Beloved local killed in farm attack

Mark and Sue Hadiaris. Photo: Facebook.

A well-known local resident, Mr Mark Hadiaris (55), was shot and killed in the early hours of Saturday morning.
According to WO Gugulethu Phiri, no suspects have been identified or arrested.
When the news of his death broke, many locals recognised him as the well-known biltong seller from White River, who regularly attended local markets and crawled into the hearts of his clients. This part-time job complemented his daytime income, which he earned as an employee at forklift producers, Linde Material Handling.
Prior to the attack, the couple had enjoyed a pleasant evening with friends at the Night of the Lights festival in town. Mark, Sue and two friends returned to the Hadiaris’ rental home on Heidelberg Farm, which borders Msholozi.
“We had a drink and went home. Their son, Scott (12), came with us for a sleepover,” a friend, who is supporting the family, said. While enjoying a last drink outside on the stoep, two men charged the couple and forced them into the house at gunpoint.
From the kitchen, Mark took off towards the bedroom, “presumably to grab something they could use to defend themselves”, said the friend. Yet the robbers followed him, and Sue heard a single gunshot. The bullet entered Mark’s chest, exited his back and went through the bedroom window. He died instantly.
The suspects then proceeded to assault Sue and threatened to shoot her. Sue still remembers looking down the long barrel of a large black gun. The man holding it was tall and thin with sharp facial features. The assault on her began. First, her hand was cut. “We spotted a sharpened screwdriver on the scene. They might have used that to cut her, but she is not entirely sure whether that was the weapon,” explained the friend.
The robbers demanded access to the safe and emptied it. They took cellphones, a laptop, cash and jewellery worth thousands of rand and, once they could not find anything else, demanded that Sue come up with something. She offered them her silverware. “What is it worth? Can I get money for it?” one robber asked. Sue affirmed this, fearing that her failure to produce items worth stealing, would precede her murder.
She was ordered to undress and realised that they planned to rape her first. “This was when she could finally access the panic button,” said Sue’s friend. Four minutes later, Full Circle Security Services arrived. When the lights from their vehicles illuminated the crime scene, the perpetrators fled on foot.
An ambulance arrived to take Sue to hospital, but she refused to leave the scene before her husband’s body had been collected by the police’s forensic pathologists.
On Saturday morning friends took her to Mediclinic Nelspruit. The wound to her hand was stitched up and she was discharged. After spending the night at her friends’ home, she left for Durban to be with family.
The Lowveld community has been reeling with shock since the incident. “Mark was a much-loved man,” said the family friend.
“We urge anyone with information that will lead to the arrest of the suspects to contact WO Theunis Botha on
082-876-3572,” Phiri said.
Sue issued a R5 000 reward for any information that will lead to the successful prosecution of the perpetrators.
Within hours of the incident, a large white cross was erected in Mark’s honour. It stands at the turn-off leading to Heidelberg Farm.

Also read:  Shoot-out in White River – one suspect wounded

 

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Helene Eloff

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