11/07/2008 07:29 - (SA)
Marietie Louw-Carstens, Beeld
Polokwane - Two well-known men in the property industry have died horrific deaths in what was presumed to be a business transaction that went terribly wrong in the Burgersfort area in Limpopo.
Evré Hoffman, 42, a director of Hoffman Properties, and Ricus van Zyl, 42, an employee, were each shot in the back of the head at short range, after which the killers poured petrol over the bakkie in which the men were sitting and set it alight.
"They died before the bakkie was set alight, but they both also were burnt to ashes," said Evré's sister, Sydelle Neuhoff.
Evré's father, Koos, said, "I am in an absolute state about my son's death."
The murder took place on Tuesday night shortly after 19:00.
Evré and Ricus drove in a double-cab Ford Ranger bakkie with two other men, who were also involved in the business transaction, on the R37 from Polokwane to Burgersfort.
Went to pay for land
Sydelle said they had "a very large sum of money" with them with which they were going to buy property in the Steelpoort area.
Evré's wife, Lindie, said that Evré and Ricus went to pay money to a chief for the piece of land on which they were to mine minerals.
Evré and Ricus presumably were overpowered by the two men, who had been sitting in the back seat, about 10km from Burgersfort in the Driekop area.
Both were then shot in the back of the head. The two suspects took the money and set the bakkie alight.
Evré's mother-in-law, Anne-ke Venter, said the police found a number plate from the bakkie and contacted the family.
Ricus's wife, Mientjie, said the transaction with which her husband and Evré were busy, would have provided jobs for at least 1 000 people.
She said: "One feels so helpless. Why were they shot? They just wanted to be good to others."
Police spokesperson Ronel Otto said members of the community heard shots and went to investigate.
Had worked in Iraq
They found the burning wreck and the two burnt bodies.
Two suspects were arrested on Wednesday for questioning. At the time of going to press, neither of the men had been charged with anything, but they were still being detained.
"The police are investigating a murder case," said Otto.
Years ago Evré was a recce in the military. He had been doing security work in Iraq for the past seven years before he returned to Polokwane last year and started Hoffman Properties with his mother-in-law.
"He was highly trained. We presume they took him out first because he definitely would have fought back," said Sydelle.