A family torn apart by senseless farm murders

2015-01-07 00:00

MURDERED Estcourt farmer Malcolm “Stick” Green and his wife Ruth were set to move into another more secure farmhouse on their property the day after he was slain.

Green (69) was gunned down when four men forced their way into his Estcourt farmhouse in the early hours of Monday.

The prominent farmer was shot and wounded in the stomach and died of his injuries.

His death brings to three the number of relatives killed in farm attacks in Estcourt in the space of seven years.

“I don’t know what to do now. We have been trying to sell the farm for years, and now I have no husband and I will be here; it could be me that’s next,” said his widow Ruth yesterday.

“If this farm had been sold, my husband would still be alive. We have been waiting all this time and he has not been well. There have been a lot of interested parties through the government buying scheme, but every time we get close the deal falls through. My husband was old and to me this is a tragedy. He had such a good relationship with the labourers on the farm and we just needed to go and now he’s gone,” she said.

In 2010, Green’s second cousin Lynnette Ralfe (64), was shot dead on the family farm Doornkop near Estcourt.

Her husband Nigel (70) was wounded but survived.

Nigel was believed to have been milking his cows in the late afternoon when four men approached him and asked to buy milk. They then shot him in his left side and neck before dragging him up to the farmhouse.

When his wife tried to force her attackers out of a bedroom, one of the men shot her three times through the door.

In 2007, Green’s cousin David was shot and killed in front of his wife Dorothy on their farm on the outskirts of Estcourt.

David Green had arrived home in the afternoon and had been on his way to check on his sheep when he was shot in the back by a former employee.

Dorothy said the string of family tragedies had left her in tatters.

“Our family has been torn apart. All I have been trying to do is bury the sad memories and then Malcolm was killed,” she said.

Recounting the day her husband died, she said she watched as gunman Nkosithemba Ntshaba walked past David’s body and into their home.

“All I wanted to do was try and save my husband, but I knew he was gone. He walked outside after stealing our cellphones and then ran off down the driveway,” she said.

“He destroyed our family all for greed. He took my husband away and took a grandfather away. This is how it is, to live constantly in fear that someone will take your life,” Dorothy added.

• jeff.wicks@witness.co.za

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