Reports that a farmer shot dead his employee for using his tractor to drive home for lunch have been denied by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), who indicate that the man charged with murder is a security officer.
Confusion around the incident – which happened at the weekend in Tarlton, Krugersdorp – arose when graphic pictures of the victim did its rounds on social media.
Outraged social media users said “black people were being killed by white farmers” and the incident had to be racially motivated. Gauteng police told The Citizen the 45-year-old man who appeared in the Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court yesterday was a farmer who allegedly shot his employee on his farm, while the tractor was being driven.
“It happened at about 10.30am,” Captain Kay Makhubela said.
But NPA regional spokesperson Phindi Louw said: “It’s not a farmer [who allegedly pulled the trigger] but someone from a security agency.”
Krugersdorp News reported that Tarlton police said the victim was allegedly trying to steal the tractor when he was shot in the head by the security officer near Matshelapad informal settlement on Saturday.
“The 43-year-old man was allegedly riding on a tractor from his place of employment to his place of residence at Matshelapad when he was followed by the security officers,” said Lucky Matome, spokesperson for the Tarlton police in a statement.
“The police were summoned to the scene where they found the situation to be tense, as the members of the community attacked the security officers. The vehicle belonging to the security officers was badly damaged, but the officers escaped unharmed.”
In what is seen to be racially motivated killings of farm employees by their employers was recently condemned by the EFF which also raised the question of access to land for workers.
This was after the murder recently of an Otto’s Bluff farm employee allegedly by a farmer in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.
The farmer, Edward Solomon, 65, was charged with murder and appears in the New Hanover Magistrate’s Court today for bail application.
He allegedly shot dead Mothi Ngubane, in his 40s, who was at his nephew’s funeral at the home of one of another employee on Solomon’s farm. Solomon allegedly disrupted the funeral and an altercation occurred.
– Additional reporting Caxton News Service.