Farm murder probes have stalled

Families of people killed in brutal attacks in the Midlands since the beginning of the year, have expressed concern over the lack of development in the investigations.

All the families say the finalisation of the police investigation would help them gain closure and move forward with their lives.

Margit Riebler (62), watched her partner Austrian born Eduard “Edi” Neumeister (67), being hacked to death and then narrowly escaped death herself by fleeing their Midlands restaurant and Bed and Breakfast in June.

To date, she has not heard from police regarding investigations into the case.

The couple had woken up for breakfast at Edi’s Bratwurst sausage restaurant which they ran together when they were attacked. Eduard was struck once with a panga while feeding his dogs, and the balaclava-clad attacker then turned to Margit and attempted to strangle her when a badly-wounded Eduard struck the assailant. Margit managed to escape and raise the alarm.

“I keep hearing his voice, calling me, crying for help while I was running. I keep thinking of what could have happened if I didn’t run away, if things could have been different. It haunts me. The man was wearing a balaclava and gloves. I would not be able to identify him even if he was standing next to me. But, what are the police doing? We haven’t heard from them since a month after the incident. It would mean a lot to us if we knew police were investigating ...,” said Margit.

In February, Patricia “Trish” Vause Taylor (65), who owned the Threeways Getaway in Rosetta, near Mooi River, was watching TV with her friend Cecilia “Kiki” Dion (70), when two balaclava-clad gunmen entered the house through the bathroom window, killing Taylor. Her son, Jason Taylor (28), from Durban said they too had not heard anything from the police since the murder.

“The arrest of suspects would help us deal with this a lot better. It’s been a bitter pill for us to swallow. Losing a mother at any age is difficult, losing a mother who has been murdered is even worse. It would help us get some kind of closure if we knew someone was responsible and brought to book for her death,” said Jason.

In July, Zakiyya Ahmedjan Ismail (26), had her throat slit in the bathroom of their farmhouse at Ayoob’s Farm in Weenen, Ladysmith, allegedly by robbers. Police at the time said three suspects entered the house through an open back door.

Zakiah’s husband, Ayoob Ismail, put up a fight but was eventually overpowered by the attackers.

Hearing the commotion, Zakiah, who was four months pregnant, rushed to the kitchen. The mother of two children, aged four and eight, was grabbed by the attackers and dragged to the bathroom, where they cut her throat. Her children were taken to another room. Zakiah was certified dead at the scene.

A family spokesperson said they were in the dark with regards to the police investigation.

“We have endured so much, the brutality of it all has really affected us. The family has moved out of the farmhouse and is living elsewhere. When it all happened we took some solace that maybe someone would be arrested for this … that someone will be brought to book, that they will not get away with murder. It doesn’t look like that is going to happen though,” said the spokesperson.

Despite repeated requests to police on updates to the murders, no comment was forthcoming at the time of going to print.


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