Farmer brutally burnt with iron
The manager of Althorpe Farm, a mango and sugar-cane farm, was left bruised after being assaulted and burnt with an iron during an armed robbery on Monday evening.
KAAPMUIDEN – The manager of Althorpe Farm, a mango and sugar-cane farm, was left bruised after being assaulted and burnt with an iron during an armed robbery on Monday evening.
The attackers entered the property just before 20:00. He was tied up and assaulted while they ransacked his home for firearms and other items. The robbers fled in his stolen white Toyota Hilux 2.2.
Mr Neville Eekhout (72) returned home after visiting friends when three heavily armed men pointed guns at him, demanding money and threatening to kill him.
The motive for their vicious assault on Eekhout was to get the safe’s key in order to gain access to the money in the house.
According to Cllr Mariette Preddy, DA representative of Nkomazi Municipality, Eekhout had been out with friends and walked straight into the ambush.
“When he returned to his home and entered the garage, the attackers suddenly surrounded him. They held a gun to his head and dragged him to his office where the assaulted continued.”
The suspects also tied him up with his own shoelaces before kicking and beating him. He was knocked out twice and burnt numerous times on his arms and back. Luckily, he regained consciousness when his Labrador started licking his face.
The assailants fled the scene roughly an hour later with six firearms, bank cards and an undisclosed amount of cash. They also stole Eekhout’s deceased wife’s jewellery as well as clothing, knives and bread before fleeing in his bakkie.
The farm’s security guards alerted the Kaapmuiden police after witnessing the attackers leaving the farm.
The SAPS and medical services were on the scene shortly after the first emergency call went out. Securicon Lowveld’s medical team was also on the scene to treat Eekhout’s burn wounds and other injuries.
According to Kaapmuiden SAPS, the Hilux was found on Tuesday morning next to the road near the farm on the N4 by one of the farm workers.
A regional search team consisting of the SAPS, security companies and community members, had been launched the night before but poor light made it difficult to find the suspects and stolen vehicle.
According to Mr Mel Preddy of the local community policing forum, special care needed to be taken in terms of household security.
“There is nothing to suggest that only farm residents are at risk. The men are armed and dangerous and are still at large,” he stated.
Corridor Gazette attempted to speak to Eekhout, but could not reach him at the time of going to press as his cellphone had been stolen.
The paper also visited the farm but was told by one of the workers that Eekhout’s family had come and fetch him.