White man shoots black woman, claims he thought she was a 'hippo'
A white South African farm owner was freed on a bail after being arrested for shooting and wounding a black woman for mistaking her for a hippopotamus.
A white South African farm owner appeared in court for shooting and injuring a black woman that he "claimed he mistook for a hippopotamus," The Guardian reported.
The man, identified as Paul Hendrik van Zyl, was arrested Tuesday for “firing shots" in the direction of Ramokone Linah, 38, who was fishing with her partner in a river in Lephalale town, northern Limpopo province.
According to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Van Zyl faces attempted murder charges.
Country still witnesses "deep racial divisions"
In a statement, police Spokesperson, Mamphaswa Seabi, said that “the arrested suspect alleged that he was shooting at the animals."
The police mentioned that Linah sustained wounds on her arm, whereas her partner “managed to hide” and reported the incident to police and emergency services.
NPA spokesperson in the province, Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi, said that Van Zyl “is the owner of the farm where the incident occurred."
During the arrest, the police confiscated "two rifles, one revolver, one pistol, and two airguns," The Guardian noted.
Suspect freed on a bail
The Guardian cited a local media report as saying that "the victim was part of a group of local men and women who had been fishing in a river near Mamojela Park, an informal settlement outside the mining town of Lephalale, since mid-morning."
Van Zyl told police he thought the group were “hippos and monkeys," some witnesses said.
Five years ago, a South African farmer was also accused of shooting a worker in the Limpopo province after “mistaking him for a monkey."
Van Zyl was freed on a 1,000 rand ($62) bail, as the case was postponed for further investigations.
In response, supporters of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) organized a demonstration in protest of the bail.
According to 2019-2020 police statistics, more than 7,000 people were murdered with guns in South Africa.