The 77-year-old white man who died in a Bethlehem hospital on Sunday following a farm attack was severely beaten by his attackers, Free State police said.
“This incident apparently happened last night [Saturday] on the farm Rondekom,” spokesperson Annelie Wrench told News24.
The victim, dr. Hein Smith, was living alone on the farm.
“He was visiting friends last night [Saturday] and according to what we suspect, the killers waited for him and then attacked him when he came home,” Wrench said.
“They severely assaulted him and tied his hands behind his back, and left him in the veld 700m to 800m from the farm house.”
The next day, Smith’s neighbour’s phoned him as they usually did to find out if he was OK, but he didn’t answer.
“They went to investigate and they found him there at around 10:00. He was then taken to hospital in Bethlehem and he died in hospital.”
Smith had severe wounds to his face and arms, and having been lying in the veld through the night, he likely suffered from exposure.
Wrench said they suspected that three black men had been involved in the attack.
No arrests have been made.
Police have opened a murder and robbery investigation.
Earlier on Sunday, Netcare 911 spokesperson Santi Steinmann said when paramedics arrived at the farm, Smith was still alive, but in a critical condition.
“He died shortly after arrival at a local hospital,” she said.