Three people, including a police officer and the suspect, have been shot dead following a shoot-out on a farm near Koffiefontein in the Free State, reports Bloemfontein Courant.
This is according to the provincial police spokesperson, Thandi Mbambo, who said that during a patrol last night, police received a tip-off regarding a suspicious vehicle on the Dassieskop Farm.
Upon further investigation, police then found the vehicle belonged to 36-year-old Koen Bardenhorst, a neighbouring farmer who had on a previous occasion allegedly threatened 60-year-old Paul Nel, who was the owner of the farm where his vehicle was spotted.
While police were on the phone with Nel, in an attempt to warn him of Bardenhorst’s presence, police then overheard noises and Nel’s phone went dead. The police officer who was speaking to Nel on the phone then called for backup and upon more police’s arrival at the farm, they found Nel’s body on the porch with a gunshot wound to the head.
It is alleged that during this time Bardenhorst hid in the bushes on the property and then ambushed two police officers, thereby killing one, aged 27 years, with a bullet to the head and injuring another. Bardenhorst himself was also injured during the shootout and died on the way to the hospital. Mbambo said a firearm, a hunting rifle, was found at the scene. Three counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder have been registered for further investigation.
The incident comes nearly two years after two constables, Obert Boitumelo Mekoa and Mzonani David Manjo, both 32 years old, were found dead at a community service centre by their colleagues on the morning of June 29 2017. Mekoa was shot once in the head and Manjo was shot in the back and head. One of the deceased’s service pistol was also reported to be missing.
– OFM News