Annette Kennealy spent much of her time raising awareness about farm murder statistics. In a dark twist of fate, the ex-DA councilor was targeted herself.
A suspect was arrested for the murder of farm attack activist Annette Kennealy. The Investigating officer Captain Muthuhandini Tinyani confirmed the arrest to News24. A court date has not yet been scheduled.
According to Netwerk24, the 40-year-old suspect had worked for Kennealy.
Kennealy was found murdered on her farm near Makhado in Limpopo.
According to Times Live, the incident took place late on Monday evening or early on Tuesday morning on the farm Welgevonden.
Police spokesperson Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe reportedly said: “It is alleged that the deceased, Annette Kennealy, who was staying with her employee, was attacked by unknown suspects at this farm. The family members tried to call her without success, until one of them went to investigate.
“On arrival, he found the deceased inside the house lying in a pool of blood, with multiple stab wounds.”
Several head wounds
According to Maroela Media, Kennealy’s body was found with several wounds to her head. A hammer and iron pipe were found next to her body.
Kennealy was outspoken about farm murders. Her last few Facebook posts highlighted the issue. On May 19, she posted a link claiming that 10 farm attacks, including one murder, had been reported in four days.
Maroela Media quoted agricultural union TLU SA’s Henk van de Graaf as saying that Kennealy was committed to highlighting the scourge of farm attacks and murders.
“If someone like Kennealy, who was known as an activist, becomes a victim herself, one should beg the question whether this was more than just a ‘regular’ farm attack,” Van de Graaf said in a statement.
Netwerk24 quoted Kim Harris, Kennealy’s sister, who said that [her murder] felt unreal.
“I still can’t believe it,” she reportedly said. She told the online publication that the police would not allow the family near the crime scene. “All I know is that it was a brutal murder,” she reportedly said.
‘Commitment towards human rights’
On Wednesday, the DA issued a statement in which it sent its condolences to the family of Kennealy.
“Ms Kennealy served the DA as a councilor between 2011 to 2014 and will be remembered for her selfless service and her commitment towards human rights,” provincial DA leader Jacques Smalle said.
“I personally have known Ms Kennealy for more than 40 years and will remember her for our shared passion of the arts, her sober expression for her love of the country and her love for nature and animals,” Smalle said.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Ms Kennealy’s two daughters, Astrid and Megan, her sister Kim, her mother, and immediate family and friends during this difficult time.”