Cape Times

Locals put up reward of R50 000 to identify killer of Ceres farmer Pieter Cillié

- FIONA FORDE and QUINTON MTYALA

A REWARD of R50 000 has been offered to identify the killer of a Ceres farmer murdered in his home on Friday night.

Pieter Malan Cillié, 51, a former ANC councillor in the Witzenberg District Municipali­ty who joined Cope, was shot in the chest and stomach at midnight on Friday and died within minutes. His 15-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son were in the house. Police say nothing was stolen.

A local man was still being questioned last night. An announceme­nt from police was expected within 24 hours.

Locals who put up the reward were shocked at media reports yesterday alleging Cillié was about to expose a right-wing militant group.

“It’s total rubbish,” said farm manager Martiens Ecksteen, who had worked with Cillié all his adult life.

“This is the first time we hear of such a group in this town and the first time I’ve heard of (Cillié) linked to such a thing.”

Relatives, members of the local business community and municipal staff support Ecksteen’s view.

Locals say the wealthy Cillié was well-liked with no enemies.

Cillié and his wife divorced some time ago and he spent his weekends with his children on the farm. Sapa reports that Agri SA president Johannes Moller said rural safety was vital for sustained agricultur­al production and job opportunit­ies, as well as for investor confidence.

“I hope that the coming festive season will not again be characteri­sed by an escalation in crime aimed at farming communitie­s and their property.”

According to André Botha, chairman of Agri SA’s rural safety committee: “The safety of the farming community is a high priority for Agri SA but, despite various attempts, the organisati­on has been unable to secure a meeting with the minister (of police).”

Agri SA intended hosting a crime conference early next year where, among other things, resolution­s adopted at the Rural Summit in 1998 would be discussed.

He said they would like to meet with the minister before the conference to discuss its content.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa