BREAKING NEWS: Another Vryheid farmer slain – two apprehended in #VryheidFarmAttack

TWO suspects have been taken into custody, following a brutal farm attack in the Zaailaagte area near Vryheid last night.

Danie Swanepoel was ruthlessly and mercilessly attacked on his farm and allegedly tortured by the perpetrators in a manner that can only be described as barbaric. As well as multiple cuts and stab wounds, it is believed that one of the implements utilised in the torture was an electric device that could physically debilitate a fully grown bull. Mr Swanepoel died a cruel and unnecessary death at the hands of his attackers in his own home, much like a rising number of farmers across the nation.

#BlackMonday farm killing in Gluckstadt, community exacts its justice

Barely a week after true South Africans of all races, with their hearts set on building a better future for our country, stood united in peaceful protest against the scourge of farm attacks and senseless killings across the country, Danie Swanepoel was mercilessly tortured and his life cut short by those who seek to destroy what they stood for.

“Stop killing our farmers” was a phrase close to the hearts and minds of all South Africans who took part in the peaceful Black Monday protest.

Despite relentless attempts by certain sectors of society to cast division among those who wish to see South Africa prosper, the Vryheid community proved once more that standing together in times of crisis is something they do best, with members of the farming community, farmers, Vryheid Neighbourhood Watch and eventually the SAPD joining forces to apprehend the suspects.

Mr Swanepoel’s wife, Driena, returned to the farm later that evening, according to a report by Braam van Niekerk and it is believed that she walked in on the attack.

Van Niekerk also reported that the attackers were possibly in conversation with a third party on the phone. This has not been confirmed, however. In response to the arrival of Mrs Swanepoel, the two suspects who had just murdered her husband, overpowered her and shoved her into the vehicle outside where she was forced by the perpetrators to drive to an ATM.

Mixed responses to #BlackMonday

At the ATM, her kidnappers demanded that she withdraw cash from her account, which they then robbed her of. According to Braam Van Niekerk’s account of the events that transpired, they then forced her to drive them to a neighbouring farm to pick up other stolen goods, following an hour or so of driving around uncertain of the next step in their criminal rampage.

Upon their approach to the location of the stolen goods, a passerby noticed the vehicle on the dirt road and reported it to the farmer, noting that the occupants thereof appeared to be behaving in a suspicious manner. Investigating the matter further, they discovered that Mrs Swanepoel was in the vehicle.

At this point, the kidnappers attempted to conceal themselves from sight, forcing Mrs Swanepoel, at knifepoint, to retreat. For fear of her life, Mrs Swanepoel complied but was followed by two of the neighbouring farmers who sset off in pursuit of the vehicle in an attempt to establish what the situation was.

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They managed to pull the vehicle over, positively identifying Mrs Swanepoel as the driver and, according to the report by Braam van Niekerk, the two suspects as employees of one of the responding farmers. They successfully apprehended one of the suspects but the other managed to escape.

Mrs Swanepoel was held hostage, uncertain of her husband’s condition for approximately three harrowing hours, while her captors planned their next move.

Returning to the Swanepoel farm, the farmers who responded discovered Mr Swanepoels’s maimed and lifeless body as his killers had left him. KwaZulu Private Ambulance Service responded, but there was nothing that could be done for Mr Swanepoel, and he was declared deceased at the scene. Investigations are ongoing as to the official cause of death.

The suspect that escaped was apprehended early this morning, following a massive manhunt carried out by members of the farming community, farmers, Vryheid Neighbourhood Watch and eventually the SAPS.

Both suspects are now in custody and SAPS are conducting further investigations into the attack.

Elaine Rodway

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