Police probing brutal murder of another farmer Etienne du Toit, who was bludgeoned with iron rod

Police are appealing for help with information on assailant(s) who murdered 53-year-old farmer Etienne du Toit at Sterkspruit farm outside Mbombela. Picture: Facebook/Farm Crime Updates

Police are appealing for help with information on assailant(s) who murdered 53-year-old farmer Etienne du Toit at Sterkspruit farm outside Mbombela. Picture: Facebook/Farm Crime Updates

Published Oct 1, 2022


Pretoria - Police are investigating a murder case, following the discovery of a 53-year-old farmer’s body at Sterkspruit farm outside Mbombela on Thursday night.

Colonel Donald Mdhluli, police spokesperson in Mpumalanga said the lifeless body of Etienne du Toit was found by his son.

“According to the information, the man who has now been identified by his family as Mr Etienne du Toit is said to have gone to the farm to switch off some water pumps. It is suspected that it was during this time when he was attacked by unknown assailant(s). He was found by his son who alerted the authorities.

“Police and emergency medical personnel attended the scene where the man was certified dead. Police opened a murder case and preliminary investigation indicates that the victim sustained some head injuries,” said Mdhluli.

Furthermore, an iron rod was found next to his lifeless body.

“Police cannot rule out the possibility that the rod could have been used as a weapon by his killer(s). The victim's mobile phone was found in his possession. The motive for the killing is unknown at this stage.

“Police are still investigating circumstances that might have led to this gruesome murder as well as people who orchestrated and executed his murder,” said Mdhluli.

No one has been arrested yet, and police are appealing to anyone with information that may assist in apprehending the perpetrator(s) to contact Detective Colonel Donald Mkhaliphi on 082 408 9631 or call the Crime Stop number on 08600 10111.

“Alternatively, members of the public can send information via the My SAPS App. All received information will be treated as confidential and callers may opt to remain anonymous,” said Mdhuli.

Meanwhile, provincial commissioner of police in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has “strongly” condemned the incident, and vowed that police will not rest until all who are involved in the murder are brought to book.

Last week, police at Delmas, Mpumalanga opened an investigation into the brutal murder of 72-year-old farmer Jessie Henry Coleman, who also worked as a veterinarian in Benoni.

“According to the information, members of the police at Delmas received information via a platform of Farm Watch group on social media whereby a member of the slain man’s family raised an alarm about a possible attack at a farm in Klipspruit Waaikraal, between Delmas and Bronkhorstspruit,” said Mdhluli at the time.

“Upon arrival at the farm, they found a male pensioner lying motionless in a pool of blood. He was unfortunately certified dead by the paramedics who also attended the scene,” he said.

Last month, a close collaboration between neighbouring farmers, security company officials and police in North West led to the arrest of two suspects in connection with the gruesome murder of a farmer at his residence.

Colonel Adéle Myburgh, spokesperson for the police in North West, said the incident happened during a house robbery reported on a farm in Modderfontein, close to Rustenburg.

“Initial information received indicated that a 68-year-old, Frans Venter, was home with two workers, a gardener and domestic worker, when four suspects firstly overpowered the gardener who was working in the garden. He shouted for help, but was tied up with an electrical cable,” Myburgh said.

The domestic worker who reacted upon hearing the gardener screaming, was also overpowered and tied up.

“Lastly the suspects proceeded and gained entry into the house and overpowered Mr Venter. He was severely assaulted and stabbed to death. Numerous items were robbed by the suspects, who fled the scene on foot.

“One of the workers managed to escape and ran to a neighbour for help,” said Myburgh.

In Limpopo province last month, the High Court in Polokwane sentenced 27-year-old Sello Bethuel Baloyi to 20 years imprisonment for the robbery and murder of his employer, Piet Smith, 83, on his Droogekloof farm outside Bela-Bela in late February 2021.

According to Limpopo police spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Malesela Ledwaba, Baloyi, who worked for Smith, reported that he had discovered his employer’s body inside the house.

“Police were summoned and they started with initial investigations,” Ledwaba said.