Men shot dead on Mkhondo farm were looking for jobs, say cops
The two men who were shot dead on a farm at Bampoen outside Mkhondo had reportedly gone to the farm in search of employment, said Mpumalanga police.
In a statement, Colonel Donald Mdhluli said the two men were part of a group who had gone to the farm to ask for seasonal work.
"It is said that the farm owner informed these men that they are not welcome on his premises. It is said that those who came to ask for employment then decided to leave the farm but later realised that one of them was left behind. They then went back only to find that he was kept at the farm by the suspects," Mdhluli said.
"It is said that as the men demanded that they let him go, a scuffle broke where two men were reportedly shot and died at the scene. Three other men sustained serious injuries," Mdhluli added.
The incident happened last Friday.
Pictures of the lifeless bodies of the two men lying on the farm just metres apart from each other were circulated online last week.
Four farmers were arrested hours after the shooting. They were expected to appear in the Piet Retief magistrate's court on Monday.
Meanwhile, Mpumalanga premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane and community safety MEC, Vusi Shongwe, were on Monday expected to visit the families of the deceased men.
Shongwe called for calm ahead of the court appearance of the four farmers.
Police said the four men arrested were aged between 25 and 33. Two guns were confiscated.
"The men are facing two counts of murder... They are alleged to have also assaulted another man hence a third count of assault with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm has been added against them," said Mdhluli.
He joined Shongwe in calling for calm ahead of the court appearance, saying the law should be allowed to take its course.