Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Attackers gouge farmer to death

16/04/2007 23:11 - (SA)

Marietie Louw-Carstens, Beeld

Louis Trichardt - Shortly after a Limpopo farmer who lived alone shouted for help on her CB radio, she was stabbed to death with a garden fork, and her body tossed into an empty water tank.

The attackers appear to have first used the same fork to kill her boerbull dog. A remaining fox terrier was barely able to walk.

The gruesome murder of Susan Bristow, 54, has shocked the community to the core.

The Bristow family have been farming here for many years.

Tobie van den Heever, chairperson of the Witvlag farm-watch called it "a very, very cruel murder".

"We're all terribly shocked," he said.

Sunday lunch with brother

It was the first attack this year on a farm in the Louis Trichardt region.

Police superintendent Ailwei Mushavhanamadi of the Vhembe region in Limpopo said nothing had been stolen during the attack on the farm, which is about 8km north of the town on the road to Musina.

Gavin Bristow, her brother, said Susan had lived on the farm for about 30 years. "She was a bit scared, but she chose to live there alone."

He said his sister had had lunch with them on Sunday afternoon, on his farm south of the town.

"We think the attackers were probably waiting for her when she returned home that evening."

Bristow said an unknown number of attackers had rushed at his sister when she stopped on the property in her bakkie.

Frans Heinlein of the farm-watch was the first at the scene of the murder.

Boerbull covered in blood

"Susan shouted 'help' on her portable CB radio just after 19:00.

"Three minutes later, there was another cry for help, but this time it sounded muffled," said Heinlein.

A large number of farm-watch members rushed to her farm to help, but they were too late.

Her boerbull dog's carcass was found on the property, covered in blood. The fox terrier could hardly walk when Heinlein and other farm-watch arrived at the farm.

Farm-watch members found her body in the empty water tank about 30m from the house. Heinlein said a plastic bag had been wrapped around her head.

CB radio in pool of blood

"Her face was covered in blood and hardly recognisable. Her head had been deeply gouged by the fork and her back also was gouged."

Heinlein said a garden fork had been found in the farmyard, with Bristow's hair on it.

"The portable CB radio she had used to call for help was lying next to her bakkie in a pool of blood."

Mushavhanamadi said nobody had been arrested yet.


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