A Free State farmer had to jump into his pool after catching fire while shooting at assailants who had doused him with petrol during an attack on Monday.
According to police spokesperson Brigadier Motantsi Makhele, the farmer, 31-year-old Andries Smith Myburgh, was having lunch at his farmhouse on Vandermerwesdam farm in the Koffiefontein district at around 13:45 when he smelled smoke.
He investigated and was hit on the head, but managed to push the attacker away. A second person allegedly attacked him with a knife and doused him with petrol.
“The victim managed to pull his firearm and the suspects fled. He fired a number of shots in the direction of the suspects and while firing, he realised that he [was] on fire and he jumped into the swimming pool,” Makhele said.
Colonel Thandi Mbambo, police spokesperson, told News24 it was believed that sparks emitted by Myburgh’s firearm could have ignited the petrol, but this is still being investigated.
“At this stage these is no evidence to suggest that [Myburgh] was set alight by the attackers,” Mbambo said.
The two attackers fled on foot. The complainant alerted the police and neighbours.
“One suspect was identified as big, approximately two metres tall, wearing green overall trousers and a light blue shirt. The other one had a blue overall suit. Both suspects are unknown to the complainant,” said Makhele.
The farmer had no serious injuries and was attended to by medical personnel.
Following the initial report based on Makhele’s statement, News24 contacted police spokesperson Colonel Thandi Mbambo to enquire how Myburgh caught fire. Her comment has since been added.
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