Farmers from Parys convicted

2020-05-20 06:01

The Free State High Court has convicted five of the six farmers from the Parys region of common assault and assault with intend to cause grievous bodily harm.

Convictions emanate from the brutal attacks of two deceased farm workers, Simon Tjixa (35) and Simon Jubeba (29), on 6 January 2016.

The two workers reportedly died a day apart, on 6 and 7 January, following the attacks by a group of farmers that include the five convicted by the Free State High Court at its sitting in Parys on 8 May.

Those convicted are Boeta van der Westhuizen (53), Anton Loggenberg (53), Lodewikus van der Westhuizen (22), Cornelius Loggenberg (23) and Miela Jansen van Vuuren (26).

Phaladi Shuping, provincial spokesperson for the National Prosecution Authority (NPA), said the sixth accused, Hendrik Prinsloo (50), was acquitted on all charges. He said Prinsloo was at the time of the incident still an employee of the police and was therefore charged on two counts of murder. However, he said Judge Corne van Zyl was not convinced that the state had proven beyond reasonable doubt that the accused were responsible for the murder of Tjixa and Jubeba,but however convicted the accused on competent verdicts.

Shuping said, according to the post-mortem report, the cause of death was recorded as “multiple injuries” following assault. He said according to evidence presented in court, the two deceased workers, Tjixa and Jubeba, went to the residence of Loedie van der Westhuizen (77), to claim their unpaid salaries. Loedie allegedly owed them their salaries for November 2015. Loedie van der Westhuizen (77) is the father of Boeta and grandfather of Lodewikus, who is Boeta’s son.

According to evidence presented in court, upon the deceased workers’ arrival at Loedie van der Westhuizen’s residence, a confrontation ensued resulting in him (Loe­die) alerting the Parys security company of an attack on his farm. This was done through activating an alarm system, he said.

“When the alarm went off, it also alerted neighbouring farmers who converged at the scene. Local farmers tracked down and confronted Tjixa and Jubeba, about 8 km from the farm. They assaulted the two men before handing them over to the police,” said Shuping. The sentencing proceeding was postponed to 24 August 2020

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