Quick wits, a brave grandson, a phone call and rapid response helped save Namibian farmer Riaan de Klerk from the worst when 5 robbers armed with 2 pistols and 1 rifle raided his homestead in the Hardap Region on Wednesday last week.
The raid on the farm at Hardap Irrigation Scheme came within 1 week of the brutal murder of 79-year old Karas regional farmer Giel Botma and his 80 year-old wife Sarie. Frederick Arndt, Andries Afrikaner and Johannes Christiaan have been charged with the double murder and theft of the couple’s farm truck.
They remain in custody pending a second appearance in court in April. Prosecutors sought custodial remand because all suspects have previously been linked to farm attacks with the intention of committing acts of theft and robbery.
However, the 5 robbers who raided the de Klerk homestead are still at large. They were forced to escape before they could steal or harm the farmer following due to swift reaction to a distress call by his son who lives in a nearby farm.
De Klerk told the Namibian that 1 gunshot went off while he was wrestling with the robbers. During the fight, he managed to throw his cellphone to his grandson, who escaped the house and called for help from the farmer’s son, Cobus de Klerk, 5 km away.
The robbers chased down the boy, but he had already sent the message by the time they caught up with him and seized the phone. They were busy demanding safe keys and asking the grandson whether there was an alarm in the house when Cobus, who had heard the commotion over the phone, arrived at the farm.
The robbers escaped and police are still investigating the attack. De Klerk said he was shocked by the attack: “You think it is safe in Namibia, but things are just getting worse,” he said.