A 21-year-old farmer from Viljoenskroon in the Free State appeared in court on Monday for the attempted murder of a teenage boy who allegedly wanted to steal mielies.
Free State police spokesperson Motantsi Makhele said the 16-year-old boy and his friends were in a mielie field on a smallholding outside Viljoenskroon on February 12 at around 18:00 when a group of men allegedly shot at them from a bakkie.
"The children seemingly wanted to steal mielies," Makhele added.
The boy was shot in the lower part of his stomach and his friends ran away.
Makhele said the boy was loaded on to the bakkie and allegedly further assaulted and humiliated.
He was dropped at a T-junction and a passer-by who found him took him to a hospital. He was later transferred to another hospital in Kroonstad for further medical treatment.
The farmer, 21-year-old Willem van der Merwe, was arrested on Thursday and appeared in the Viljoenskroon Magistrate's Court on Monday.
The case has been postponed to February 24 when his bail application is expected to be heard.