Farmer facing attempted murder charge for shooting worker with pellet gun

Suspect allegedly mistook Mathanene Ishmael for a monkey

Farmer shoots worker after 'mistaking him for monkey'

Polokwane – A farmer allegedly shot and wounded a farm worker with a pellet gun in Letsitele, after allegedly mistaking him for a monkey, Limpopo police said on Thursday.

Mathanene Ishmael, 55, was returning from a store room on his bicycle when the farmer allegedly shot him in the head with a pellet gun on Wednesday, Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said in a statement.

"The suspect claimed he mistook him for a monkey."

Ishmael was rushed to a nearby hospital with a head injury.

The 47-year-old farmer was arrested and would appear in the Ritavi Magistrate's Court on Friday on a charge of attempted murder.

Provincial police commissioner Lieutenant General Nneke Ledwaba warned gun owners to first make sure they knew what they were shooting at before pulling the trigger.

In KwaZulu-Natal, an 87-year-old man appeared in the Umzinto Magistrate’s Court on Monday for allegedly shooting and killing a 12-year-old boy he apparently mistook for a monkey. The boy was climbing a guava tree on the man's property in Braemar on Sunday when he was shot in the head and upper body, Sergeant Patrick Msomi told News24.

In another case, Stephan Hepburn, 38, allegedly shot and killed farmworker Jan Railo, 23, on a Limpopo farm on February 11. He was hunting with his wife and apparently mistook Railo for a warthog. The Modimolle Magistrate’s Court granted him R15 000 bail on February 24.