Elderly Kimberley couple survive farm attack

Cape Town – A Kimberley couple survived a vicious attack at their farm near the diamond city in the Northern Cape.

Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus) has suggested that there could be a political motive behind the incident.

Provincial police spokesperson Captain Sergio Kock said four men entered the couple's farmhouse while they were asleep on Tuesday night, and assaulted them.

"Although the information is still sketchy, it is alleged that the suspects cut open the safe with a grinder and fled with a substantial amount of valuables, a hunting rifle and a white Mercedes Benz," said Kock.

The vehicle was later found abandoned on the R31 near Phutanang in Kimberley.

FF Plus Northern Cape leader Dr Wynand Boshoff named the couple as Piet Els, 86, and his partner, Rikkie Alsemgeest, 66.

Victim burnt with an iron

He said the attack on them was a "rude awakening" for the province, particularly for its "excessive cruelty".

In an interview with IOL, Alsemgeest, who owns a clothing business, said she was burnt with an iron and her nightie was ripped off.

Boshoff said Els was a well-known and prominent landowner in the region.

"Over the last few months, politicians in the Sol Plaatje municipal council repeatedly referred to Mr Els in the context of expropriation without compensation as a way of getting hold of land for low-cost housing developments," he claimed.

"The particulars of the attack are not known, and it is regrettable that politicians may have possibly paved the way for such attacks by making irresponsible statements," said Boshoff.

Kimberley Mayor Mangaliso Matika told News24 that he did not know anything about the land expropriation comments directed at Els.

"Piet Els has never been mentioned in any council meeting," he said.

He said he would try and make arrangements to visit the couple to see how they were recovering from the attack.

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