Standing again on the Free State farmer’s trail

Henry

Piet Kleynhans, a Free State farmer who was arrested about two years ago after a group of illegal hunters’ dogs were shot dead on his farm, must appear in court again.

The case against Kleynhans was dropped in March last year, but the state informed him last week that he must appear in court again on the same issue.

Kleynhans must stand in the dock again on September 22 on a charge of attempted murder. The state has also indicated that additional charges may be brought against him.

However, Kleynhans says he does not know why the case against him was put back on the roll.

“AfriForum immediately contacted Hurter Spies Ing. offered to help with the matter and act in my interest. With the previous case, AfriForum was also involved and they came to my aid,” says Kleynhans.

“This now looks like malicious prosecution and a waste and abuse of the state’s funds.”

A compensation case that Kleynhans’ legal team brought against the state was to be heard last Tuesday in the Magistrate’s Court in Ventersburg. However, due to a prolonged power outage, the case could not continue.

RNews earlier reported that a case of attempted murder was filed in October 2021 after the complainants in the case claimed that Kleynhans ran over one of the young hunters twice with a vehicle. However, no medical report was ever submitted to the court.

This claim “couldn’t be further from the truth”, Kleynhans said earlier. “We knew from the beginning that this was a false complaint.”

He does admit that he shot the dogs that were used to hunt illegally.

Kleynhans was in custody for three days after his arrest and he had to appear in court four times.

At the time, TLU SA raised its voice against those who illegally hunt with dogs on farmers’ farms and labeled the incidents as a “crisis that is increasingly getting out of hand”.

Free State Agriculture (FL) emphasized that farmers complain that the police are slow to respond when incidents of trespassing or illegal hunting are reported. They sometimes show up at the farm hours later, if at all. The trespassers are then escorted from the farm and left at the farm gate without any consequences, Dr. Jane Buys, a security risk analyst attached to Free State Agriculture (VL), said.

“This puts farmers in an extremely difficult position – and the illegal hunters know it.”

These incidents continue despite the fact that the issues have been raised several times.

“At the time, I filed cases against the perpetrators and absolutely nothing came of it. I am seen as the criminal,” said Kleynhans.