The case was remanded to 23 September for a bail hearing.
“Good collaboration between the Zastron farming community and the SAPS foiled the attackers,” said Tommie Esterhuyse, Free State Agriculture (FSA) law and order committee chairperson.
The suspects apparently intended to attack a farm in the Zastron district on the morning of Sunday, 13 September. The local FSA safety network was deployed and the SAPS alerted immediately after the suspects were spotted by the farmer, leading to the arrest of three men.
The suspects indicated that a second attack was planned for the Sunday evening.
A fourth armed suspect was apprehended later, according to Esterhuyse, while a fifth suspect was arrested in the local township on Monday, 14 September. This was followed by the arrest on two more suspects later that day.
One had allegedly sold firearms to the prospective farm attackers. One of the weapons was reported as stolen after a burglary at a Zastron farm earlier this year.