What You Need to Know:
Piet Groenewald, 63, and his stepson, 27 year-old Stefan Greeff are due to appear for a second time in the Groblersdal Magistrates Court after being accused of attempting to murder an employee.
According to local reports, a 30 year-old employee of Groenewald’s company, Wildlife Investigation and Protection Services (WIPS), filed a complaint at the Groblersdal Police Station on Wednesday.
The worker, who has not been named, claimed that while on duty near Kwaggafontein, Mpumalanga, Groenewald and Greeff arrived at his location and accused him of being drunk.
The worker was then taken by the pair to the company’s office in Groblersdal, where he says an argument ensued and Groenewald hit him over the head with a heavy object.
Provincial Police Spokesperson, Col. Malesela Ledwaba claimed in a statement, “The driver (Groenewald) allegedly instructed a family member to release their pet dog on the victim. The dog bit the victim on both legs.”
The pair were subsequently arrested the next day, and the man is currently recovering from his injuries.
Elmarie Groenewald, Piet’s wife claimed in a social media post that the man had only been working for the company for a week. She claimed he had broken his radio as a result of his incoherence.
Local farmers, carrying old Transvaal and Orange Free State Flags arrived to support the pair, while Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) members had also amassed.
Vandag staan Boere van Groblersdal saam vir hulle Broer! pic.twitter.com/IhIBxjSo31
— Willem Petzer (@willempet) January 24, 2024
Caption reads: ‘Today the farmers of Groblersdal stand together with their brothers.’
Despite the large police presence, there was some concern that an altercation similar to the 2020 Senekal unrest could arise.
In October 2020, thousands of farmers descended upon the small town of Senekal, after 21 year-old farm manager Brendin Horner was found tied to a pole with a rope around his neck.
The farmers stormed the cells of the accused, Sekwetje Mahlamba and Sekola Matlaletsa, before setting a police car on fire.