Farmer’s murder ends a dream

2014-04-24 00:00

THE murder of commercial farmer Willem Weites (78) by armed robbers on October 21 last year has ended his daughter’s dream of remaining a farmer.

Everlien Weites used to help her father run his dairy and mielie farm at Ngome, near Vryheid, and also owned dairy cows.

She told the Pietermaritzburg high court yesterday that her mother, Gerdina (76), has moved to an old age home since the murder, and she and her sister had sold all the cows and implements, and are waiting to finalise the sale of their land.

The 10 workers her father employed are jobless and there is no knowing if the new owner will continue to farm commercially.

“My position is bleak. My dream, which was always to farm, has now ended,” she said.

Weites said she constantly relives the incident when her father was shot dead and she and her mother were assaulted by the robbers.

The court heard from Captain Adolf Engelbrecht that the local community who had benefited from the farmer’s deliveries of mielie meal, fresh produce and milk to the rural areas, had attended court in their droves after the arrest of the suspects in the case.

Three men — Mzomuhle Ntshangase (30), Mozambican national Moses Sigawuge (34) and Big-Boy Ncube (29) — pleaded guilty before Acting Judge Thoba Poyo-Dlwati yesterday to murdering Weites and robbing Everlien and Gerdina of R40 000, three cellphones, jewellery and a Nissan bakkie at Welkom farm.

State advocate Attie Truter said two other accused are in custody awaiting trial and a sixth was shot dead as police tried to arrest him.

The court heard in the pleas that Ntshangase masterminded the robbery plan, Ncube was hired as a driver, and Sigawuge took part in the robbery.

Sigawuge said in his plea that when they confronted Weites, he didn’t believe they had real firearms. Weites threw a spanner at Sigawuge and another of the attackers then shot at him.

Three farm workers were tied up and a “white female” was taken into the house by some of his co-perpetrators.

He claimed he did not know what happened there.

All three, however, admitted they had shared in the spoils of the robbery.

Sentencing is tomorrow.

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