A brutal attack on the Van Rooyen family farm has left the Vryheid community in shock.
According to the local Neighbourhood Watch, who responded when the call for help came through, 15 attackers armed with AK47’s converged on the Van Rooyen home in the Swart Umfolozi area shortly after 8pm on Tuesday night and opened fire on the family.
It is believed that the attackers had been hiding among some trees on the property. Mr van Rooyen was shot in the chest when he stepped outside to investigate why his dogs had started barking. As many as 50 shots were allegedly fired inside the Van Rooyen home.
Local farmer, Billy Van Rooyen was killed in the savage and senseless farm attack. His father in law, Ronnie Lombard, was critically wounded and succumbed to his injuries the following morning.
Billy’s father, Lood Van Rooyen, was also injured in the attack, but has since been discharged from hospital.
The motive for the attack is assumed to be robbery, but whether or not anything was actually taken has yet to be confirmed.
“Be alert,” advises Adriaan Botha of Vryheid Neighbourhood Watch. “Warn your loved ones who stay on farms to make sure they have adequate security in place and ensure they have open lines of communication with neighbours.”
Morné Potgieter, head of a private security organisation for farmers in Northern KwaZulu-Natal, said 26 farm attacks were reported to him in April alone.
“Billy’s wife contacted us after the incident occurred and told us that Billy had been shot. We set up a roadblock and managed to apprehend six of the men involved in the attack last night,” said Mr Potgieter.
“There doesn’t seem to be any real concern about these farm attacks. It feels like no one cares, not even the police. No one is protecting our farmers.”
Source: Vryheid Herald