South Africa News

Update: Farmer remanded in custody after he allegedly shot & killed illegal hunter on his property

A 49-year-old Mpumalanga farmer, Joseph Jan Shabangu, has appeared before the Bethal Magistrate’s Court where he was remanded in custody.

Shabangu faces a murder charge after he allegedly shot and killed a 35-year-old man who was allegedly poaching illegally on a farm in Bethal.

The incident happened on Sunday, according to Mpumalanga provincial police spokesperson, Colonel Donald Mdhluli.

“The accused, Joseph Jan Shabangu appeared before the Bethal Magistrate’s Court (on Tuesday) and the matter was postponed to Friday, April 5, 2024 for formal bail application,” said Mdhuli.

“The victim who was in the company of his friend was shot inside a certain farm, at about 8am (on Sunday).”

According to police information, the murdered victim was suspected of unauthorized hunting on the farm.

“Several shots were fired, resulting in the victim being shot and killed. Upon arrival in the farm, the lifeless body of the victim was found with injuries, but unfortunately, he was certified dead by medical personnel at the scene,” said Mdhluli.

The 48-year-old murder-accused farmer was found at the scene in possession of a firearm suspected to have been used in the fatal shooting.

Police said three empty cartridges were also found at the scene.

“Preliminary investigations revealed that the victim was in the company of his friend who managed to escape unharmed,” said Mdhluli.

During the farmer’s arrest, his firearm was seized by police and will undergo ballistic testing.

Meanwhile, provincial commissioner of police in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has “strongly” condemned an incident.

Manamela has saluted police officers who “swiftly” responded to the fatal shooting, and apprehended the suspect.


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