Police are investigating two farm murders in KwaZulu-Natal as a farmer and his father were shot to death in a hail of bullets. In another attack against a farmer in the same province, another farmer was shot, allegedly by a 16-year-old.
News 24 reported that Billy Van Rooyen, 37, was rushed to the hospital along with his father, 62. Van Rooyen died on the way to the hospital while his father-in-law later succumbed to his injuries. Police found over 50 shell casings at the scene.
Police spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane added that the two were also robbed while six men were taken into custody at the scene.
“The suspects robbed the injured victims of cash, before fleeing the scene. Six men were taken in for questioning. Two counts of murder, attempted murder and house robbery are being investigated by Gluckstadt SAPS.”
— Corrupt South Africa (@SAcorrupt) April 19, 2016
One of the men taken into custody was a security guard on the property, while the other was a former employee. Both were later released as they showed no connection to the crime.
As previously reported by Inquisitr, farm murders increased for the fifth straight year in a row, as did murder. Although Afriforum has released multiple reports about farm murders and said that around 1,700+ farmers have been murdered since apartheid ended in 1994, and critics of the numbers believe that it’s closer to 3,000 to 4,000. Police claim that the motive is often robbery, even when the brutality of the crimes point to something else as often little is stolen.
— South Africa Today (@SATodayNews) April 16, 2016
Police have been called on to make the crimes a priority and end the targeting of farmers in South Africa. Only about one third of all murders in South Africa are actually solved. Afriforum, a civil rights group in South Africa, did meet with the acting national police commissioner in order to get farm murders prioritized as a crime.
In another story released by News 24, a 57-year-old farmer was shot by a 16-year-old teen. The Pietermaritzburg farmer had to have emergency surgery after he was shot in the face. Andrew Gibbs, the farmer, found the intruders at his home after he went to pick up his children. It is believed that the 16-year-old in the case used Gibbs’ firearm to shoot him.
— Al Bundy (@Clubs88) March 7, 2016
Gibbs wrestled with the teenager before being taken to the hospital, and after his surgery he was in stable condition. He had been shot once in the cheek, and while the alleged assailant was taken into custody after the shooting, his accomplices escaped the police. KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane said that Gibbs alerted his farm workers who came to his aid.
“The complainant alerted his workers who came to his rescue and caught a 16-year-old juvenile. Two suspects managed to flee the scene. The suspect was taken to hospital after he was allegedly assaulted by members of the community and will appear in court soon for attempted murder.”
Jenelea Holmes, the general manager of the Creighton Farmers’ Agency, said that farmers in the area were pretty shaken up by the incident and would be taking additional precautions to protect themselves and their families. In the wake of this attack, police caught a break in the Van Rooyen farm murders case, and a 33-year-old suspect was taken into custody. Police are still trying to locate the other suspects who were part of the gang that murdered the Van Rooyens.
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