77-year-old beaten, tortured, and ‘left to drown’ in sewage.

An elderly foreman based at a plot in Zastron, Free State was recently subjected to a horrific farm attack. Simon Makhota, who works on the black-owned property, became the latest victim of rural crime in the province.

According to the SAPS, the attackers tried to drown the 77-year old in sewage. It is alleged that the three suspects managed to gain access to the farmhouse and they subsequently assaulted and stabbed him. The attackers then attempted to drown Makhotha in the septic tank of the farmhouse. While being held under the sewage water, the elderly male was pelted with stones and kicked repeatedly.

Makhotha was only able to free himself by dawn, after the neighbours helped rescue him. Sadly, the police and emergency service response was delayed, as only ‘one car was available’ in Zastron.

For Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Groenewald, the failed police response remains a major sticking point. He lamented the brutality of this latest farm attack, and furiously questioned the stagnant rollout of Free State’s ‘rural safety plan’.

“The incident that transpired over the weekend in which an elderly farm manager was attacked near Zastron in the Free State and the local police did not have a vehicle available to visit the scene of the crime proves that the police service is not serious about rural safety. It is an unacceptable response to a serious farm attack,” said Groenewald.

“It appears as if the police service’s national rural safety plan, which was supposed to have been implemented by 31 August last year but was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is no longer considered a priority. During this incident, 77-year-old Simon Makhota was attacked, stabbed, and then his three assailants tried to drown him in a septic tank,” he added.

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