A farmer’s wife, Lorraine Karg, 58, domestic worker Hilda Linyane, 34, and gardener Zachues Mhlongo, 66, were murdered when an attempted house robbery went wrong.
As relatives and friends continued to arrive at Karg’s son’s home to pay their respects, police investigators with dogs combed the murder scene for clues.
Survivor beaten, locked up
Police were tight-lipped about the progress of the investigation as rumours continued to circulate about possible motives, but they said they are confident of making arrests soon.
A young survivor of the incident, who had fresh bruises on his face, on Thursday told how the assailants had assaulted him.
“There were two of them, but I did not see their faces. They hit me on my face, punched me in my stomach and dragged me to the bathroom where they locked me up.”
He was discovered in a closet during a search of the house.
Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo, who visited the family to pay his respects on behalf of Agriculture MEC Lydia Johnson, condemned the attack.
“Three people were killed in the most barbaric and senseless manner,” said Dlomo. “Two of those people were unarmed, defenceless women. Even in war, you do not kill women.
House robbery that went wrong
“This has the hallmarks of a planned house robbery that went wrong as they had set up a diversion to get the family out, only for the owners to come back sooner than expected.”
He said the robbers tried to steal a safe, but were unable to make off with it.
Dhlomo, who also met farmers’ organisations and the police investigating the crime, said the government is concerned about the fear the incident would stoke in the farming community.
“For the provincial government, which has identified the agriculture industry as the cornerstone of provincial economic development, we are concerned about the violence and we will do all that is necessary to allay fears and to bring the culprits to book.”
He added that while the farmers are happy with the police response and investigations, there are still concerns about the levels of convictions for those charged with farm killings, and “… that is something I would be taking to my colleagues on those departments”.
He said the police have assured him they will be making an arrest soon.
Tony le Roux of the Mooi River Farmers’ Association said in a statement they hope the criminals will be brought to book soon. “We urge the relevant authorities to bring all the possible resources to bear on this case in order to apprehend the suspects as soon as possible.”
'Barbaric and senseless act'
Political parties also weighed in. The Democratic Alliance community safety and liaison spokesperson, Sizwe Mchunu, described the attack as a “barbaric and senseless act”.
“The incident brings the total number of farm attacks in the province since the beginning of the year to 19,” he said.
Karg is survived by her husband Neville, a son Brendan and two daughters, Tori and Kita.
A community member who asked not to be named described Lorraine Karg as a woman who worked hard alongside her husband on the farm. “We are devastated. Absolutely devastated. We want to see some evidence of the extra police deployed for 2010."