Free State police spokesperson Stephen Thakeng said Jan Barnard was shot dead when he entered an engine room outside the farmhouse to inspect a generator after a power failure on Thursday.
His wife Carmelia was also attacked and shot in the hip and leg when she went outside to investigate. Four men who wore balaclavas at the time are wanted in connection with the incident.
Thakeng says the robbers forced an injured Carmelia inside the house. They demanded the keys to the safe. The robbers fled the scene on foot. Two firearms, an undisclosed amount of money and cellphones were taken.
The injured Carmelia managed to crawl to her husband after the attack. She cried for help for the entire night but nobody came to her rescue, Bloemfontein Courant reported.
She remained by her husband’s side until the next morning, when a farm worker reporting for duty became suspicious when he saw his employers’ dead dog outside the farmhouse.
Thakeng says police made use of trackers on Friday in their hunt for the suspects, to no avail.
He has appealed to anyone with information to contact their nearest police station.
In September, civil rights organisation AfriForum said there had been 44 farm murders since the beginning of the year.
“Since the beginning of 2015, 157 farm attacks occurred while 44 murders were committed during these attacks,” AfriForum Deputy CEO Ernst Roets said.
Roets said farm murders were a crisis, and accused the police ministry for failing to prioritise the crimes.
– Caxton News Service