PODCAST | The Story: Kestell community reeling after seven killed in violent farm attack

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Seven people were brutally murdered on a farm just outside Kestell in the Free State province last week Friday.
Seven people were brutally murdered on a farm just outside Kestell in the Free State province last week Friday.
  • Seven people were killed on a farm in Kestell last week in a particularly violent attack.
  • Among those murdered were the farm owner's wife, Sesi Smit, and her teenage son Rhudie Binta.
  • Police arrested two suspects in less than 24 hours, who appeared in the Kestell Magistrate's Court this week.

The small community of Kestell in the Free State was left reeling after seven people were brutally murdered in a farm attack last Friday.

Devastated family members want answers.

Swift action by local police saw two men arrested less than 24 hours after the murders. Kamohelo Motankisi, 34, and Lerato Selepe, 22, appeared in the Kestell Magistrate's Court this week where they abandoned their bid for bail. They also voiced their intention to plead guilty. 

The two men face 12 charges and are accused of murdering Sesi Smit, her teenage son Rhudie Binta, and five employees - Nokuva Monareng, Nomasonto Zulu, Nomasotsha Maduna, Kgodu Moloi and Lerato Moloi. 

READ | Farmer in shock after wife, stepson, workers killed in attack

This week on The Story, we'll talk to News24 reporter Iavan Pijoos, who spent the past week in Kestell covering the trial.

Here he spoke to bereaved family members of the victims, and angry residents.

We'll then hear from Ian Cameron, director of civil rights non-profit company Action Society, who discusses the unique attributes characterising farm murders, and the often associated misconceptions.

Cameron told News24 that the Kestell murders felt "personal" and, for him, stood out compared to other farm attacks.

"It's very strange. It's the first time I've had contact with a case where that amount of people were killed in one incident," he said.

He also referenced the extent to which the teenage victim, Binta, was tortured. It was reported on Thursday that Binta had been stabbed and then burnt with boiling water in a bathtub, before his body was wrapped in a duvet.

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