Thieves drug farmers before attack

A Limpopo grape farmer said he believed his attackers may have used chemicals to put his family and dogs to sleep before breaking into his home.

Brett Bayford (65) from Marble Hall, told African Eye News Service on Wednesday (29 January) that he and his wife woke up to find four armed men standing next to their bed in the early hours of Monday morning.

“I tried to fight but one man pointed at me and said he would kill me if I resisted," said Bayford. "I checked and saw my dogs lying there dizzy and not helping. I was also dizzy and that makes me believe a very strong chemical was used to make us sleep, which made it easy for them to get into the house without us waking up."

Bayford said the suspects tied him and his wife with cables before ransacking the house.

He said he also believed the attackers tampered with the security system at the farmhouse. "My alarm went off earlier in the night but when I went to check it I found that the house alarm was not working.”

He added that this was not the first robbery in the area. "Recently, three other houses were attacked in the same style and we believe it is the same group of men.”

Limpopo police spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi urged the public to help nab the robbers.

"Police are investigating a house robbery case and we’re still looking for the suspects. We ask the community around Marble Hall to come forward with information that may lead to the arrest and prosecution of the suspects," said Mulaudzi. "We believe they might go out and try sell the stolen items."

Mulaudzi confirmed that the Bayford family was the fourth to be robbed in the area recently. “We had similar cases and we have made police presence a priority in the area. We hope to end the farm attacks,” he said.