Williston - A retired farmer was found dead, with his throat slit, lying in a pool of blood on the kitchen floor in his home, not too far from the police station.
According to family members, the 66-year-old Dennis Viviers’ throat had been slit, with only a thin piece of skin still attaching his head to the body.
He also had several stab wounds to his chest.
His body was found on Saturday at around 4am.
Three men have been arrested at the weekend in connection with the murder.
According to a close relative, Viviers had visited his 93-year-old mother at an old-age home, about 100m from his home, shortly before the incident.
He was seen leaving the old-age home at around 9pm on Friday night, walking home.
“Footprints indicate that the suspects had entered through the back of his house and were waiting for Viviers when he entered through the front door, after visiting his mother. Judging by the mess that was left in the kitchen where his body was found, he definitely put up a fight but unfortunately could not escape. Blood spatters were visible as high as the top part of his refrigerator. We are still baffled by the motive for this senseless killing that took place in the same street as the police station, at a house that is clearly visible from the street,” a family member said.
The suspects took Viviers's bakkie, safe, television set and an audio system. The bakkie and the safe, which was still locked, were found abandoned about five kilometres from Williston on the Carnarvon road, by the police later that night. Viviers’ other belongings were found in the veld.
After the vehicle was found, the police went to Viviers’s house in town and found the front door open and the lights still on. His body was found in a pool of blood on the kitchen floor.
While members of the Williston community were still in shock on Monday, following the gruesome murder in their usually quiet town, others raised questions about why Viviers was specifically targeted.
“Why would the suspects specifically target Viviers, while the town is filled with defenceless elderly residents who live alone? Why would they target a man who had no enemies and was a pillar of the community. He wasn’t a rich man and lived a very simple life in a modest house. Something just doesn’t add up and we are sure there is more to the case than just another random murder,” family members said.
Another close relative indicated that the three suspects arrested in connection with the murder were all “known members of the 28 gang” and were recently released from prison after serving time for various crimes.
“One of the suspects was convicted after he killed his own mother, extracted her heart and ate it,” the man said.
The spokeswoman for the Northern Cape police, Lieutenant Andrea Cloete, confirmed on Monday that the Williston police were investigating a case of housebreaking and murder, following the incident.
She added that three suspects, aged between17 and 20, were arrested on Sunday evening and were expected to appear in the Williston Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.
Community members also expressed their gratitude to members of the DA in the area, after they apparently assisted the police in searching for the suspects. Viviers was an active member of the party in Williston.
Meanwhile, AfriForum provincial co-ordinator, Stefan Pieterse, said that the gruesome murder came less than two weeks after AfriForum requested the Provincial Commissioner of Police, Lieutenant-General Janet Basson, to intervene after a Community Policing Forum (CPF) had been illegally established in the town.
“It is upsetting that Viviers is now part of the murder statistics. We have still not received any feedback regarding the CPF, and it seems like the police are not taking violent crime seriously enough. This murder could have been prevented if the police in town operated more effectively and if the CPF was established legally,” he added.
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