Police confirmed that Isaac Lukas, 32, his partner, who they didn’t name, and a group of people were crossing an open piece of land. The farmer had alleged that they were trespassing on his property.
Lukas’s partner had attempted to assist him when the farmer allegedly went after her as well.
The farmer was arrested on Sunday and faces three charges of attempted murder.
Oudtshoorn police spokesperson Captain Louie Visser said: “A 56-year-old suspect was arrested and faces three charges of attempted murder, after he allegedly ran over a 32-year-old male and opened fire on a 46-year-old woman and other people trying to assist the worker.”
He said Lukas received medical treatment.
Visser said the farmer was hospitalised and placed under police guard at Oudtshoorn Hospital.
He would not give reasons why the farmer was in hospital, but only said he was still under observation and once discharged would appear in the Oudtshoorn Magistrate‘s Court.
Rural and Farm Workers Development Organisation co-ordinator Billy Claasen said it was not unusual for residents in the area to cross that piece of land.
“Locals have been crossing this piece of land next to Rooi Street for years and there is no signage there,” he said.
He alleged the farmer ran over Isaac and then shot at his partner when she wanted to check on him.
“He threatened them but they did not let the matter go and opened a case against him and he was arrested,” said Claasen.
He said the farm owner was allowed to be treated by his own doctor who had him admitted to hospital.
This had caused tensions to flair among residents of Oudtshoorn, said Claasen, as many believed the farmer had received preferential treatment because of the colour of his skin.
The alleged attack comes less than a month after a Herbertsdal farmer near Mossel Bay was arrested for allegedly assaulting Hilton Levendal, a resident of his farm on February 25.
The farmer also allegedly attempted to demolish the Levendal family home with his tractor by driving into it several times, causing the roof to cave in.
Political party the Independent Civic Organisation of SA (Icosa), assisted the Levendals by putting pressure on the police, which led to the arrest of the farmer last week.
He remains in custody as police continue their investigation and will make his first bail appearance at the Oudtshoorn Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.
Icosa provincial leader Dawid Kamfer said their members were also assisting Lukas and his partner.
“I phoned the cluster commander and demanded to know why this suspect was treated differently to any other. He is in Oudtshoorn Hospital under police guard, but the commander has vowed to investigate this matter and why he was not sent to the cells,” said Kamfer.
He said that he spoke to other senior officers who informed him that having a suspect attended to by his own doctor was not procedure.
Icosa had been given consent to protest at the Herbertdal farmer‘s bail hearing on Thursday, said Kamfer.