Farmer killings: Farmers tortured and killed in horrific South Africa raids

Horrific killings of farmers, where victims were sexually assaulted, tortured and strung up on poles, have sparked outrage in South Africa.

Horrific killings of farmers, where victims were sexually assaulted, tortured and strung up on poles, have sparked outrage in South Africa.

In one of the cases, a female farm manager was sexually assaulted and strangled by two gunmen at her farm.

In a separate brutal attack on a farm manager 290km away, a man was tied to a pole and tortured before being repeatedly stabbed and then strangled.

And, in a third incident, a gang of nine attackers allegedly threatened to rape a farmer’s young children if he didn’t cooperate and give them what they wanted.

Farm manager Chantel Kershaw, 44, was ambushed by two armed men as she helped load a lawnmower onto a truck, The Sun reports.

They then held her down and strangled her in the garage of her farm at Delmas east of Johannesburg and left her lying on the ground before pistol whipping her mother.

Distraught mum Greta Spiers, 65, was restrained as the farm was looted and a maid locked in a bathroom before they fled the scene in the family’s white Chevrolet station wagon.

Local neighbourhood watch farmers forced the stolen vehicle off the road in a high-speed chase after being alerted by the murdered woman’s mum and captured the suspects.


Chantel Kershaw, 44, was ambushed by two armed men at her farm near Johannesburg. 

A worker at the farm who was stripped and tied up by the armed raiders was later arrested after the mobile phone numbers of the two arrested men were found in his phone.

The three men appeared before Delmas Magistrates Court charged with armed robbery, theft and murder and were refused bail and have been remanded in custody for trial.

Police spokesman Brigadier Leonard Hiathi said, “Chantel asked an employee to help her load a lawnmower into a truck when she suddenly saw two armed men inside her yard.

“They told the employee to take his clothes off and tied him up and then attacked the woman who was screaming for help and strangled her and then went into the house.

“The victim’s mother was assaulted with a firearm and the house was robbed.

“A high-speed chase ensued between the suspects and the neighbourhood watch group which resulted in the suspects overturning their vehicles and crawling out to escape.

“But they were caught and handed over to the police who opened a case of robbery and murder and a firearm was recovered and ammunition and a bloodstained jacket.”


The two men tried to escape in Chantel’s Chevrolet but were chased by a local neighbourhood watch team. 

In a separate murder, farm manager Brendin Horner, 21, was attacked and brutally tortured before being stabbed three times then strangled after being strung up from a pole.

The horrific attack happened at the De Rots Farm in Paul Roux in Free State province 180 miles away from the earlier murder and he was said to have gone through a horrific ordeal.

Police spokesman Brigadier Montansi Makheli said Mr Horner failed to arrive home after finishing work and was reported missing and was found at 6am the next day murdered.

His blood-soaked body showed horrific signs of torture and multiple stabbings and a knife was found nearby on his cap and he was found strung up to a pole and declared dead.

Two men have been arrested and charged with murder and are due in court tomorrow.

Gilly Scheepers who owns the farm where Mr Horner was murdered said, “He worked for me for a year before he was brutally murdered but this is sensitive and I am not commenting.”

In a third incident, Paul da Cruz, his wife and four children – three girls and one boy aged between 6 and 18 – were attacked on their farm in Westonaria in Gauteng on Friday morning.

Da Cruz told Netwerk24 his children and his wife were directly threatened with rape and he wanted them to undergo trauma counselling as soon as possible.

On Saturday, one of his daughters reportedly asked him what it would look like if she were shot in the head.

Agricultural strategist Dr Jaco De Villiers has described the latest murders as part of a “war against food production” in the country and said that his murder was “slaughter”.


Brendin Horner had been working on the farm for a year.


He told TimesLive: “How do you murder someone and hang him on a pole for everyone to see? This was a clear message to all farmers. Farm killings have to stop right now.”

Dr Jane Buys, safety and risk analyst of Free State Agriculture, told the paper: “The senseless killings cannot be allowed with the brutality in which they are executed.

“It is not clear what the motive for this murder is. There cannot be any justification for killing a person who provides food security. Something has to be done to stop it.”

Pressure group Agri SA said that on average a farm where a farmer is violently attacked will be abandoned for up to five years until someone takes it on and restarts production.

They said that means dozens of workers and dependants losing their livelihoods.

AfriForum spokesman Marius Muller who speaks for the civil rights organisation protecting minority groups in South Africa said the farmers need better police protection.


One of the suspects is led away by police.

He said, “This is yet another dark day in the history of South Africa for farmers and those with small holdings and the murder of these two farmers was totally unnecessary.

“These were both premeditated and horrific attacks on innocent farmers who look after and care for their workers and whose jobs may now be put in jeopardy by these murders.”

Each day in South Africa an average of 60 people are murdered but although the number of farmers killed averages 75 a year, their deaths are usually horrific and brutal.

Their killers often torture their victims and rape the female members in the house before finally murdering their victims.

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