A security guard who allegedly shot dead three farmworkers and severely injured a 12-year-old girl will appear in court today charged with murder and attempted murder.
The 40-year-old guard, who works at a farm near White River, in Mpumalanga, allegedly attacked the workers on Christmas Eve. He accused them of bewitching his son, who committed suicide early last year.
Police said the man entered the farm compound wielding a gun at about 6pm and ordered seven people into a small room before opening fire.
The gun with which the workers were killed is reportedly the same gun that his son used to kill himself.
Three people managed to escape through a window and ran to the nearby village for help.
Celebrate Khumalo, who was the first to arrive at the scene, said: "When we arrived at the farm we found two men dead with gunshot wounds to the head."
He said the villagers called the Masoyi police, but they refused to help.
"The [Masoyi] police said the shootings took place outside their policing area.
"I called the ambulance, but I was told that the ambulance would not come without the police.
"The police and an ambulance arrived at 2am [about eight hours after the shooting]," Khumalo said.
A third body was found the next morning.
The 12-year-old girl was taken to Themba Hospital and was transferred to Pretoria.
A White River police spokesman said the suspect was arrested on December 26 in White River.
He was not asked to plead in the White River magistrates' court on December 27. He remains in custody.