Two Free State farmers and a police officer died in a shoot-out on a farm at Koffiefontein.
According to police the neighbouring farmers, 60-year-old Paul Nel and 36-year-old Coenraad Badenhorst, had been involved in a dispute apparently over water rights.
The drama unfolded late Thursday night when a female police officer received information about a suspicious vehicle at Nel’s farm and upon further investigation established that it belonged to Badenhorst who had previously threatened the older farmer.
Police were mobilised and when they arrived at Nel’s farm they found his body on the front porch with a gunshot wound to the head.
“The suspect who was apparently hiding in the bushes at the time, fired shots at the police and Constable Vuyani March (27) was hit in the head and died on the scene,” said police spokesperson, Colonel Thandi Mbambo.
She said another policeman, 41-year-old Sergeant George Calvert, was shot in the face and was rushed to Kimberley hospital for treatment.
Mbambo said police members returned fire and the suspect who was wounded died on the way to hospital.
A hunting rifle was found on the scene.
“Three counts of murder and two counts of attempted have been registered for further investigation,” Mbambo said.