Polokwane Observer’s online report last week referring to a farm owner who was arrested after allegedly shooting a farm worker in the head with a pellet gun elicited response from Agri Letaba in the form of a media release stating that the suspect, Johan Potgieter was not a farmer as indicated by Provincial Police Communications Head Motlafela Mojapelo but instead a missionary with Operation Mobilization, a global missionary organisation.
Mojapelo issued a press statement on Thursday referring to a farm owner who was facing a charge of attempted murder after allegedly mistaken a farm worker for a monkey resulting in Ishmael Mathanene being shot in the head with a pellet gun.
Agri Letaba Chairperson Pieter Vorster in a press statement said that Potgieter is not a farmer nor a farm owner and not involved in the agricultural activities on the farm at which the incident occurred.
“Potgieter was trying to scare vervet monkeys away from his home which he rent on the farm. He was shooting in their direction without aiming to actually kill them. At that specific moment a farm worker pushed his bicycle around the corner when the accident happened. The bullet struck the farm worker in the head but no serious damage was caused. Potgieter immediately rushed to the worker’s aid and called for medical assistance,” the organisation’s statement read.
Vorster added that Potgieter was an active member of the community and also supporting the cause to fix the current electricity crisis affecting the area.
“Agri Letaba regrets what happened, but it was a freak accident and nothing more. The initial Police report is also being questioned as the incident was not accurately reported,” Vorster said.
Potgieter was granted bail of R5 000 on Friday in the Ritavi Magistrate’s Court and the case was postponed to 28 April.
Story: RC MYBURGH