PART 1: Karlien van Rooyen’s chilling account of #VanRooyenFarmAttack

Like a nightmare that never ends, the brutality of a farm attack in South Africa bears little mercy on its victims.

The absolute and utter horror that those who suffer these ordeals endure, when preyed upon by the vile and vicious perpetrators of these attacks, can never be adequately described. Finding the words to explain these atrocities is a task tackled only by the strongest individuals.

For Karlien van Rooyen, who survived the attack on the Van Rooyen family’s Swart-Mfolozi farm little over two years ago, losing both her beloved husband, Billy van Rooyen (37) and her father, Ronnie Lombard (62), in the same brutal ambush that shocked the community to its core in April of 2016, this nightmare is a heartbreaking reality. The widowed mother of two relived the horrors of that fateful night as she put into words the horrific events that transpired in her testimony at the trial against the alleged perpetrators of this horrendous crime.

ALSO READ: EXCLUSIVE PICS FROM THE SCENE: A rundown on the Van Rooyen farm attack trial so far, back in court today

On May 8, tension filled the courtroom as Karlien van Rooyen took the witness stand, raised her right hand and swore before the judge to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. For the first time in two years, she would publicly relate her story, a story more chilling than most…

Senior State Prosecutor, Adv Andrè Ludick began by presenting Karlien with the photo album marked Exhibit A, establishing the validity of the pictures contained therein and confirming their relevance to the case.

Although Karlien appeared visibly uneasy being in the same room as the accused, the eyes of the alleged attackers all turned upon her as she stood before the court, she answered Adv Ludick’s questions clearly and concisely, articulating her choice to remain standing as she gave her testimony and maintaining her composure despite the circumstances.

ALSO READ: 6 Accused in Van Rooyen farm attack enter ‘not guilty’ plea in Vryheid Magistrates’ Court

It was only when asked to tell the court her testimony of the events that transpired on the night in question that Billy van Rooyen’s widow, Karlien, sank into the chair on the witness stand as she began to relive the nightmare of the attack, word for agonising word.

It was April 19, 2016 and the family had all dished up their dinner and retired to their respective homes on the property. Karlien mentions that her mother-in-law had commented on the dogs being restless and Billy had responded by pointing out that it was pension day and it was probably just busy at the shop.

Billy’s parents, Lodewyk and Tokkie van Rooyen had said goodnight and Billy and Karlien’s children, aged 7 and 3-years-old respectively at the time, were both in bed by 7:30pm.

Karlien, Billy and Ronnie Lombard, Karlien’s father, were seated in the lounge, watching television, at around 8pm when Karlien noticed that the dogs had grown particularly restless and asked Billy to check on them. Karlien recalls that Billy was initially hesitant to do so, but eventually went. She heard the latch move in its slot as Billy opened the gate and then it all began…

ALSO READ: Part 2: Karlien van Rooyen’s chilling account of #VanRooyenFarmAttack

ALSO READ: Part 3: Karlien van Rooyen’s chilling account of #VanRooyenFarmAttack

  AUTHOR
Elaine Rodway

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