Farmworker’s shooting as an act of irresponsible gun ownership a disgrace

The South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO) on Wednesday the 8th of March 2017, condemned the shooting of a 55-year-old farmworker at Novengilla farm near Letsietele in Limpopo by a farmer who allegedly mistaken the employees who was riding a bicycle for a monkey.

“We are extremely concerned about the increase in incidents of this nature which suggest that gun owners are shooting indiscriminately at moving objects without ascertaining what they are shooting at,” said SANCO National Spokesperson, Jabu Mahlangu calling for the arrest and no bail for the farmer. Mahlangu said that justice must be seen to be done for victims of irresponsible gun ownership to restore the confidence of the public in the criminal justice system.  “The cases before our courts must serve as deterrent for farmers to exercise responsible gun ownership and discourage what is widely believed to be racist target practices,” he stressed. According to Limpopo Police spokesperson, Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo, Ishmael Mathanene was carrying out his duties when his foreman sent him to go and fetch a pick from the storeroom.

“On his way back and riding his bicycle, he was allegedly shot in the head by his employer and fell down. The suspect who allegedly used a pellet gun to shoot the victim claimed he mistook him for a monkey,” Mojapelo said.  Mahlangu wished Mathanene, from Mariveni village outside Tzaneen admitted in hospital with head injuries a speedy recovery. The incident follows the recent fatal shooting of a 23-year-old Jan Railwe,who was a farmworker at Meisiesvlei farm, Tuinplaas, in Limpopo by Stefan Hepburn who had allegedly mistaken him for a warthog.