The 2019 murder of 67-year-old Sakkie van der Berg and his 62-year old wife, Ina, in an attack on their Bloubos farm between the rural towns of Boshoff and Dealesville in the Free State, is playing out in the Bloemfontein High Court this week.
The four men arrested in connection with the farm murder which took place on Friday, 12 July 2019, are facing murder and theft charges in relation to the crime. They are: Daniel Tsekiso Seloane (26), Thami Terrence Kat (35), Johannes Sekgoro (41), and Leepile Daniel Sidasi (44).
The state is arguing that the group accosted Sakkie outside of the Bloubos property on 12 July 2019, as the elderly farmer returned home after taking an employee home. After overpowering Sakkie, it is believed they moved on to the farmhouse using Sakkie’s vehicle, where Ina was waiting for her husband. It is here that the elderly couple’s hands were tied up behind their backs and they were killed. Initial police reports indicate the couple was beaten and shot at by the suspects.
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The couple’s lifeless bodies were found by a neighbouring farmer on Saturday morning, 13 July 2019, after the employee who was dropped off by Sakkie the day prior found it odd that Sakkie had not picked him up for work. The farmworker informed the neighbour of the situation and and upon inspecting the elderly couple’s farm, the couple’s neighbour found the bodies in the farmhouse.
Free State police spokesperson, Thandi Mbambo, previously said the suspects ransacked the house and stole several items, including four firearms, which were later recovered near the Caledon River bed in the direction of Lesotho.
During this trial the outcome of ballistic and forensic tests conducted on the recovered firearms will be revealed before Bloemfontein High Court Judge, Celeste Reinders.
The trial began on Tuesday, with evidence from the investigating officer in the matter, as he was detailing his arrival on the scene of the crime.
The trial is taking place amidst more brutal farm attacks reported across the country.
In Muden in Kwazulu-Natal, 80-year old farmer, Mpozana Khumalo, was accosted by attackers, tied to a tree, and shot at. The elderly farmer was checking on his livestock at the time of the incident.
He died from his injuries last week Friday 27 November, three days after the incident. The community of Muden is reportedly still reeling from Khumalo’s murder.