Headline News
19 June 2024

Swartruggens – The peace on a farm outside Swartruggens was shattered by a shocking crime on Monday night 10 June 2024, when four suspects invaded Papknop farm and committed a brutal murder.

In one of the farmhouses, a 60-year-old woman, a dedicated worker on the farm, was found alone and senselessly killed. The sheer cruelty of this act raises the question: why wasn’t theft enough? Why resort to murder? The complete disregard for human life is both shocking and heartbreaking. An elderly woman, defenceless in her own home, met a gruesome and tragic end.

Her 70-year-old husband, also a farm worker, arrived home only to be attacked by the intruders. They forced him into the main house, ransacked it, and loaded household items onto two bakkies before kidnapping him. The terror and helplessness he must have felt are unimaginable.

Lieutenant colonel Amanda Funani reported that in a desperate bid for survival, the elderly man managed to escape by leaping out of the moving vehicle. Injured and traumatised, he ran through the dark, seeking light and help from nearby farmers. His escape led to the police being alerted. He is now in hospital, battling serious injuries.

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, 12 June 2024, a breakthrough was made in the investigation. A 34-year-old woman was arrested at an informal settlement outside Swartruggens, found in possession of suspected stolen items. She is due to appear before the Swartruggens Magistrates’ Court on Friday 14 June 2024. One of the stolen bakkies has also been recovered, but the relentless search for the remaining suspects continues.

Provincial police commissioner, lieutenant general Sello Kwena, has ordered the investigation team to leave no stone unturned in their pursuit of justice. 

The brutal murder of a vulnerable elderly woman and the kidnapping of her husband underscore the stark reality of the violence that can plague even the most peaceful places. 

Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families during this time of grief and sorrow.

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