Hawks hunt bru­tal video

In­ves­ti­ga­tors be­lieve a record­ing was made of the as­sault of two farm work­ers in Parys and then dis­trib­uted via What­sApp among farm­ers in the dis­trict

CityPress - - News - SONJA CARSTENS sonja.carstens@city­press.co.za

The Hawks have con­fis­cated four farm­ers’ cell­phones af­ter re­ceiv­ing in­for­ma­tion that a video was al­legedly recorded of two farm work­ers be­ing as­saulted with a wrench near Parys in the Free State. The video was ap­par­ently dis­trib­uted on What­sApp to farm­ers in the Weiveld dis­trict af­ter the grue­some Jan­uary 6 at­tack in which Sa­muel Tjiza and Si­mon Jube­bea died from bleed­ing on the brain. Their heads, said po­lice, were “swollen like pump­kins”.

Hawks spokesper­son Bri­gadier Hang­wani Mu­laudzi said the phones be­long­ing to An­ton Log­geren­berg, Boeta van der Westhuizen, as well as fa­ther and son Jo­han Cil­liers se­nior and ju­nior, have been sent away for anal­y­sis.

Tjiza and Jube­bea were in crit­i­cal con­di­tion by the time po­lice ar­rived at the Cil­liers’ farm and found them on the back of Log­geren­berg’s bakkie.

“It was ob­vi­ous to the po­lice that this was not the place where the as­sault took place,” Mu­laudzi said.

Log­geren­berg said one of the men con­fessed to a po­lice of­fi­cer that they threw a re­volver away on the land, but the po­lice’s bal­lis­tics team couldn’t find it.

A farm at­tacker had used a re­volver in an at­tack hours be­fore on Van der Westhuizen’s 72-year-old fa­ther, Loedie, at the back door of his farm­house. But po­lice could not find foot­prints be­long­ing to Tjiza or Jube­bea around Loedie’s home.

The only ev­i­dence link­ing the mur­dered work­ers to the at­tack on Loedie was his two whip­pets, which were with them on Cil­liers’ farm.

Jube­bea’s grand­mother Hester (63), who lives in a town­ship out­side Parys, was too dis­traught to speak. Her daugh­ter died two months be­fore her grand­son.

His sis­ter, Su­san, said: “We are very up­set. We want to see jus­tice served, but the mur­der­ers must pay to raise our chil­dren. Our bread­win­ner is gone.”

Tjiza’s aunt Bet­tie Nokane (58) said it was an aw­ful thing that hap­pened. “Pre­vi­ously, black and white peo­ple got along very well,” she said. Both men were buried yes­ter­day. Tjiza’s brother Elias said Tjiza and Jube­bea went to Boeta van der Westhuizen’s house to ask him for R3 000 in un­paid wages.

“Boeta said they must get their money from his dad,” he said. But Van der Westhuizen vig­or­ously de­nies this. “My fa­ther and I farm in­de­pen­dently from each other. They are mak­ing up sto­ries,” he said.

Loedie van der Westhuizen, who lives a few farms away, told Rap­port that he did not recog­nise his at­tacker. He also did not see a sec­ond man.

The Cil­liers fam­ily runs the farm by them­selves and has no work­ers. Rap­port has learnt that Cil­liers ju­nior con­ducts se­cu­rity pa­trols for farm­ers to earn ex­tra cash, and he and his fa­ther ar­rested Tjiza and Jube­bea, and waited for the po­lice.

“There is still a lot of in­ves­ti­ga­tion that needs to be done, and the po­lice are call­ing upon those who have in­for­ma­tion to come for­ward,” said Mu­laudzi.

Ra­cial ten­sions in the area spiked af­ter sev­eral men, in­clud­ing Afrikaner Weer­stands­be­weg­ing mem­ber and “Boer na­tion­al­ist” Piet “Skiet” Ru­dolph, ar­rived at the farm­ers’ court ap­pear­ance this week wav­ing the Vierkleur (an old Boer Repub­lic flag).

A po­lice docket was opened against Ru­dolph for hold­ing an il­le­gal demon­stra­tion.

The farm­ers were re­leased on R5 000 bail each on Tues­day af­ter­noon af­ter Mag­is­trate Leshni Pil­lay found the po­lice’s case against them to be weak.

They are pro­vi­sion­ally stand­ing trial on two counts of mur­der, but all deny the al­le­ga­tions against them.

Log­geren­berg and Boeta van der Westhuizen in­sist the dead men were not as­saulted in their pres­ence.

“I was in com­plete dis­may,” said Log­geren­berg. “I told the in­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cer sev­eral times in Se­sotho to re­mem­ber this day. The road ahead is long. It is un­fair. When you beat some­one to death, you have marks on your hands. I had none.”

Between 40 and 60 farm­ers from neigh­bour­ing towns re­acted to the mes­sage of the at­tack on Loedie, shared on a What­sApp group in­volv­ing about 100 farm­ers.

Van der Westhuizen said he and Log­geren­berg were among the last to ar­rive at the scene.

“The one man was ly­ing on the ground with his hands tied, and the other one sat up and was breath­ing very loudly. I thought it was be­cause they had run so far,” he said.

Both men deny pay­ing their work­ers ir­reg­u­larly or treat­ing them badly, al­though farm work­ers on neigh­bour­ing farms claim this is a well-known fact.

One farm worker em­ployed by Log­geren­berg for three years said he of­ten did not re­ceive his R1 200 monthly wage and sel­dom got leave.

– Rap­port

PHOTO: KA­BELO TL­HA­BANELO PHOTO: DEON RAATH

AC­CUSED

From left: Boeta van der Westhuizen, Jo­han Cil­liers Snr, Jo­han Cil­liers Jnr and An­ton Log­geren­berg BRO­KEN Hester Jube­bea (63) is in­con­solable af­ter the vi­o­lent death of her grand­son Si­mon Jube­bea

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