Farmers, policeman die in Koffiefontein farm shoot-out

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Kimberley – A 41-year-old Koffiefontein farmer was shot dead on Thursday night after he shot and killed a neighbouring farmer before opening fire on the police, killing one policeman and injuring another.

The injured policeman is in the intensive care unit at Kimberley’s Mediclinic Gariep hospital.

Free State police spokesperson, Colonel Thandi Mbambo, said that around 11pm on Thursday night,  Warrant Officer Groenewald from Koffiefontein was on blue light patrol with farmers received a message of a suspicious vehicle at Dassieskop farm in the Koffiefontein district.

“She realised that the vehicle belonged to a neighbouring farmer, Coenraad Badenhorst, 36, who had allegedly threatened Paul Nel, 60, of the farm Dassieskop previously.

“Whilst on the way to investigate the complaint she called Nel to notify him be cautious and whilst talking to him on the phone she heard noises and Nel`s phone went dead,” Mbambo said.

“She swiftly mobilized other members at the station and on arrival at the farm, Nel`s body was found on the front porch with a gunshot wound to the head.

“The suspect, who was apparently hiding in the bushes at the time, fired shots at the police and Constable Vuyani March, 27, was hit in the head and died at the scene whilst Sergeant George Calvert (41) was shot in the face and rushed to a Kimberley hospital for treatment. The members returned fire and Badenhorst was shot and died on the way to hospital.”

The firearm, a hunting rifle was found at the scene. Three counts of murder and two counts of attempted have been registered for further investigation.

The Provincial Commissioner of the Free State, Lieutenant General Moeketsi Sempe meanwhile has expressed his dismay at the shooting incident in Koffiefontein and passed his condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the member who was shot and killed. “It is unfortunate that we woke to such gruesome disturbing news of yet another incident in Koffiefontein where one of our members is killed whilst performing their duties. I also want to wish speedy recovery to the injured member who was admitted to a Kimberley hospital.”

Mediclinic Gariep spokesperson, Denise Coetzee, said that Calvert’s condition was critical.

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