Cape Town - The Piketberg community is in shock after the discovery of the body of local farmer Hendrik Pistorius in a bin on his farm on Wednesday.
Police spokesperson FC van Wyk said the SAPS was investigating a farm attack, murder and robbery after an incident at a farm in Piket Bo-Berg on Wednesday between 3am and 7am in which 53-year-old Pistorius was killed.
“SAPS received a call from the community of a person that was injured. When the police arrived at the scene, a body was found on the premises, which was half covered with a bin.
“He was declared dead on the scene by medical personnel. He sustained blunt force trauma against the right side of his head. An undisclosed amount of cash was taken from the deceased's desk. The circumstances surrounding this incident are under investigation.”
The suspects fled and have yet to be arrested.
“We have reason to believe that the motive for the attack may have been robbery,” Van Wyk said.
Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza condemned the murder.
“The killing of farmers and farm workers has a negative impact on the agricultural sector,” said Didiza. The minister called on police to do whatever it took to apprehend the perpetrators as soon as possible.
“I wish to call upon for improved relations between farmers, farm workers, neighbouring communities and the police in order to put a stop to these senseless killings,” said Didiza. “I wish to convey my sincere and deepest condolences to Mr Pistorius’s family, friends and colleagues.”
Agri Western Cape’s Jannie Strydom said it was shocking that producers, their employees and families must live in fear while producing the country's food.
“Farmers cannot take responsibility alone for rural safety. The national government will have to start recognising farm attacks as a priority. Farm attacks endangers our country's food security. Every time a farmer dies, a community is negatively affected. The impact this has on the wider rural community is disastrous. Agri Western Cape would like to express our deepest sympathy and our solidarity with the victim and his loved ones,” Strydom said.
Rural and Farmworkers Development Organisation Billy Claasen also called for swift justice.
“We mourn the death of a well-known farmer in the Piketberg area. It was a tragic discovery. We convey our heartfelt thoughts and condolences to his family, friends, farmworkers, and the agricultural sector of the Western Cape.
“It is a barbaric incident that has no place in our society, and we cannot be silent on this. This was a gruesome murder. We need to take hands to make the agriculture sector a safer place to work and live in,” said Claasen.
Anyone with information can anonymously contact Crime Stop at 086 0010 111 or SMS Crime Line at 32211