The owners of the Hennopspride Lifestyle Resort in Centurion say they regret the shooting incident during which a 23-year-old woman died on Friday evening.
RNews reported earlier that a romantic evening for a young couple in love turned into a nightmare when a group of armed men opened fire on Nicholas Wincento (25) and his girlfriend, Lizka-Mari Nell.
The incident left both wounded. Wincento survived the incident. However, Nell died of her injuries on Monday morning in the Potchefstroom hospital.
Leon Oosthuizen, legal representative of the Hennopspride Lifestyle Resort, says in a statement on behalf of the owners that they do not live on the premises and therefore do not have first-hand knowledge of what exactly happened.
“However, the three permanent guards patrolling the premises as well as a contractor from a well-known security firm who was in the area were quickly on the scene,” the statement said.
“The property is fenced and part of the premises is surrounded with razor wire two meters high. However, the wire was cut in two places on Friday evening.”
According to the statement, several long-term tenants live on the premises, some of them for years.
“One of the permanent residents recently had solar panels installed. There is a suspicion that the criminals targeted the resort for this on Friday night, as nothing else was stolen.”
The owners claim the attack is part of organized crime in the area, as the criminals only stole the batteries from the solar panel system.
The mobile phone tower that is on the premises is also apparently targeted for the batteries almost weekly.
“Crime in our area has been severely out of control for some time. It is common knowledge that violent crime and farm attacks are a regular occurrence for our neighbors on farms and nearby businesses that operate on farms.
“The incident in which Lizka-Mari was attacked for no reason is another heart-wrenching case and adds to the statistics of country-wide farm attacks that clearly cannot be controlled, limited or stopped by the government,” the statement said.
“We express our deepest sympathy to the deceased’s friends and family and all those affected by the incident.
“It is not only upsetting for the family, but also for us as the owners, our staff and the tenants. Everyone was left in shock.”
According to the statement, the incident forced the shareholders to market and sell the two farms and the businesses on them as soon as an acceptable offer is received.