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Farmer relives horror attack

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“There were six of them in total. They tied up the workers’ hands behind their backs and made them lie on the stoep on their stomachs.”

A 60-YEAR-old Niekerkshoop farmer, who was repeatedly burnt on his abdomen and upper legs with a hot iron, yesterday relived his horror attack when he spoke about the incident.

The farmer, who did not want to be named and is recovering at his home, said that the incident happened on Tuesday morning at around 8am while he was waiting for two of his workers.

“When the workers arrived, we went to the barn, where the workers started unpacking the bags. Suddenly, these men came around the corner, three of them were armed with guns.”

He said the attackers instructed him to go to the house, demanding money.

“There were six of them in total. They tied up the workers’ hands behind their backs and made them lie on the stoep on their stomachs.”

According to the farmer, they forced him inside the house and asked where the safe was. Two of them went with him to the bedroom, while the others ransacked the house.

“One of the weapons was a revolver and when I opened my safe they took the rounds that I had from my own revolver that was stolen some years back and loaded their revolver.”

He added that he couldn’t see what else was being taken from the house.

“They then tied me up, using one of my belts to tie my hands behind my back. They asked about the other nearby house, which I said also belonged to me. It was about 800m away and they forced me into the front of the bakkie, where I had to sit in the middle, between two of them. My two workers, whose hands were still tied, were forced to lie down in the back of the bakkie, together with the other attackers.”

They then drove to the other house. “They forced me to open the house, but I couldn’t because my hands were still tied up.”

He added that once they managed to get inside, the group looked around but couldn’t find anything, so they all went back to the main house.

“I was taken back to the bedroom, where they also tied my feet with the cable of the two-way radio.”

He added that they switched on the iron. “At the time I was lying on the floor. Three of them were in the room with me and they burnt me twice on the upper legs and twice on the stomach.”

According to the farmer, the men were not wearing masks. “However, because there were so many of them and they were all doing different things, I couldn’t really see who was doing what.”

The police said on Wednesday that an intensive manhunt had been launched for the six suspects.

The farmer’s single-cab Toyota bakkie was recovered by the police about 15km outside Griquatown towards Groblershoop.

“The robbers are reported to be armed and dangerous,” police spokesperson Brigadier Mohale Ramatseba said at the time.