Tonie Swanepoel, 59, stabbed to death in smallholding, Ritchie, NC: body hidden in freezer
2011-09-09 Volksblad journalist Charné Kemp: RITCHIE, North Cape south of Kimberley.
Mr Tonie Swanepoel, 59, a retired resident of Ritchie in the North cape, was found murdered inside his freezer after a tip-off to the Modderrivier- police.
The tip-off was received by phone at 3am and police immediately went to Mr Swanepoel's house.
They found the body stuffed in the freezer. Apparently his killers had thrown the frozen meat out of it - and after killing him had cooked and eaten his food.
Swanepoel had stab wounds in the chest and back. HIS HANDGUN WAS FOUND DISCARDED IN THE VELD NEAR HIS HOME.
SAPS capt Tony Modise said three suspects were arrested in two local homes; the 18, 21 and 28 year old appear in Kimberley court Monday for a remand date.
A cellphone and housekeys belonging to Mr Swanepoel were found in their possession.
Swanepoel had lived on the smallholding on Eerste Laan for the past 12 years. He's a retired engineer and raised vegetables on his plot together with Mr Chrisjan Rossouw.
His brother in law Ivan Almendro describes Swanepoel as kind and friendly: 'we still visited even though he's been divorced from my sister Maureen Swanepoel for years.
They have a son, Christof. They travelled from the West Cape where to live as soon as they had the news'.
Mr Swanepoel 's life has been very tragic: his father died in the same house of a heart-attack and his mother was raped by attackers when she was in her seventies.
Mr Rossouw is heartbroken: they have suffered nine breakins over the past twelve years he worked there. "Just a week ago a bag of clothes was stolen. I hear those same suspects who were arrested then, were let out on bail last Wednesday on a charge of housebreaking'.
Mrs Bettie Rigaard, a neighbour opposite, said 'up to now I felt safe at Ritchie. But now I don't know I am alone in the daytime. Swanepoel was a friendly man and liked to visit. He also loved his three little dogs'.
Neighbours rescued the three traumatised dogs on Friday after the little animals were reportedly thrown with rocks.