Two Western Cape farmers face murder charges after shooting 'thief'

NPA says man was shot in the back while running away

03 December 2021 - 14:50
Two Western Cape farmers have been arrested for allegedly killing a man suspected of stealing from their farms. Stock photo.
Two Western Cape farmers have been arrested for allegedly killing a man suspected of stealing from their farms. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/123RF Premium

Two Western Cape farmers have been charged with the murder of a man suspected to have stolen from them.

He was shot in the back while allegedly running away, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said.

JT Basson and John Woeste appeared in the Paarl magistrate's court on Thursday, NPA spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said.

The two are charged with a schedule 6 murder, meaning the accused must prove there are “exceptional circumstances” warranting their release on bail.

Ntabazalila said the farmers’ lawyer, William Booth, “placed on record that the [deceased] stole from the farms of the two accused and other farms in the surrounding areas”.

The court heard that Basson and Woeste own farms and other businesses in the community. 

“He [Booth] disputed that it was a schedule 6, saying at best it can be schedule 5, as Basson did not shoot the deceased. The state insisted that it’s a schedule 6,” said Ntabazalila.

“The two men said to have stolen from the farm were not on the properties of the accused when the deceased was shot, he was shot in the back while running away. They were not a threat to the two accused.”

The state intends opposing the farmers’ release on bail.

“The matter has been postponed until December 6 for the state to provide a schedule 6 certificate to the court and a possible bail application.”

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