An elderly man was found assaulted, tied up and left for dead by workers at a Barkly West resort. Seen here are forensic officers collecting evidence at the scene. Photo: Danie van der Lith

Kimberley - Police are investigating a case of attempted murder after an elderly man was found assaulted, tied up and left for dead at a Barkly West resort on Wednesday morning.

The unidentified man was discovered by a group of Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) workers who reported for duty at the resort on the banks of the Vaal River at around 7.30am.

The workers said that when they arrived, they heard the desperate calls of a man shouting for help.

“We went to where the calls were coming from and found an elderly man lying on the ground with his body inside a canvas bag. His hands were tied behind his back with cable ties and his feet were bound. His face was covered in blood and dirt, and on his head there was a massive, gaping hole.

“He was shivering, and when we came closer he begged us for water but we were too scared to give him some as we did not know what the extent of his injuries were. He further asked us to please untie him, but we did not want to destroy any evidence. We told him to just wait as we had contacted the police,” the workers said on Wednesday.

They added that the man had been lying in a huge pool of blood, while drag marks on the ground directed them to another pool of blood next to the man’s cap about 20 metres away. Here a bloodied rock, which was allegedly used to hit the man over the head, could be seen.

The man was found on the open piece of veld in front of the entrance to Rietgat Pub.

“We asked him what happened and he said that he had been fishing in the river on Tuesday afternoon when two ‘boere’ (white men) attacked him,” the workers said.

“They allegedly assaulted, tortured and tied him up sometime during the evening and left him for dead. He was too weak to say much more and we waited with him until the ambulance came. We believe that whoever did this to the man believed that they had killed him,” the workers said.

They watched as the police cordoned off the area and took samples and photographs at the scene.

The workers said there was no sign of the man when they knocked off at around 3pm on Tuesday afternoon, but added that two men, who they thought were drunk, sped past them shortly before they left.

“The two men drove past us in a white car and went into Rietgat Pub,” they said.

The owner of Rietgat Pub, Rohan Bekker, also arrived on the scene after police contacted him and the workers claimed that it was his vehicle they saw the previous afternoon.

Bekker spoke to the police and he also told the DFA that Rietgat was closed on Mondays and Tuesdays and that whoever might have wanted to visit the pub on Tuesday evening would have been met by closed doors.

He added that he was at the pub on Tuesday afternoon.

Police asked Bekker to remove his shoes, apparently to see if they matched footprints at the scene.

Police spokesman, Lieutenant Olebogeng Tawana, on Wednesday confirmed that the Barkly West police were investigating a case of attempted murder following the incident.

“A man was found assaulted and tied up with cable ties next to a tree at a local resort this morning. He was transported to a local hospital where he received medical treatment,” Tawana said.

He added that no arrests have been made yet.

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