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Farmer charged with murder after killing two cattle thieves

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The murder charge brought against a farmer after two suspected cattle thieves were shot dead in the Free State on Thursday will be referred to the director of public prosecutions for a decision.

According to Police spokesperson Motantsi Makhele, who says the two were shot dead after they allegedly fled from a scene where cattle had been stolen and slaughtered shortly before.

According to the police, the suspects went to the farm Uitzicht around 04:30 on Thursday, where they stole seven calves and slaughtered six cows. Residents of the area caught them there and chased them.

“White Ford Ranger with Gauteng number plates was stopped and two suspects, aged 58 and 50, were arrested on the Kroonstad-Vredefort road near Barnato farm,” said Makhele.

The other vehicle, also a Ford Ranger with a Gauteng registration number, was driving in the direction of Kroonstad.

Makhele said the vehicle was also chased. Both vehicles came to a halt when the suspects’ bakkie was apparently pushed from behind. Three suspects were arrested there.

“The other two who tried to run away were apparently shot dead by one of the farmers who chased them. Paramedics pronounced them dead at the scene. One of the dead was found with a toy weapon in his hand. “

Makhele said the meat and calves were returned to the owner.

The suspects arrested are expected to appear in court on Monday.

“A case of murder related to the two suspects who were shot dead will be referred to the director of public prosecutions to decide after all witness statements have been obtained, whether anyone should be charged,” Makhele said.

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