Doppie de Villiers' son, sheep farmer Johnnie, who lived on the same smallholding in the Bronkhorstspruit district north of Pretoria with his lawyer dad, who was 66, was deeply traumatised after finding his dad tortured and murdered. The father and son lived in homes on the same agricultural smallholding near Bronkhorstspruit. His father was a lawyer at the Cullinan law courts nearby. for our previous report on South African farm murders see
These murder attacks don't only occur on farms: many -- mostly Afrikaner -- families are also attacked in exactly the same way in the cities and suburbs, in an upsurge of armed violence targetting this ethnic-European-minority.see
South Africa has about 3-million Afrikaners, descendants of Voortrekker Boers who first arrived there as indentured farmers to produce fresh crops for the Dutch East India Company 's ships to the Spice Islands -- who stopped at the Cape of Good Hope to replenish their fresh food and water on these long voyages during the 17th century.
The murdered Mr de Villiers' rugged farmer-son Johnny - who often went horseback riding with his dad -- burst into tears as he related to Afrikaans journalist Virginia Keppler of the Beeld daily how he had first 'run up and down like a madman' when he found his tied up dad lying just inside the front door in a blood-smeared hallway at 8am.
He had stopped by to fetch his father to the nearby law courts in Cullinan because his dad had lent his own vehicle to his sister. When Johnnie arrived at the house at 8am, the front door was shut closed but unlocked. He called out to his father, pushing open the front door, and found his father had been murdered in a very cruel way.His hands and feet were hogtied together, he had been strangled and he had also been shot in the upper body. The grief-stricken sheep farmer said he and his dad had been close.
A long-time colleague of the dead lawyer, Johan Paulsen, 42, said the staff at the Cullinan court are like one big family, and everyone has been plunged into diep grief and shock over the horrific death of a much-loved colleague. According to investigating police, the dead man's cellphone, a hunting rifle and a handgun were missing. No other valuables were touched inside the homestead. Trackers tried to follow the muddy footprints of several men but no-one has thus far been arrested. A police helicopter photographed the smallholding. se
David Greig killed in same spot as mom Hannah in 1996
And livestock farmer David Greig, 65 of Hartzenbergfontein, was killed in his kitchen - exactly in the same spot where his mother Hannah was also shot dead in 1996 by a twelve-man gang who now are serving out the rest of their lives in one of the worst prison systems in the world. see
Greig and wife Jeanette, 64, were attacked by three armed men who tore off the security gate and the front door. The unarmed Greig was shot dead execution style: once through the head, twice in the chest. Jeanette Greig was badly assaulted and stabbed with a knife. She has permanent hearing loss because her eardrums burst during the beating.see
I will give you AIDS - farm wife threatened:
On the same day when Mr Potgieter was tortured to death, a young farming couple of Koppies in the Free State was also attacked, but also consider themselves very lucky: they survived because their workers had shown up to milk the cows - scraring off the attackers. Four armed men had broken down their heavy security doors at 4am and assaulted the farming couple inside their secured homestead. Farm wife Helene Potgieter also threatened by one of the men that he would 'give her AIDS
", however could not carry out this threat when the farm workers arrived unexpectedly at 4.30am to milk the cows, the attackers fled.
Took their trainers:
Husband Manie was bashed over the head with a crowbar and required stitches afterwards, but Mrs Potgieter was not raped and they survived their ordeal. Strangely, the attackers had taken the couple's training shoes -- referred to in South Africa as 'tackies' -- besides taking $15 from their wallets, and a camera. A team of neighbouring farmers tracked the attackers' muddy footprints to a tarred road about 1km away from the homestead, where car-tracks showed that they had been picked up by a vehicle.Local police sergeant Phumzile Makaula said no-one has been arrested. see
The folks are fighting back in Cullinan's diamond-city:
That same day also in Cullinan, five armed men attacked an unnamed farm wife and her three sons, 14, 12 and ten years old at 5am, just after her husband had left for work and the mother was waking up her boys to get ready for school. This attack gang had risked their lives by digging a hole underneath the electrified fencing surrounding the homestead. They then tore off the security bars of the homestead's windows to get inside. And the only thing they stole was some cheap trinkets.
Three of the four men had handguns. They grabbed one of the boys from the shower, and tied up the Afrikaans family in one of the boy's bedrooms. They then fled in the family Toyota - but the mother managed to get loose from her bonds and alerted the Cullinan community policing forum (GPF), known as Culliwatch.
A chase ensured, said neighbour Abel van Aarde, because just as he left his farm road after getting the alert, he spotted the gang chasing right past him. He alerted other GPF members by radio, and a roadblock was drawn up ahead of the gang. Their driver tried to evade it - and ran smackdab into a concrete wall with the farm wife's stolen car, with the GPF members in hot pursuit. The wall, located next to the Sambok Bar
, which is run by the popular Afrikaans singer Bok van Blerk, was a great help, as GPF-members could then force the gang from the car and make a citizen's arrest. For a video of the fiery Bok's best songs, click here
Police came and fetched only four of the robbers - one had managed to jump from the moving car before it had come to such a sudden halt against Van Blerk's concrete wall. see
86-year-old farm wife tied up, left for 14 hours:
On January 22, 2009, an unnamed 86-year-old Afrikaner woman was tied up and left defenceless fourteen hours in her smallholding's bathroom in Potchefstroom. She was found dehydrated, covered in bruises and knife cuts when she was finally discovered, said ER24 emergency service spokesman Werner Vermaak.
No-one has been arrested. And the day before, only 10km away from this old lady's homestead in the Mooivalley, 56-year-old Johan Meyer was also killed in his rental home. Nothing was robbed. His wife and a lady-friend came across his bloodied corpse when they woke up from the noise. Meyer was a partner of a family business which installed close-circuit security cameras. see
Please don't take my wedding ring:
Four days earlier, Afrikaans Dutch-Reformed preacher Albert Venter was kidnapped from his Marble Hall farm, prompting a massive manhunt by a community security unit and a police helicopter for their beloved dominee. Rev. Venter was kidnapped from his Dutch Reformed church and dumped in the boot of his car by a large armed gang. However police reacted rapidly, chasing the trackable stolen vehicle by helicopter. The gang fled into the veld. The dominee was injured: he was manhandled roughly before he was kidnapped: four of the five gangsters even stood on his back while searching him. When he pleaded with them not to take his wedding ring, one put a revolver to his head, shouting to shut up, that he would be killed.
The preacher then was hogtied and dumped into the boot , driven at breakneck speed on a dirt road for a while before returning to his own homestead next to the church, where they then tried to attack Mrs Venter at gunpoint. She was however alert and locked herself in the study , warning police on her cellphone. Police say from the description of the attackers, it seemed to be the same farm-attack gang has been terrorising this region for at least a year. They didn't catch them, sorry. see
Murderers/kidnappers of veterinarian Dr Paul Meyer arrested
On February 16, four Mozambiquan migrants appeared in the Phalaborwa magistrate's court , charged with the murder of veterinarian Dr Paul Meyer and his family and two friends from a farm on a nature reserve in Gravellotte, near the Kruger National Park. A fifth suspect was arrested in Mozambique and also expected to appear in a law court there for hijacking Meyer's double-cabbed truck - amazingly, there is no extradiction agreement between the two neighbouring African countries, so if you want someone extradicted formally, you can't do it: although the borders are wide-open, and hardly any patrolling.
The unarmed Dr. Meyer
(38) was shot dead execution-style in front of his wife Marelise and baby son Wouter
after they and their neighbours were kidnapped from their farm in the Selati wildlife reserve.
Police superintendent Ronel Otto said police traced the five men after game-rangers came across a stolen Toyota Land Cruiser hidden in thick woods near the Kruger Wildlife reserve. Police established that the Land cruiser had been hijacked in Gauteng, and after further inquiries discovered the four men hiding in a squatter camp outside Phalaborwa.
The kidnap gang had planned to take the Land cruiser to Mozambique for resale. The fifth man got into a gun fight with Mozambiquan police and was arrested there, among others for illegally imporing Meyer's double-cabbed farm vehicle. The Meyers, together with their little baby Wouter and their neighbours, Pierre and Sue Gallagher, were attacked while visiting in the Meyer homestead together. They were kidnapped and driven at breakneck speed in a nightmare 70km chase from Phalaborwa to the Mozambiquan border. They were dumped along the roadside just before the border and Dr Meyer was executed. see
On January 11, Afrikaans widow and macadamia farmer Saar Holtzhauzen, 64 of the Rietfontein farm near Nelspruit, also near the Mozambiquan border, was found with her throat cut . An 17-year-old youth who was not known to her, was arrested on January 19. see
Mrs Holtzhauzen was found by neighbours with the key to her gun-safe in her hand and her cellphone next to her.
An old computer was missing from the homested. Her son Ben Holtzhauzen said his mom 'did not have an enemy in the world. She was gentle and caring. It's inhuman what has happened to her.'
Police superintendent Gerrie Agenbach of Nelspruit said her body was discovered at around 1pm - and from marks on her face, it appeared as if she had also been hacked at or slashed with a knife - possibly one of her own kitchen knives. Dave Fourie, manager of her security company J & M Sekuriteit, said she had been a client for a long time. They had received no panic-alerts from her. Mrs Holtzhausen was a widow, her husband Professor Kas Holtzhausen, a well-known agricultural expert and macadamia-farmer, who had died six months earlier.
All the commercial farms in this fertile region -- which supplies more than 80% of all the produce for the Johannesburg produce market, have been earmarked by the ANC-government for confiscation. see