02/04/2002 22:08 - (SA)
Naked body dumped in stream
Bronkhorstspruit - The naked body of a Bronkhorstspruit farmer was found in a stream on his farm by neighbours, after his injured wife evaded her attackers and went looking for help.
Pieter Olivier (54) was hit with an iron pipe from behind and shot in the stomach and head. His wife Martie (46) was attacked with a panga.
She is in a stable condition in Bronkhorstspruit Hospital. A hospital spokesperson said she had sustained several bruises and was being treated for shock.
On the farm Bleskopfontein, stunned children and relatives of the couple were on Tuesday trying to make sense of the gruesome events of the previous night.
"My father always said he would not live to 60. It is just so unfair that he had to go in this way, but it was his time and Jesus probably needed him," said Karen Herbst, Olivier's daughter.
Captain Tom Janse van Rensburg, head of detectives at Bronkhorstspruit, said four supposed farmworkers overpowered Olivier at his bakkie. He was murdered while loading crates of tomatoes onto the bakkie.
"They stripped him naked, tied his legs and dragged him to a nearby stream," he said.
His attackers then severely assaulted his wife at the house. Olivier's daughter-in-law, Bernice van der Walt, said the men dragged her mother-in-law, held a panga against her neck and threatened to kill her.
"The whole time, my mother says, they repeated 'we're gonna kill you'. They attempted to shoot her with a pistol, but the shell was stuck in the barrel," she said. Olivier later pretended that she had lost consciousness.
Relatives found the panga among bundles of clothing in the house on Tuesday. The murderers had left some of their clothes and a blanket in the bath. "It smelled awful when we entered the bathroom," Herbst said.
While the attackers plundered the house, Olivier phoned her son in Ellisras. "We got a message that she was tied up and that the people were still inside the house," Van der Walt said. They phoned the neighbours and police.
Olivier escaped when the men fled into the bush with their loot.
Two suspects were apprehended by police about eight hours later. A television set, hi-fi system, clothes and cash were recovered. A suitcase with radios, clothes and photographs were also found in the bush.
Police suspect that these items were stolen in town earlier. Nothing in the suitcase belongs to the Oliviers.
"It is not worth it to become embittered. My father was strict but took good care of his workers. I don't understand why this has happened," Herbst said.
She said there were unsettled land claims on her father's farm.
"I just feel that so many farmers are being murdered and government is doing nothing about it," she said.