Mystery of double murder among the vines

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IOL news jan 3 rawsonville murder main done CAPE ARGUS Farm owner Helene Zeeman stands at the spot in the vineyard on Witelsboom Farm outside Rawsonville where the bodies of two women were found suspended by their necks from wire. Picture: Tracey Adams

Cape Town - The gruesome double murder of two women whose bodies were found in a vineyard on a farm outside Rawsonville remains a mystery.

Police are calling on people to come forward with information that could help with the investigation.

Speaking to the Cape Argus on Wednesday, Rawsonville police officers admitted they had no leads in locating the victims’ next of kin or a suspect.

The women, both in their twenties, had multiple wounds.

Helene Zeeman, whose husband Danie owns Witelsboom, the farm where the bodies were found, said the nature of the murder was unprecedented in terms of violent crime in the region.

“We have the odd report of a quarrel that leads to a stabbing from time to time, but this was obviously a callous and cruel murder,” said Zeeman.

The farmworker who made the grisly discovery on Tuesday afternoon said he did not think the women were from the Slanghoek area.

Pieter Muller, a worker on Witelsboom farm, initially stumbled across one half-naked body.

“By looking at the woman I could tell that she wasn’t a farm person,” he said.” I spoke to police later in the day and they told me there was no sign of a struggle. This leads me to think that the murder may have happened elsewhere and the bodies were probably dumped there.”

Muller had seen hair sticking out from one of the vineyards from the back of a bakkie while he and other workers were en route to a nearby stream to collect water.

“I thought it was maybe a baboon that had got stuck in the wires, so I told the driver to stop and walked towards the scene,” he said.

But he found the body of a woman: rigged into an upright position, dressed only in a T-shirt and with severe facial swelling.

Muller told of other details, relating to the woman’s injuries and state of decomposition.

“It was absolutely shocking. I walked back with my hands on my head, I was simply too dumbstruck to warn the other men. They ran and went to look for themselves,” he said. “I did not sleep at all (on Tuesday night).

‘‘We are not used to such things. These are things that you hear about happening out there in the cities, not here on the farms.”

Witelsboom lies in the Slanghoek area of the Breede River Valley, popular among tourists because of its pristine environment, wine tasting and the upmarket Goudini Spa.

Zeeman said she hoped the police would crack the case quickly.

“It is very concerning, especially because that area is so accessible. Often we have people coming for braais and picnics on the river on that stretch of our farm. I’m just glad that it wasn’t one of our own people who suffered that terrible fate, but that doesn’t take anything away from what those poor women had to go through.”

She said they all wanted to know who was responsible.

“We want to see them behind bars,” she added.

Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel André Traut said the victims had sustained multiple wounds.


“The motive is unknown and no one has been arrested.

“The circumstances are being investigated. Any person who can shed light on the matter is kindly requested to contact Crime Stop on 086 001 0111.”


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Cape Argus

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