Bru­tally beaten South African farmer dies from in­juries

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - WORLD -

PIET Els, an el­derly man from Kim­ber­ley in South Africa whose sav­age beat­ing was high­lighted in a Sun­day Tele­graph in­ves­ti­ga­tion into at­tacks against white farm­ers, has died af­ter 111 days in in­ten­sive care.

Mr Els and his part­ner Rikkie Alsemgeest, 67, were on his prop­erty on the out­skirts of Kim­ber­ley when four hooded men raided them at night in late Jan­uary. Mr Els, 86, was a suc­cess­ful busi­ness­man who had been a friend of Nel­son Man­dela. He re­fused to live with heavy se­cu­rity like so many other white South African farm­ers.

He was beaten with an iron bar while the in­trud­ers de­manded the com­bi­na­tion to his safe. Mr Els be­came con­fused and could not re­call the com­bi­na­tion, and was beaten fur­ther.

Ms Alsemgeest was dig­i­tally raped and burned across her legs and head with a house­hold iron. Mr Els never came out of hospi­tal. “It was bet­ter for him in the end,” Ms Alsemgeest said.

“He was four months in ICU and he was re­ally suf­fer­ing at the end. He was re­ally fight­ing to get bet­ter but in the end he was too weak. “It was hor­ri­ble to see him suf­fer.” South African po­lice have ar­rested and charged three of the at­tack­ers but the ring­leader is still on the loose.

Last year there were 404 vi­o­lent at­tacks on mainly white-owned farms. As of last week, there were 197 at­tacks and 26 mur­ders.

Home Affairs Min­is­ter Peter Dut­ton caused a diplo­matic in­ci­dent with South Africa when he said he would con­sider hu­man­i­tar­ian visas for white farm­ers.

His de­part­ment is ex­am­in­ing op­tions.

Piet Els died in hospi­tal

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