stabbed in the back. It is suspected that two to three handguns were stolen during the robbery.”
At the time, the number of attackers was not known, nor whether they used any mode of transport to flee from the crime scene, Makhele said.
– African News Agency