The Namibian (Windhoek)

8 June 2012

Namibia: Robbers Kill Farmer Near Dordabis

AN armed robbery on the farm Emmabron of the Möwes couple in the Dordabis district on Wednesday night turned into a tragedy when the 60-year-old Joseph Siegfried Möwes was killed.

The open wardrobes and cupboards, the farmer's rifle lying untouched in the sitting room, and clothes and papers scattered all over the house signified that the robbers were only after money.

The late Möwes, known as Seppie, went to Windhoek to buy stock for the small shop on the farm on Wednesday and returned by 19h00.

About three hours later the barking of his dogs woke him up. As he left the house to investigate, four shots were fired and two hit him in the stomach.

It was at that time that the three armed robbers stormed into the house and told his wife, Poppie, to keep quiet, while they went through all the rooms searching for money.

They made off with a safe and an empty cashbox from the shop. The only money they could find was less than N$5 000 found lying around in the house, according to the Dordabis Police.

When his brother, Willy, arrived at the scene Möwes was still alive and his brother started driving him to the hospital, meeting the ambulance on the way. Even with paramedic help, however, Möwes died before reaching the hospital.

The safe and petty-cash box were found in the veld and according to the Police there was also evidence of a getaway car waiting for the three robbers.

Möwes who was known as a person that did not hesitate to help and give advice to people in the area, lived on the farm with his wife Poppie. Their only child died about 17 years ago.

The Police are optimistic that the culprits will be arrested soon.

In April the Namibia Agricultural Union said more than 50 people had been killed in at least 69 attacks on commercial farms countrywide since 1991.

The NAU said the statistics were disturbing and called on farmers to step up security.

Remote farms are allegedly soft targets for robbers.

In eight of the murder cases, both husband and wife were murdered.

Statistics dating back to 2000 show that the oldest farmer murdered was Lottie Jooste (89), who died after three attackers overpowered her on the Farm Riksburg near Karibib in November 2009.

The most dangerous years were 2006 and 2008, when ten and nine farm attacks were reported respectively. In both years three farmers were murdered, one a woman of 66.

The year 2005 was the bloodiest, claiming ten lives, eight of which were lost in the Kareeboomvloer massacre. Outjo and Dordabis have been hot spots, NAU data show.

The NAU has urged the farming community to be "aware of farm safety at all times and to do everything in their power to protect their lives, as well as those of their workers, and their property". Farmers can get safety tips from the NAU office.

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