Johannesburg - Six horses burnt to death in their stables in Muldersdrift on the West Rand over the weekend, in what is thought to be a revenge attack connected to a labour dispute, the Beeld reported on Monday.
Plot residents Willie and Petro Basson kept eight horses on their property and were alerted to a blaze at the stables in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Willie Basson went to investigate, and found the burnt carcasses of his prized stallions Spirit and Sea Biscuit, and mares Rainbow, Fasset, Soekie, and her foal Grace.
Only two horses had managed to break out of their stables and these both survived the blaze.
“Our stable hand told me this morning that it looks as though somebody set the fire on both sides of the stable, to prevent the horses from escaping,” a shocked Basson told reporters.
He said he was devastated, as his horses had been like members of his own family.
Five of the Basson family's seven workers left the plot in recent months after a labour dispute, it was reported.
Muldersdrift police are investigating the case, and Boykie Snyman, an investigator for the fire brigade, said a report about the cause of the fire would be released later this week. - Sapa