‘Farm attackers wanted to kill’

It appears as if the suspects who attacked an elderly couple on their farm Brakdam in the Vrede area in the Freestate on Sunday were trying to murder them.

This is according to the Transvaal Agricultural Union’s Henry Geldenhuys, who says the suspects lay in wait for 70-year-old Johannes Kritzinger and his 66-year-old wife Rita.

Geldenhuys says Johannes was shot four times and Rita twice. He says Johannes remains in critical condition in a hospital in Johannesburg after undergoing surgery, while Rita is believed to be in a serious but stable condition.

One suspect has been arrested and the hunt continues for a second suspect. Geldenhuys has praised the response by farmers, saying the cooperation by members of other agricultural unions and even private farmers made all the difference.

The farm attack on the elderly couple is the 36th violent crime related incident on a farm in the province this year.

Free State Agriculture’s Tommie Esterhuyse says this includes farm murders and attacks, as well as attacks on farm workers.

According to the organisation’s statistics, arrests were made by police in 19 of these incidents.

Esterhuyse says the organisation condemns the cruel attack on Johannes Kritzinger and his wife Rita on their farm near Vrede.

Esterhuyse says according to the couple’s son-in-law Emile Malan from Heilbron, his in-laws were returning home from church when two armed suspects attacked them in their house. According to Malan they gained entrance to the house by breaking burglar bars in front of a window.

Police say a 38-year-old suspect who was allegedly previously employed on the farm, is expected to appear in court soon in connection with the attack.