10 March 2017 Read: 2111
A man from Letsitele was arrested on charges of attempted murder yesterday (Thursday, 9 March) after a projectile from his pellet gun struck another man in the brow.
Johan Potgieter (47) and his wife, Cora, are missionaries with the OM Ministries group and rent a home on a farm in Letsitele.
On Wednesday morning (7 March) Potgieter was shooting at a group of monkeys playing in the orange tree grove next to their house. He was using a pellet gun and firing from his porch.
Roughly 20 feet from the porch, on the other side of the orange grove, is an outbuilding belonging to the owners of the farm. There is a fence between the building and the Potgieter’s house.
A worker, who had allegedly been sent to collect tools from the outbuilding, accidentally walked in front of Potgieter just as he fired off another shot.
The worker was accidentally hit just above his right eye.
“Johan immediately called the man over and they sat on the porch while Johan cleaned his wound,” explained Cora. “After that Johan drove to the Letsitele police station to report the incident and record a statement.”
The following day members of the SAPS arrested Potgieter at his home on charges of attempted murder.
“I cannot understand why they arrested him and why this whole story has been blown out of proportion. Johan is a missionary and would not hurt a fly. He doesn’t even aim at the monkeys when he scares them off, he fires into the trees.”
The official media statement from the SAPS Provincial communications stated that Potgieter mistook the victim for a monkey.
National media have jumped at the chance to sensationalise the incident and have tied it to that of the Modimole farmer who accidentally mistook one of his workers for a bush pig during a hunting excursion and shot him dead.
“It is a sad, sad day in our country when even the national journalists do not want to see the truth because the truth would mean they have no story.”
Potgieter will appear in the Ritavi magistrate’s court later today.