Kimberley - Prominent local businessman Piet Els was buried on his farm, Carter’s Ridge, on the weekend during an emotionally-charged funeral.
Carter’s Ridge is the farm where Els, 87, together with his partner, were viciously attacked and tortured by four men who forced their way into Els’ farmhouse, situated on Schmidtsdrift Road, just outside of Kimberley, on January 23.
The suspects fled the scene in Els’ white Mercedes-Benz after allegedly stealing firearms, jewellery, cash and cellphones. The car was later found abandoned next to the R31 road to Barkly West.
Els was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) at Mediclinic Gariep after the incident, where he died on May 15, almost four months after the attack.
He was buried on Carter’s Ridge on Saturday, following a funeral service at Taberna Dei, which was attended by a large contingent of mourners, consisting of members of the local business and political fraternity, including the Sol Plaatje Municipality executive mayor, Mangaliso Matika, as well as several international attendees.
Provincial leader of Cope, Pakes Dikgetsi, in a message to Els, wrote the following on Facebook after the funeral: “RIP Oom Piet Els. He was a good man with a great heart. He was a comrade and friend to the likes of Ruth Mompati, Carter London, Shaft Thebeyapelo, Dean Snyders and many other activists. I will forever cherish his knowledge and wisdom.
“He made his contribution in our struggle for democracy. When the UDF structures needed financial support he was always ready to help. When the ANC was unbanned he provided resources to get it going in the Northern Cape. When Nelson Mandela paid his first visit to Kimberley he contributed greatly to make the rally a huge success.
“It is very sad how he was brutally assaulted and killed by evil monsters. The senseless murder of farmers is an evil that must never be condoned by God-fearing people. It is completely unacceptable in the society that we want to build.”
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