Three Witbank Boers shot with .765 pistol: three attacks

Gordon Cooke, Jannie Brits and Martin Maree of Witbank smallholdings were all shot with .765-calibre bullets this month:  prison warden Brits has died, Cooke and Maree are seriously injured.

Dec 29 2010 – WITBANK. It is very likely that 27-year-old Gordon Cooke, who was shot in the neck execution-style with a .7654-calibre weapon, will be paralysed for the rest of his life. Two weeks earlier prison warden Jannie Brits was also shot dead in the same region with a .765 weapon. And so was another Witbank smallholder, Martin Maree of Kromdraai, also on Sunday December 26.


Cooke Gordon paralysed after attack Witbank Dec272010_fianceeBiancaBarrand

Gordon Cooke, 27, fiancee Bianca Barrand and their baby girl Abigail, 8 months, were attacked at their Witbank smallholding rental cottage on Sunday . Cooke was shot in the neck and the .765 calibre bullet lodged in his spine. Doctors fear that he may be permanently paralysed from the neck down. Ms Barrand and baby daughter Abigail (8 months) were asleep when Cooke was ambushed upon his return from work.

Cooke told Beeld news reporters Buks Viljoen and Cobus Claassen from his hospital bed that he was deeply grateful that his loved ones remained unharmed throughout their ordeal. Ms Barrand had hid with Abigail on the floor underneath a blanket when she heard Gordon yelling while he was fighting off his attackers. “A new and unexpected life-battle now awaits us,’ said Ms Barrand, referring to Cooke’s medical condition.

Jannie Brits, shot in stomach with .765 calibre-gun, home on Leeuwpoort prison grounds, Witbank Dec 14 2010

Police also investigate two other cases which were carried out in the same region with the same calibre .765 weapon.
Two weeks ago prison warden Jannie Brits was shot dead in his house on the prison terrain on Dec 14 2010.
And on the same day when Gordon Cooke was shot in the neck; only 3 km away, smallholder Martin Mare at Kromdraai AH was also shot at point-blank range in the stomach by three black men with .765 pistol later that evening.

Martin Maree, Kromdraai plot 132, Witbank, shot in stomach Dec 26 2010 with .765 calibre-gun

SAPS captain Eddie Hall said smallholder Martin Mare of Kromdraai plot 132 was also attacked and shot in the stomach with an .765 pistol.The men invaded his homestead at about 02:50 and pushed the gun-barrel against his stomach, and simply fired a shot. Mr Mare is under treatment at the Life Kosmos Hospital in Witbank. “The same caliber firearm was used in each attack and we have formed a task-force and expanded our investigation to all three attacks,’ said Hall.

About Adriana Stuijt
Retired South African-Dutch journalist formerly Sunday Times Johannesburg

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