KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala and the mayor of Newcastle, Dr Ntuthuko Mahlaba, have condemned the killing of a couple shot and killed during a farm attack in the province over the weekend.
Zikalala called on law enforcement agencies to make sure that those behind the “senseless” murder are brought to book.
Glen and Vida Rafferty were murdered at their farm in the Normandien area on Saturday evening as they returned home.
KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala confirmed that the Normandien SAPS are investigating charges of murder following the attack.
“The suspects ransacked the house, cameras were destroyed and a camera control was taken. The suspects fled the scene with the victim’s vehicle. The vehicle was later found abandoned at Elandslaagte area,” Gwala said, adding that people with information are urged to contact the police.
Zikalala said the victims have been described as a farming couple that was admired by the local community for their contribution to the betterment of the lives of other people.
“Farm killings remain a serious concern in the province. We condemn this murder of the farming couple in the strongest terms possible.
“The ongoing killing of farmers goes against the spirit of Ubuntu. It is an indictment on the significant contribution made the farming community in the upliftment of our rural people,” said Zikalala.
The premier called on everybody to stand up against the killing of farmers and to protect farmers from criminal elements.
The premier conveyed condolences on behalf of the provincial government to the family of the farming couple and the entire farming fraternity.
Mayor Mahlaba said that he was “saddened and shocked by the unprovoked killing” of the Rafferty’s condemned “this gruesome atrocity and calls upon law enforcement agencies to apprehend the perpetrators as soon as possible”.
“Glen Rafferty and his wife were progressive people who cared deeply for the community of Newcastle. They were both affectionately loved and admired for their contribution towards the betterment of our society. Glen and Vida understood the culture and tradition of our municipality.
“Their untimely deaths are a huge loss for our community, and the farming fraternity in particular. The killing of farmers and their workers should be denounced with the contempt that it deserves at all times. I urge anyone with information, which might lead to the arrest of the suspects to contact their nearest police station immediately,” said Dr Mahlaba.