Wednesday, November 28, 2012

South Africa: British Couple Attacked by Assailants Wielding Machetes Near Ficksburg

British expatriate Christopher Preece, 54, and his wife, Felicity, 56,  were attacked by three assailants wielding machetes on Saturday night (November 24) on the couple's farm, Fleur des Lys,  near Ficksburg, not far from the border with Lesotho.

Tragically, Mr. Preece bled to death from his wounds while Felicity sustained a fractured skull. She has been hospitalized, although severely traumatized.

The couple's assailants had carefully planned the attack, as they had first poisoned the couple's large pack of guard dogs before cutting the electricity to their residence. 

Preece was investigating why his electricity had  been interrupted when the attack occurred. Presumably, his attackers cut the power to bring him out into the dark, where he was fatally killed.

COMMENT: First of all, our condolences and sympathies go out to the British couple and their respective families.

Sadly, the couple was attacked over $350 and a mobile phone.

No arrests have been made in the case.

It should be noted that more than 3,000 white farmers have been killed in their homes in South Africa since 1994; this is the fifth such attack and second homicide in the district in the past month. 

As I have said on numerous occasions in the past, expatriate living in high-risk developing nations is satisfying and rewarding ONLY if expats are able to put into place security deterrents designed to afford them effective physical protection.

It is unknown as to whether Mr. Preece initially confronted his assailants or whether he was summarily attacked without provocation.

One critical lesson-learned in this case is that guard dogs should ALWAYS be kept indoors to prevent them from being poisoned, as they are much more effective when they can give their owners an alarm that something is amiss outside the home.