The incident occurred only two weeks after a buffalo bull had terrorized part of the town where the man lived, and the article goes on to mention a spate of attacks and near misses in recent months. What was behind this? Seems water levels around the town had been rather low, causing the buffalo to wander into town looking for moisture. The situation was bad enough that police were reportedly culling buffalos around the township.
The moral of this tale? If you go in pursuit of a water buffalo, keep your wits about you. They may not measure up to their African cousins, but they're still buffalo.