Farmworkers get life for dragging farmer

2013-03-14 08:36
André van der Merwe (Beeld)

André van der Merwe (Beeld)

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Mahikeng - Two men have been given life sentences for a brutal attack on a popular Ottosdal farmer who was shot four times and dragged 1.5km behind his bakkie while still alive.

Judge S Gura in the North West High Court in Mahikeng said the attack had been very cruel and that the murderers therefore deserved heavy sentences, reported Beeld.

Thabo Matlhoko and Shadrack Thapelo Smith were convicted of killing André (Brood) van der Merwe, 49, on 30 April 2011, and were given an additional 20 years for robbing him.

The men waited for Van der Merwe on his farm about 9km outside Ottosdal, shot him and bound his feet with wire, tying him to his bakkie and dragging him for 1.5km.

The murder shocked the community, and friends of the farmer and auctioneer on Wednesday said they were grateful to the police for doing good work.

“Oom André had a big heart and was good to all, black and white. We just hope and believe he was no longer conscious when he was dragged behind the bakkie,” said Frans Hugo, a friend.

“We went to his home and could see by the car tracks that something was wrong. We followed the dragging marks and later found his body. It was terrible. I knew him very well and grew up in front of him.”

Matlhoko and Smith stole Van der Merwe’s bakkie, as well as food, cellphones, liquor, clothes, shoes and money from the farmhouse.

They were arrested the morning after the murder.

Read more on:    mahikeng  |  farm attacks

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