Headline News
13 May 2024


Rustenburg – In the early morning hours, on Tuesday 7 May 2024, the Van Der Merwe family, who recently relocated to Rustenburg after surviving a farm attack outside Lindleyspoort in August 2023, found themselves in a life and death situation when two intruders broke into their home. 

Due to the gruesome graphic nature of the photos, we opted to not place it.

In an interview with Platinum Weekly newspaper, Community Police Forum (CPF) Sector 2 secretary, Corlia du Plessis, recounted receiving a call around 03:00 on Tuesday 7 May 2024. The caller reported intruders in their home in Kruger Street, near the Rustenburg town swimming pool. 

Without hesitation, Du Plessis and others rushed into action, alerting the police and emergency services. The police swiftly responded to the scene. 

“I wish to express my sincere commendation for our dedicated police force; our men and women in blue arrived at the scene within minutes.”
Arriving at the scene they found Sienie van der Merwe, her husband Hennie van der Merwe, their granddaughter, their son Henneman and their daughter Charné. Upon realising the threat, Sienie hid herself and her granddaughter in a room and contacted the CPF and authorities for help.

“They haven’t even unpacked all their boxes. They have only been Rustenburg residents over a week now. What a welcome!” Corlia du Plessis says. Despite only recently joining their community, they were warmly welcomed by ward councillor Gert du Plessis, who provided them with emergency contact details, including those of the local CPF. This gesture proved crucial, as Sienie’s call for help was swiftly answered.

In the ensuing struggle, Hennie van der Merwe and his son and daughter fought valiantly against an attacker to protect themselves and their loved ones. Hennie, wearing a back brace from a recent operation, was stabbed with a knife, but miraculously escaped serious injury. Charné suffered two stab wounds, including one near her eye, while Henneman sustained five stab wounds, narrowly missing his heart, avoiding a fatal injury. He was admitted to a local hospital and has since been released, recuperating at home. 

Investigations revealed that the intruders had cruelly suffocated the family’s pets before entering the house through a living room window. One suspect, aged 28, was apprehended and is under police guard in hospital. The search continues for the second suspect, who fled the scene with stolen items, including a laptop.

Sergeant Ofentse Mokgadi confirmed that the suspect was inside the house and a scuffle ensued with the owners (sister and brother), resulting in both siblings being stabbed. The suspect was eventually subdued and tied up. 

In a twist of events, the knife-wielding attacker had the audacity to file charges of grievous bodily harm against his victims. “We are presently conducting an investigation into a charge of housebreaking and a charge of assault causing grievous bodily harm (GBH) for both the victims and the suspect,” sergeant Mokgadi said.

As the community comes to terms with this shocking event, they are urged to report any information that may lead to the arrest of the second suspect. Contact your local police station with any relevant details. 

If you can assist financially with the medical costs of the Van Der Merwe family, herewith their banking details: 
Capitec | Savings | C van der Merwe
226 094 8525

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