Renovator, 3 others arrested for Stellenbosch farm robbery

A person hired by a Klapmuts family to carry out some home renovations is among four people arrested in connection with a robbery on their farm earlier in June, Western Cape police said on Wednesday. 

"One of the suspects arrested was previously employed by the farm owner, who had assisted with house renovations," said police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk.

The four people arrested are aged 20, 24, 25 and 28 - and are suspected of having robbed a woman while her children were present on the farm. It is located near the N2 turnoff toward Stellenbosch wineries and the CBD.

The attack occurred at around 06:30 on June 4.

It was the same week Louiesenhof wine farmer Stefan Smit was killed at home, and protea farmers Gerald and Marie Knight were robbed, placing many people living in remote areas in a state of fearful vigilance.

It also raised questions and demands for better policing in the agricultural belt and rural areas.

All three of the families were business people.

Western Cape Agriculture MEC Ivan Meyer said aside from the shock of the attacks, the knock-on effects for the economy were huge, given the amount of income generated for the fiscus and job insecurity it could lead to for people employed there.

READ: Concerns mount as another farm is targeted by robbers in Western Cape

Van Wyk explained how the police caught the people suspected of the Klapmuts robbery. 

One person was arrested at a broiler farm in the region, after police followed up on information. A 9mm firearm was allegedly also found during that arrest.

Questioning the suspect led to the arrest of another three people in the area of Mbekweni, a suburb of Paarl, north of Cape Town. An air rifle and revolver that was stolen in the house robbery was allegedly found in their possession.

They are due to appear in the Paarl Magistrate's Court on Friday.

In the other two incidents, the last communication from police on Smit's murder and the Knights' robbery ordeal, was that police were also still investigating those crimes.

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