Free State Agriculture condemns two recent farm attacks

Crimes on farms have been condemned by Free State Agriculture, after Dewetsdorp farmer Andrew Lehlohonolo and his wife Loryn Monokara were attacked on their farm Graigmont on Tuesday, 6 May.

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Lehlohonolo was shot dead while Monokara was wounded.

This followed an incident where one of Free State Agriculture’s members, Theo van Zyl, his wife Gerda and some of their workers were held by robbers on their farm near Ladybrand on Friday, 2 May.

Bernard Maree, chairperson of FSA’s Law and Order Committee said all violence on farms must be strongly condemned.

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The local SAPS and other farmers in the region responded quickly to Monokara’s call for help and were on the scene within minutes. “There was good cooperation between farmers and the police, but the two attackers had already escaped in a white Nissan bakkie,” said Maree.

He said that, according to FSA’s local security structure, organised by the Dewetsdorp Farmers’ Association, Lehlohonolo and other newcomers to agriculture had been approached about becoming involved with existing security structures. “These farmers are especially vulnerable to stock theft and they are encouraged to join these structures,” Maree said.

In the incident near Ladybrand, Van Zyl – who was discharged from hospital just the day before – his wife Gerda, a secretary and garden worker on the farm were tied up by five armed suspects after they pretended to want to buy livestock.

Van Zyl’s son, also Theo, said the attack took place in the late afternoon, and that they were extremely grateful no one was killed. The five suspects fled in a white Corsa bakkie. These suspects and the two in Lehlohonolo’s case are still at large.