Mike and Lena van Wyk, Vryheid Boer farmers - torched inside their homestead on Friday March 29 1997
Beeld newspaper reported on 30 March 1997 that Mike and Lena van Wyk, 70 and 71, were assaulted on their Vryheid farm on Saturday and then torched to death inside their homestead. Their son Theuns van Wyk told the newspaper that his parents were ‘very security-conscious’. The SAPS said a black man assaulted the couple with an iron crowbar when Mrs Van Wyk had opened the backdoor to the man – who had only worked on the farm for three months.
Then three black men entered the homestead said Capt Danie Hall of the murder and robbery division at Secunda. The Van Wyk couple, who had lived on the farm all their adult lives, were not wealthy and when they had no money to give them after being assaulted, they screamed ‘this farm will burn’. The men dragged Mr and Mrs van Wyk into the kitchen and tied them up. They dragged the butane-gas bottles from outside into the homestead and opened them up. They locked all the windows and doors and then threw burning matches into one window. Mr van Wyk was found torched to death in the kitchen, but apparently Mrs Van Wyk had managed to drag herself to the bathroom: her body was found there. All the family pictures and documents and heirloom furniture was burnt with them, said their youngest son Theuns. He said he had ‘begged his dad to move from the farm’ . But the old man said ‘he couldn’t, it was my entire life’. The couple leave five children and ten grandchildren. Two black males aged 19 and one male alleged to be 15 years old, were arrested.
Beeld newspaper, “Hierdie plaas gaan brand,’ skreeu booswig, March 30 1997
Tabita charity archives: statements from relatives:
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