n Servamus Community-based Safety and Security Magazine - Violent attacks on the farming community - research

Volume 113 Number 3
  • ISSN : 1015-2385


Bonnievale is a quiet rural town, surrounded by fertile farmland and rolling hills. It is a close-knit community where people stand together to make things work. Yet on 13 May 2019 a tragedy played out in this community when Tool Wessels was brutally murdered, while his wife, Liezel was tortured for hours on their farm Kapteinsdrif. On that fateful night Liezel was home alone as Tool was driving the farm workers back to their homes in town. At approximately 18:30 four intruders attacked Liezel and when Tool returned, he was ambushed. While the intruders demanded cash, they poured boiling water over the couple whom they had tied up earlier, whereafter they stabbed Liezel in the chest with a sharp object. After the attackers had dragged Tool from the house, Liezel managed to free herself, got into her vehicle and drove off to find help. She found help at the Bonnievale Cellars but just after 23:00, one of Tool's farm workers found his body at a pump station in the vineyard. He had a single gunshot wound to the head and his hands were still tied behind his back. Within a day after this brutal farm attack, a 19- year-old man was arrested and one of the firearms stolen during the incident, a .22 rifle was found in his possession. The attack on the Wessels couple was the second farm murder in the valley in a period of five months. In December 2018, Piet and Elmien Steyn had been brutally killed on their farm Zandfontein, Bonnievale (Evans, 2019 and Bergh & Hendricks, 2019).

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