Dullstroom community prays at farm where woman was tortured to death

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Community members pray for Sue Howarth. (Dullstroom Farmers Association)
Community members pray for Sue Howarth. (Dullstroom Farmers Association)

Johannesburg - The Dullstroom community in Mpumalanga plans on holding daily prayer sessions at the entrance to the farm of Sue Howarth, 64, who died after being tortured during a farm attack. They laid flowers at the spot on Wednesday at an informal memorial.

Celeste Combrink, a former chairperson of the Dullstroom Farmers' Association, said the prayer sessions would, where possible, be held until Sue had been buried, Netwerk24 reported.

According to Combrink, the post-mortem could take up to nine days. For that reason, funeral arrangements would probably only be finalised next week.

Howarth, who died in the high care unit of the Life Midmed Hospital in Middelburg on Tuesday, and her husband, Robert Lynn, 66, were attacked in their home by three men in the early hours of Sunday last week. They were tortured for hours.

Lynn is still fighting for his life in the hospital. He was stabbed several times and burnt with a blow torch.

After hours of torture the couple were tied up and loaded onto the back of their double cab bakkie. The attackers dumped them on the road to Belfast.

Community stunned by attack

Howarth was found naked and bound in the veld. There was a black plastic bag around her neck. She was in a coma until she died in hospital.

David Spohr, of AfriForum in Mpumalanga, said a motorist had seen her bloodied body next to the road and called the police.

"Sue was left some distance from Robert in the veld, and she was already blue in the face when paramedics arrived," Spohr said at the time.

Sue, who was originally from Britain, had kept her maiden name after marrying Robert and the two had been living in SA for more than 20 years. 

Spohr said the local community had been stunned by the brutal attack.

"It was like something from hell."

Ex-colonel Gawie Louwrens, of the Heritage Protection Group, an anti-crime organisation which works in close co-operation with the police, is heading the search for the three suspects. 

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