A 77-year-old farmer is facing trial in court for shooting and wounding a woman he claims he mistook for a hippopotamus. The incident occurred on Tuesday in South Africa while the victim was fishing with a group in a river.
Paul Hendrik van Zyl was detained by the security forces for having “shot in the direction of a woman”. The gunshot wound hit Ramokone Linah, who was fishing in the city of Lephalale, north of the province of Limpopo.
The shooter is now accused of attempted murder, according to the National Prosecutor’s Office. “The arrested suspect alleged that he was shooting at the animals,” according to a statement from Mamphaswa Seabi, a police spokesman.
Linah, 38, was shot in her arm. A man from the group of people who was with her, meanwhile, “tried to hide” before reporting what happened to the police and the emergency service.
The defendant “is the owner of the farm where the incident occurred,” said sources with access to the case. During the arrest, the police found two rifles, a revolver, a pistol, and BB guns. According to witnesses, van Zyl fired at the group from across the river and reportedly told police that his target was “hippos and monkeys”.
According to local media, the victim was part of a group of people from the area who were on a day of fishing in the river, near the Mamojela park, during the morning. The shots occurred during the afternoon of that same day.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), a group of opposition militants, organized a protest for the detainee’s bail. The 77-year-old man was released after paying 1,000 rand, the equivalent of $62. The case was postponed until May 18.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.