The police arrested a 47-year-old farm owner on Thursday for allegedly shooting a farm worker he mistook for a monkey with a pellet gun.
The incident took place at a farm called Novengilla group 91 in the Letsitele policing area of Limpopo on Wednesday.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo narrated that the victim, Mathanene Ishmael, 55, was returning from a store room on his bicycle when the farm owner allegedly shot him in the head with a pellet gun.
Ishmael, from Mariveni village outside Tzaneen, was reportedly sent by his foreman to go and fetch a pick from the storeroom.
He was on his way back when the farm owner shot him. He was subsequently rushed to a hospital for treatment.
Meanwhile, the firearm has since been confiscated.
Weighing in, provincial police commissioner Lieutenant General Nneke Ledwaba cautioned gun owners to ensure that they know what they want to shoot before pulling the trigger.
Police confirmed that the 47-year-old farm owner would appear in the Ritavi Magistrate’s Court on Friday on a charge of attempted murder.
Ishmael’s case is the second case of the sort this week. Earlier this week, a 12-year-old boy was shot by an 87-year-old man who mistook him for a monkey.
The victim, Bongumusa Duma was shot while climbing a tree in search of fresh guavas. The incident took place in Braemar, KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday, March 5.
Reports have it that Bongumusa was hit in the upper body and head and that he died at the scene.
Scottburgh SAPS communications officer Captain Vincent Pandarum confirmed the report by saying:
“A child has lost his life in a senseless incident which would never have occurred if people didn’t keep breaking the law by shooting monkeys.”
The 87-year-old man appeared in the Umzinto Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
Animal rights activists have continued to call on individuals to desist from shooting animals senselessly. Since 2002, the death of monkeys through wounds caused by pellet guns has increased.
In 2002, it was reported that some residents at the Mount Edgecombe Golf Estate use pellet guns to drive monkeys away from their properties, mostly in Durban.