Four suspects arrested for Mpumalanga farmer’s murder

Four suspects were arrested in Balfour, Mpumalanga for brutally murdering 79-year-old farmer, Theo Frederick Bekker, on Sunday.

The suspects are alleged to have injured Bekker’s wife and stole three firearms and his vehicles.

They are expected to appear in the Balfour magistrate’s court on Tuesday, where they will face charges of murder, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, and robbery. 

Provincial spokesperson in Mpumalanga, Brigadier Selvy Mohlala, said it is alleged that the deceased was attacked by four suspects outside his house. They allegedly forced him back into the house, where they demanded money and firearms.

“It is further reported that the suspects assaulted both victims, husband and wife. The deceased was injured with an unknown object on his face, and as a result he succumbed to his injuries. He was certified dead on the scene by medical practitioners. The wife was then taken to the hospital for medical treatment,” said Mohlala.

The house was ransacked and the suspects managed to make off with an undisclosed amount of cash, a .22 pistol, 38 special revolver, a shotgun and the couple’s Renault Kwid.

Police were immediately informed after the suspects left the scene. It is reported that the stolen vehicle overturned in Villiers in the Free State province, about 25 kilometres from where it was stolen.

“All occupants managed to jump out of the overturned vehicle and allegedly ran away from the scene. A community member who witnessed the accident notified Villiers SAPS, who immediately launched a manhunt. All suspects were arrested shortly. Two of the stolen firearms a pistol and a revolver were found in their possession,” added Mohlala.

The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng  Manamela, has strongly condemned the farm attack.

“The positive contribution from the community member, Villiers and Grootvlei SAPS will not go unnoticed,” said Lt-Gen Manamela.

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