Who is Neil McKay? Farmer paralyzed by robbers' bullet 20 years ago tied to wheelchair and strangled to death

Who is Neil McKay? Farmer paralyzed by robbers' bullet 20 years ago tied to wheelchair and strangled to death
Neil McKay was tied to his wheelchair (Family handout)

A farmer from KwaZulu-Natal, a coastal South African province, who was left disabled by an attack 20 years ago, was killed in a second brutal attack on Friday evening, April 30. The farmer, who was shot through the spine by robbers and left paralyzed 20 years ago, was tied up in his wheelchair and cruelly strangled to death.

As per reports, the farmer was found by his mother when she visited the farm in Winterton on Saturday, May 1, to check on him. There, she found her disabled son tied up in his wheelchair in his bedroom. Police investigators said he had been strangled by his captors, who had been hiding close to the property, waiting for him to be alone. 


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Neil McKay (Facebook)

Who was Neil McKay?

The 46-year-old was described, according to the local press, as a “gentle and friendly man of peace who apparently refused to carry or even have a gun”. McKay was first attacked 20 years ago while working at a farm run by the Boettiger family in Winterton. Armed robbers stormed the farm and shot McKay through the spine, leaving him paralyzed. His father Bert converted their farm in Winterton to allow Neil to be able to run it from his wheelchair.

The Democratic Alliance MP for Uthukela constituency, Alf Lees, told the press he was “shocked and horrified by the murder of a crippled farmer”. Lees said, “Who would murder a man in a wheelchair? A man in a wheelchair who was both unarmed and physically unable to protect himself,” adding that in two decades, the attackers who crippled McKay have never been convicted.

Lees said, “It seems his attackers were keeping watch on the farm and attacked the defenseless Neil when his farm manager and staff had left and he was alone for the evening. First, they cleaned out the safe then they apparently dragged Neil to his bedroom where they brutally strangled him to death having tied him up despite being in a wheelchair.”

Alf Lees (Twitter)

Lees added, “Despite 20 years having passed since the first attack on Neil, the attackers have never been convicted and Mrs McKay has had to live through that and now his murder. He was murdered by people who don't deserve any place in our society except prison.”

A family friend, speaking to reporters, said that the attackers had targeted McKay so they could steal the money in his safe. The robbers, he said, left out three of McKay's six dogs before tying up the victim and strangling him to death. The other three dogs were slashed with knives as they tried to defend McKay, he said. “How much more evil can you get than tying up a terrified man in a wheelchair who cannot defend himself and offered no resistance and then strangle the life out of him?” the unnamed family friend said.

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