19/06/2006 09:08 - (SA)
Cindy Preller, Die Burger
Sterkstroom - An Eastern Cape farmer who dropped by for a visit may have prevented an attack on a neighbour, but was too late to help the farmer's wife who'd already been killed.
Anna Maria Geyer, 69, was on Friday afternoon killed after her throat was slit by youths in a chicken coop on the farm.
Two men apparently stabbed her with sharp objects - presumably knives. A farmworker, Douglas Tshoki, 53, was tied up with wire next to the coop.
The suspects gagged Tshoki with rags to stop him from calling for help. However, Geyer's husband, Wikus, 70, heard her screams and rushed to the farmhouse, said police spokesperson superintendent Gcinikaya Taleni.
"Nothing was stolen, but robbery as motive for the murder is not excluded. The suspects possibly got a fright and fled," said Taleni.
Two suspects, aged 19 and 21, were arrested on Sunday. They were expected to appear in court on Monday.
Suspects fled into mountains
Nico Smuts, board member for Agri Eastern Cape in this district, expressed horror at the murder. He said the youths sought employment on the Geyers' farm, Dedoorens, earlier on Friday.
"After lunch, Wikus went to the camp to check whether the cattle had enough water. His neighbour, Leon Coetzee, arrived at the farm shortly after the murder with a blesbuck he wanted to give Wikus," said Smuts.
According to Smuts, Coetzee mistook one of the alleged killers for a farmworker and asked him to help offload the buck, upon which the suspect fled.
"Coetzee suspected something was amiss, and with Wikus found Mrs Geyer where she'd been assaulted and had her throat slit. It was an act of Providence that Coetzee arrived on the farm," said Smuts.
According to Smuts, the suspects had told Tshoki they were waiting for Geyer to arrive home so that they could get money from him and kill him.
Smuts said the police where on the scene very quickly, but the youths nevertheless managed to flee into the mountains.
"The incidence of farm attacks in the Eastern Cape is unacceptably high and we're planning a meeting at the show grounds in Queenstown next Wednesday (July 5) to show our dissatisfaction," said Smuts.
Geyer's funeral has been set for 15:00 on Thursday in Queenstown.
The couple were childless and their farm had been offered for sale to the department of land affairs for restitution purposes.