2010-11-07 Barend Steyn, 73, ex-railway worker and farmer, murdered on Bloemspruit smallholding FS
Bloemfontein - A blood-stained sock, a pillow and a rag were silent witnesses to the gruesome murder on an elderly Free State farmer, Barend Steyn, 73.
Earl Coetzee of Volksblad newspaper wrote that the murdered man's son Callie Steyn found his father's bloodied body on Friday-afternoon at 6pm.
"I drove into the erf and yelled to my dad because he usually comes out to greet me just as I drive in.' However dad didn't show and Steyn walked into the homestead.
He noticed that the backdoor was open and that the homestead was 'turned upside-down' - so he first ran back outside to warn his wife not to climb from the car, but to lock it.
The son went back inside and found his dad on the floor of the second bedroom. "Initially I thought he'd been shot because I just saw blood everywhere'.
The old man was on his stomach. "A rag was twisted over his head and neck, his hands were tied behind his back. I turned him over, removed the rag to see if he was still alive. I searched for a pulse-beat but he was cold,' the son wept, telling his story to the journalist.
Next to his father's body he noticed a pickaxe and a hot iron, still plugged in. The room in which he was murdered contained the registered gun-safe.
Tools were left behind such as an angle-grinder indicating that there were plans to break into the safe. Electrical appliances and groceries, packed in bags, were in the hallways.
Capt Elsa Gerber of the SAPS said the last time Mr Steyn was seen was on Friday around 2:30pm when he returned from town with his shopping.
The SAPS's organised-crime unit the Falcons arrested a suspected man on Sunday and are still searching for other suspects.
Bennie said it was shocking that the murder was carried out in broad daylight. "I pleaded and begged with my dad to come and stay with me on my smallholding for his own safety.
He lived a sober life - having worked for many years on the railways. It was always his dream to farm one day, so when he retired 20 years ago he bought a smallholding and started farming it.
He always helped everyone around him and often drove workers to town. On Friday-morning he'd driven a woman into town so that she could withdraw her pension,' he said.
The old man leaves behind two sons. The brothers have now removed all the valuables from the smallholding and appointed a security company to guard it.
They expressed the hope that 'something can be done to make the elderly living om smallholdings and farmers more aware of the need for better security...'
Volksblad - http://www.nuus24.com/Suid-Afrika/Nuus/Bejaarde-boer-vermoor-20101108-2