Black Community asked “Who Will Feed Them Now” as they March against Farm Murders. 15 Attackers fired more than 50 shots with AK47’s, killing two and injuring a third. – 6 suspects were later released for lack of evidence.
It is believed that the attackers had been hiding among some trees on the property. Mr van Rooyen was shot in the chest when he stepped outside to investigate why his dogs had started barking. As many as 50 shots were fired inside the Van Rooyen home.
A local farmer, Billy Van Rooyen was killed in the savage and senseless farm attack for which no motive is given. His father in law, Ronnie Lombard, was critically wounded and succumbed to his injuries the following morning. Billy’s father, Lood Van Rooyen, was also injured in the attack, but has since been discharged from hospital.
According to reports, six men were taken into custody for questioning after what some have described as an “act of terrorism” or a “military style attack” on the Van Rooyen farm. It is believed that, among those detained, were a security guard who worked at the farm and a former employee of Van Rooyen’s.
Due to an alleged “lack of evidence” however, the suspects were released.
FOLLOWING the brutal murder of Billy Van Rooyen and his father in law Ronnie Lombard, the community members of Zwathi took to the streets saying ‘enough is enough’.
These members of the ward 4 community headed down to the Gluckstadt Police Station to hand over a memorandum regarding their concerns over the rise in crime in their area.
The main issue raised in the memorandum was that of the killing of farmers, which in turn has a negative influence on the community’s infrastructure as many of those working on the farms lose their jobs.
The murder of farmers also leads to the shutting down of businesses and in the end it is the community at large that suffers.
Community members claim to be living in constant fear as the crime continues to spread like wildfire in the area.
It was pointed out that this was not the first murder in the area as the killing of Gert Uys , another farmer from the same area, in July 2012, left many people in the area without jobs.
Other murders such as that of an Induna Masondo, in the area were among the many mentioned.
“These criminals are not just killing farmers, they are killing us as a community,” the ward counsellor Michael Khumalo read from the memorandum.
“If one was without food, you were able to go to Billy and ask for his help, he would do so with a willing heart. The question now is where will such help come from?” continued Khumalo.
Brigadier Gonya of the Gluckstadt SAPS was requested to do a thorough investigation of the Van Rooyen case, and to ensure that those found guilty do not receive bail.
Other issues such as the rise in stock theft, rape, and the killing of elderly people were raised.
The community pleaded with the police to do their job and protect them.
In the memorandum, the community members also encouraged the police to question those that have been arrested for the murders of van Rooyen and Lombard in order to get who exactly sent them as they believe those who sent these criminals are within the community.
The memorandum was handed over to Gluckstadt police station’s Brigadier Gonya and community members said that if their issues were not tended to immediately, they foresaw another strike coming up.
The Van Rooyen Family before the Attack.