Bonnievale residents are rallying together after one of their own was killed in a brutal attack on a farm on Monday night, opting to offer comfort for the family, rather than live in fear, a religious leader said of the small Western Cape town.
“Bonnievale is such a nice town,” said Dutch Reformed Church cleric Willem Liebenberg after vintner Tool Wessels was found murdered, and his wife Liezel recovering from serious injuries in hospital.
“There is heartache over what happened, but we will carry on,” he said.
Some Background info: The attack took place on Monday 13 May 2019. One of the attackers has been arrested, he is a 19 y/o seasonal worker on the farm. It’s alleged the 19-year-old and three others may have wanted cash. Police have confirmed firearms were taken from a safe. At least 12 attacks on farms were reported in the Western Cape province since January this year, including three murders.
A month ago, since the start of the year there had been 120 attacks on farms, including 15 murders.
The Lord has to help me this morning to understand how so much cruelty and evil can be in people as during the recent farm attack on Bonnievale in the Western Cape.
Because I don’t understand it. And it inevitably leaves you with a powerless bitterness you didn’t ask for.
It’s not nice – for me at all – to think about my fellow man with resentment.
Imagine the following situation:
You and your wife are sitting alone in your home. A few of your workers, who, according to all the other staff, you treat with the greatest care, love and respect, suddenly burst into the house and attack you.
People you know. People you’ve been working with for a long time. People who you treat, like your other workers, so well that they describe you and your wife as “dear and precious people.”
I think the initial big shock is the unbelief, the unreality.
“Goodness, it’s people we work with every day. People for whom I care. Last night we exchanged friendly greetings when they went home. It can’t be?”
You are bumped around. Slapped. Hit with the fist. Your wife starts to cry and beg, but it only increases the cruelty level.
Two hold you from behind while the one man with whom you’ve always got along well opens a pocket knife and repeatedly stabs you.
You are trying to duck away, but the blows rain on you. In your chest … your arms, your face.
You don’t feel the pain, but can see how the blood splashes over everything. Onto your attacker who kindly greeted you yesterday afternoon. On the floor. The clean carpet and furniture …
The shock and disbelief makes you feel like you’re in something like a vacuum, where you look at something that is happening to someone else.
You become aware of your wife’s hysterical screams, but the louder she shouts, the harder one hits her face with a revolver. Your wife… And you are powerless.
They want money. Jewels. Weapons. Someone told them there’s a fortune in the home safe, and they want it!
You open the safe in the midst of the blows that is still raining down on you and show that there is virtually nothing inside.
This has the opposite effect. Now they’re even angrier. Their eyes become wild. They start screaming. The violence is increasing.
“The money has to be somewhere. You hid it. We want it! … ”
The house is being wrecked. Notwithstanding the persistent torture, they get nothing. It is as if they are starting to accept there is no hidden treasure anywhere.
You finally get courage. “Now they see there is nothing here. Thank you Lord, it will stop now. They’re going to leave us … ”.
But that doesn’t happen.
The hysteria made way for something else: a cold, cold evil you have never experienced.
You and your wife are tied to chairs. The one across the other. So you can see each other. As if the cruelty was practiced.
Because if it is not exercised, it is innate, you think surprisingly while it happens …
“I’ll do anything. Anything. And you can kill me. Just let my wife go. I beg you. Have’nt we always been good to you? ”
They don’t grin. “Stay silent your dog! Today we show you who’s boss …! ”
One steps to your beloved, gentle wife with a kettle full of boiling water in his hand. Her body shuddering from the sobs, but no sound comes from her mouth anymore. She is just sitting meekly on the chair to which she was firmly tied.
Then the man, who greeted you so kindly every day, slowly starts pouring the boiling water on her head.
She desperately tries to pull her head away, but the kettle with steaming water stays over her head. Over her face. In her eyes, over her cheeks. Her back. Her breasts … It forms a pool in her lap where she tightly clenches her legs …
You can see her face and neck turn red from the boiling water. And it looks like the skin of her cheeks and neck are beginning to be stripped away …
“Oh God, it can’t be true! Say it’s just a dream. Please Lord, that’s not my wife being burned like that?”
Then you become aware of the voices again. As if coming from a haze… You hear the laughter …
The money is now forgotten. For the attackers, the robbery has now taken on another dimension. It turned into a display of power. An orgy of torture and animal cruelty.
The man is encouraged to boil water more water. As he walks away, another approaches with a toolbox full of tools. He takes out the drill. They talk to each other and again you hear the laugh …
Now the attention is on you. Two hold your head while one screws the thickest drill bit into the drill. He switches it on and puts it on hammer action. You can hear it.
Again the laughter …
You do not feel as the drill bit slowly slips through the bone of your skull and penetrates your eyesocket … You just feel the vibration through your head. Through your brain.
You become aware of your wife’s eyes. It’s red. Full of fear and horror.
“Don’t look. Don’t look … “you’re trying to say, but the words don’t want to form.
You smell burning meat and bone while the drill bit turns and turns …
Back to the farm attack on Monday night in Bonnievale where Mr. Tool Wessels was shot dead outside his home after the torture. Just dressed in underpants. A tie tightly pulled through his mouth.
His wife Liezel survived. She got loose while the men took her husband outside where he was further tortured and then murdered. She managed to get away with her car in time to seek help.
It hurts me to describe an incident so graphically, but I’m not sorry. This must be done. Read it and read it again. Send it to friends.
Because that’s what really happens. Over 25 years we have heard and read so much about farm attacks that it was like reading the review of another thriller.
Something that doesn’t really happen.
Well, this really happens. And much, much more cruel than I can ever describe in words. We must start to realize it.
Through my work as a journalist I visited many scenes of farm attacks. Speaking to many victims and survivors.
What I described above is an almost similar incident that took place outside of Pretoria years ago. The woman later told me how it was played.
Yes, the people really laughed while burning her with boiling water. And holes in her husband’s hands and head were drilled.
She was still lucky. She was not raped and butchered alive as has happened in many instances. Even with pregnant women. The horror stories are endless.
Even her husband was probably lucky not to have seen it before being delivered from his suffering by death.
It really happens.
The incident happened Monday night. Bonnievale. Western Cape. On the farm Kapteinsdrift. With “dear and precious people”. People like you and me.
Always be alert. It doesn’t just happen to others.
Ordinary crime? Hate Murder?
It is for you to decide.
Submitted by Robert, reprinted with the author’s permission