Avatar photo

By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Four nabbed after farmer’s wife identifies teen attackers who tortured husband

Police said the arrest of the suspects aged between 16 and 19 came less than two hours after the murder of the 79-year-old farmer.

Four suspects have been arrested after the wife of a Mpumalanga farmer was able to identify two of the four teens who slit her husband’s throat after beating him with an iron bar.

Police said the arrest of the suspects aged between 16 and 19 came less than two hours after the murder of 79-year-old Theo Bekker at Grootvlei near Balfour on Sunday morning.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala said the suspects attacked the farmer outside the house, forcing him inside and demanding valuables.

Farm attack

Mohalala said they fled the scene with three firearms and his vehicle.

“Inside, the suspects assaulted both victims – the husband and wife. The deceased was injured with an unknown object on his face and as a result he succumbed to his injuries.

“He was certified dead on the scene by medical personnel. The wife Marlinda (Bekker) was then taken to hospital for medical treatment.

“The house was ransacked and the suspects managed to make off with an undisclosed amount of cash, a .22 pistol, 38 special revolver, a shotgun and the couple’s Renault Kwid,” Mohalala said.

ALSO WATCH: Riverlea protesters barricade Main Reef Road after deadly zama zama gun battle


Mohalala said the stolen vehicle overturned in Villiers in the Free State Province, about 25 kilometres from where it was stolen.

“All occupants managed to free themselves from the overturned vehicle and fled the scene. A community member who witnessed the accident notified Villiers Saps who immediately launched a manhunt.

“All suspects were arrested swiftly. Two of the stolen firearms, a pistol and a revolver, were found in their possession. The shotgun was allegedly left on the accident scene.”


Mohala said the four suspects will be charged with murder, assault with the intent to do grievous body harm, and robbery. 

“They are expected to appear in Balfour Magistrate’s Court tomorrow, Tuesday, 1 August 2023.”

The Provincial Commissioner of the Saps in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has condemned the farm attack.

 “The positive contribution from the community member, Villiers and Grootvlei SAPS will not go unnoticed,” said Manamela.

ALSO READ: Several wounded in mass shooting in Durban CBD

Read more on these topics

farm attacks farm murders farmers Murder Police

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits