Jon Rogers and Jamie Pyatt, The Sun, October 5, 2020
A female farm manager was sexually assaulted and strangled by two gunmen at her farm in South Africa.
In a separate brutal attack on a farm manager 180 miles away, a man was tied to a pole and tortured before being repeatedly stabbed and then strangled.
The two shocking cases are the latest savage attacks on white farmers in the country.
Divorcee Chantel Kershaw, 44, was ambushed as she helped load a lawnmower onto a truck by two armed black men.
They then held her down and strangled her in the garage of her farm at Delmas east of Johannesburg and left her lying on the ground before pistol whipping her mother.
Distraught mum Greta Spiers, 65, was restrained as the farm was looted and a maid locked in a bathroom before they fled the scene in the family’s white Chevrolet station wagon.
Local neighbourhood watch farmers forced the stolen vehicle off the road in a high-speed chase after being alerted by the murdered woman’s mum and captured the suspects.
A worker at the farm who was stripped and tied up by the armed raiders was later arrested after the mobile phone numbers of the two arrested men were found in his phone.
The three men appeared before Delmas Magistrates Court charged with armed robbery, theft and murder and were refused bail and have been remanded in custody for trial.
Police spokesman Brigadier Leonard Hiathi said: “Chantel asked an employee to help her load a lawnmower into a truck when she suddenly saw two armed men inside her yard.
“They told the employee to take his clothes off and tied him up and then attacked the woman who was screaming for help and strangled her and then went into the house.
“The victim’s mother was assaulted with a firearm and the house was robbed.
“A high-speed chase ensued between the suspects and the neighbourhood watch group which resulted in the suspects overturning their vehicles and crawling out to escape.
“But they were caught and handed over to the police who opened a case or robbery and murder and a firearm was recovered and ammunition and a bloodstained jacket”.
In a separate murder, farm manager Brendin Horner, 21, was attacked and brutally tortured before being stabbed three times then strangled after being strung up from a pole.
The horrific attack happened at the De Rots Farm in Paul Roux in Free State province 180 miles away from the earlier murder and he was said to have gone through a horrific ordeal.
Police spokesman Brigadier Montansi Makheli said Brendin failed to arrive home after finishing work and was reported missing and was found at 6am the next day murdered.
‘War against food production’
His blood-soaked body showed horrific signs of torture and multiple stabbings and a knife was found nearby on his cap and he was found strung up to a pole and declared dead.
Two men have been arrested and charged with murder and are due in court tomorrow.
Gilly Scheepers who owns the farm where Brendin was murdered said: “He worked for me for a year before he was brutally murdered but this is sensitive and I am not commenting”.
Agricultural strategist Dr Jaco De Villiers has described the latest murder as part of a “war against food production” in the country and said that his murder was “slaughter”.
He told TimesLive: “How do you murder someone and hang him on a pole for everyone to see? This was a clear message to all farmers. Farm killings have to stop right now”.
Dr Jane Buys, safety and risk analyst of Free State Agriculture, told the paper: “The senseless killings cannot be allowed with the brutality in which they are executed.
“It is not clear what the motive for this murder is. There cannot be any justification for killing a person who provides food security. Something has to be done to stop it”.
Pressure group Agri SA said that on average a farm where a farmer is violently attacked will be abandoned for up to five years until someone takes it on and restarts production.
They said that means dozens of workers and dependents losing their livelihoods.
AfriForum spokesman Marius Muller who speaks for the civil rights organisation protecting minority groups in South Africa said that the farmers need better police protection.
He said: “This is yet another dark day in the history of South Africa for farmers and those with small holdings and the murder of these two farmers was totally unnecessary.