The African National Congress is starting its “dispute resolution process” in a bid to address the a.
NATIONAL Police Commissioner Bheki Cele has commended the shooting of two men who held an elderly farmer hostage for 20 hours.
Cele warned that whether "on land, sea or air" criminals are not safe. "For any eventuality on land, sea and air, our special task force responds decisively and accordingly for the benefit of fellow South Africans," he said.
"However, this is indeed a clear message that criminals must retreat, police are equal to the task and are determined to squeeze the space for criminals to zero."
The highly orchestrated hostage drama happened on the Abrahamskraal Road at Bainsvlei in the Free State in the early hours of Tuesday morning after about 20 hours of hostage negotiations with the police.
The men had earlier attacked and robbed Flip Kotze, 60, on his farm in Uitvlug in the Petrusburg area. They stole his gun and cellphone and tied him to a pole outside his house before fleeing in his double cab bakkie.
When he managed to free himself, he alerted neighbouring farmers who then mobilised a hunt for the suspects.
Shortly afterwards, the bakkie was spotted by owners of a neighbouring farm. They tried to apprehend the robbers but were overpowered, leading to Gerhard Venter, 50, being held hostage in the bakkie.
Upon being confronted by the police, the men threatened to kill Venter if police continued pursuing them. Hostage negotiators tried to negotiate with them, to no avail.
The SAPS special task force was called in and the two suspects were subsequently fatally wounded without causing further injuries to the hostage.
Venter was freed and treated for shock. - Steven van Vollenhoven