A British farmer who lives in Muldersdrift was arrested on charges of attempted murder after he fired shots with a paintball gun to warn a trespasser to leave his land, Krugersdorp News reports.
The owner was driving on his premises on Friday, July 6, when he found a man walking in at his gate and on to his property. He asked the man to leave because he was trespassing, but the man allegedly refused.
“Politely, I asked him again to leave my property or I would call the police and have him arrested for trespassing. The man exclaimed: ‘The police would never arrest me.’ Again I insisted he step off my property. This man replied: ‘I’m going to stand here,’ pointing to a strip of land between my borderline and the road.
“I replied: ‘That’s fine by me, I’m happy with that. You can stand there all day if you wish. It’s your time.’ He moved to that point,” the owner said.
The owner got back into his car and waited for a minute or so to watch what the man was doing. He walked along Driefontein Road in the direction of a nearby lodge. The owner watched until he was about 300 metres away, then proceeded to his appointment.
However, when the owner looked back to the entrance of the property minutes later, the man had returned to his property, and this time he had a stick with him. The owner drove back to the gate and stopped a distance from the man. The man walked up to the owner and threatened him with the stick.
“I’m going to take your farm,” the man stated while slowly proceeding towards the owner.
The owner walked around his bakkie, took out his paintball gun and showed it to the man, pointing it at the ground. The man was now only about four metres away from the owner.
“Close enough. I felt he would lunge at me and strike me with the stick as he was carrying it in a raised position,” the owner said. “He ignored my demand, slowly moving forward. Consciously, I moved the paintball gun to the front, still maintaining its position pointing to the ground. Approximately one metre in front of me, I released two paintballs. They made a popping sound. Then the man stopped.”
The owner then called the police.
By the time police arrived, the man had long gone. The owner asked the police to take down his and four of the eyewitnesses’ statements, but the police allegedly neglected to do so and left.
The owner then posted a short version of what happened on a local security group, and one of the security company vehicles arrived on scene. They looked for the suspect, and the owner later found him. They arrested him on the neighbouring plot and took him to the police station. Charges of trespassing were opened against him.
On Tuesday, the owner was at the Muldersdrift Police Station when he was informed that the man accused of trespassing had opened a case of attempted murder against him and that he would be arrested. Police placed the owner under arrest, and he was held behind bars for the night.
Both the owner and the man were set to appear in court on Wednesday for formal bail applications.
Krugersdorp News contacted the police for comment on the matter, but at the time this article was published, no feedback had been received.