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NC farmer opens fire on intruders

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Only three days earlier, in the same area, 60-year-old Attie Jooste was stabbed to death on his farm in Jan Kempdorp

PICTURE: Africa News Agency/ANA

A NORTHERN Cape farmer opened fire and possibly wounded several men who gained access to his home near Warrenton.

Fanus Greyling, a game farmer on the farm Pondrif, about 20 kilometres outside Warrenton, yesterday recalled the chilling moments when he realised someone was in his home, after hearing footsteps coming towards his bedroom, where he was sleeping after having celebrated his fiftieth birthday earlier in the evening.

The incident happened at around 1am on Wednesday morning and Greyling believes that the men were about to kill him .

“I went to bed at around midnight after making sure that all the doors and security gates were locked. I woke up about an hour later to footsteps on the wooden floors of the house, coming closer to my bedroom.

“I slowly, and without making a noise, opened the drawer of my bedside table and retrieved my .22 pistol. I turned on my side, facing the door to the room. I then heard a firearm being cocked and saw a hand reaching for the light switch of the bedroom. I fired a shot at the hand and the intruders ran away.

“I tried to give chase and while running down the passage I fired another shot in their direction but they managed to escape,” Greyling said yesterday.

He added that it was too dark to see how many suspects were in his house but said that it had sounded like two.

As they were running away, the suspects dropped a rifle, which belonged to Greyling and was believed to have been picked up in another room, and a pick handle that Greyling believed the intruder intended to use to kill him in his bed.

Greyling immediately phoned 10111 but the number was not in service. He then phoned a neighbour, who thought he was “playing a joke”. Another neighbour responded to Greyling’s call for help and blocked the road from his house in an attempt to ambush the suspects but did not succeed.

The Warrenton police were then contacted and arrived at the scene in record time, according to Greyling.

They took forensic and DNA samples of, amongst others, a blood smear on the light switch in his bedroom.

Greyling added that while he had fired two shots, no bullet holes or spent bullets were found anywhere in the house, leading to the belief that both shots had hit and wounded the intruder or intruders.

He yesterday called on hospitals in the area to be on the lookout for patients with .22 shot wounds and to report these to the police.

While waiting for the police to arrive, Greyling also searched in his barn and yard for the suspects but could not find anything.

He said yesterday that some sheep and his wallet had been stolen from the farm three weeks prior to this incident, leading him to believe that the two incidents could be related. “They knew exactly where the bedroom where I was sleeping was and how to access it,” he said.

Greyling concluded by saying that he had requested the police to open an attempted murder case but police spokesperson, Lieutenant-Colonel Dimakatso Mooi, yesterday indicated that police in Warrenton had opened a case of housebreaking following the incident.

“It is alleged that in the early hours of Wednesday morning, a man broke into a house at Pondrif farm but the owner fired two shots at the suspect before he could flee with anything. At that stage, no injuries were reported and the police request that anyone who may have information about the incident to please contact the Warrenton police on 053 497 3741 or Crime Stop Line 08600 1011,” Mooi said.

Only three days earlier, in the same area, 60-year-old Attie Jooste was stabbed to death on his farm in Jan Kempdorp.