DURBAN - FIVE people will appear in the Howick Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday in connection with the murder of Howick farmer, Trevor Murphy.
They were arrested in Pietermaritzburg on Monday morning. Murphy, 50, was at his residence on Wendover Farm in Karkloof when three men attacked him and stabbed him multiple times on Friday morning.
They robbed him of his cellphone, firearm, TV, groceries and laptops before they fled the scene in his Ford Ranger bakkie. Murphy died in hospital.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said Howick SAPS detectives, Pietermaritzburg Public Order Police Unit and security officers from Magma security, followed up on information that Murphy’s vehicle was spotted in the Pietermaritzburg CBD.
Police intercepted the vehicle and a search was conducted. Three people were arrested. Naicker said a 9mm pistol and clothing that were taken during the robbery were found in the vehicle.
Police proceeded to the Swapo Informal Settlement where two men were arrested. Police also seized a number of suspected stolen items. The five men, aged 25 to 47, were charged with murder and robbery.
KZN provincial commissioner Lieutenant-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi welcomed the speedy arrests.
“We are saddened by this brutal murder at Howick. We must applaud the team from the SAPS and private security industry who worked nonstop to arrest the perpetrators. We hope that this sends a clear message to the perpetrators of such heinous crimes that the police will continue to hunt them down until they are behind bars,” Mkhwanazi said.
Family spokesperson Kerry Murphy declined to comment.
On Sunday, police arrested eight people in connection with a robbery at Lammermoor farm in Mooi River. Eleven firearms were recovered.
DA MP and chairperson of the party’s rural safety workstream, Dianne Kohler Barnard, said their court watching unit would keep a close eye on the cases to ensure that the perpetrators were brought to book.
She said the incidence of farm attacks has increased dramatically in the past month.
In another incident, Anna-Marie Botha, 56, and her son, Ruan Britz, 34, were murdered on Valley Farm near Nelspruit on Saturday. The perpetrators are still at large.