My Turn – Not IF, but WHEN

DISCLAIMER : This is not my article, merely my translation. Article originally written in Afrikaans.

AUTHOR : PIETER SWART (Journalist who has attended many such crimes scenes)

“This morning, God must please help me understand how there can be so much cruelty and barbarism in the hearts of those responsible for the farm attack in Bonnievale, Western Cape. Because, I don’t understand it. It paves the way for defenselessness and bitterness, emotions we never asked for.”

Imagine this:

You and your wife are alone at home. A few of your farm workers, who you treat with the greatest care, love and respect, just like you do all your farm laborers, suddenly bursts into your home, and overpowers you.

These are people you know. These are people you’ve had a working relationship with for years. These are the people that are treated exceptionally well, nurtured and care for by you, that they labeled you and your family as “wonderful people.”

Imagine your, and your family’s initial shock when you realize why they are there. Imagine feeling disbelief while feelings of incredulity overwhelm you. You might be thinking along the lines of, “How can it be? These are the people we work with. People we support, and have given a home to. Only last night, did we greet each other before we all made our way to our homes. This can’t be?

You and your wife are thrown, and pushed around. Assaulted. Fists are flying all around you, and not one misses you or your wife. Your wife starts crying and begging, but all this does, is fuel their anger, and increases their cruelty.

Two attackers are holding you down from behind, while one attacker, the same one you’ve had a conversation with the day before, and the days before that; the one you got on remarkably well with, opens a pocket knife, and stabs you over and over again.

You try to free yourself from their grip, and desperately try to avoid the knife from penetrating your body, but he carries on stabbing you in your chest, your arms, your face …

You don’t feel the pain, but you can see the blood splatter all around you. It’s everywhere. Splatters on your attacker, the same man who greeted you for the night. Splatter on the floor, on the carpet and on the furniture. Your blood.

You are overwhelmed by shock and disbelief, and feel as though this isn’t really happening. Almost as though you are watching it all happen to someone else. Not you. Not your workers. Not your farm. Not your wife.

You are painfully aware of the hysteric screams coming from your wife, but the louder she screams and the more desperate she becomes, the harder they hit her, one blow landing on her face with a revolver. Your wife. You are powerless.

They demand money. Jewelry. Weapons. Someone told them there is a fortune in your safe at home, and they want it!

You open the safe while the blows continue to rain down on you, only to try and explain that there was nothing of much value in that safe. Hoping they would realize there was nothing for them to take, and leave, it has exactly the opposite effect on these attackers. They become increasingly aggressive, and begin shouting. The barbarism and torture increases through their anger.

You hear one shouting, “The money has to be somewhere. You are hiding it from us. We want it!”

The house is ransacked, despite the ongoing torturing and beatings. They find nothing. There is a slight glimmer of hope when you realize they are beginning to understand that there is no treasure chest hidden between the walls of your home. You are slightly relieved, “They can see here is nothing. Thank you, God. Now they will stop. They are going to leave. Finally.”

But, it doesn’t happen that way.

Their hysterics simply made way for something else; a kind of evil you have never known before.

You are your wife are tied to chairs, one across from the other so that you can see each other without any obstruction. Almost as though the evil forces are overtaking any humanity they might have had. “A breeding of evil …” goes through your mind as you watch with surprising clarity.

“I will do anything. You can kill me, please just let my wife go. I beg you. We have always been good to you. Always.”

The response is nothing more than a smirk. “Be quiet, you dog. Today, we will show you who’s boss.

One attacker walks over to your loved one, your tiny, petite and fragile wife, carrying a kettle filled with boiling water in his hands. Her body trembles as she sobs quietly. She no longer makes a sound. She sits and stares blankly while weeping, tied securely to her chair.

She tries desperately to pull her head away from the kettle, but the boiling water rolls mercilessly over her head. Over her face. In her eyes, and down her cheeks. Her back. Her breasts. It finally forms a pool on her lap where she keeps her legs tightly together.

You can see at once how her face and neck turns bright red, and watch as the skin starts melting from her cheeks and neck.

“Please dear God, this can’t be happening. Please wake me up from this nightmare. Please Lord, it can’t be my wife that is being burnt so heartlessly.”

Then you hear the voices again. As though it rolls through a misty fog and reaches your ears. You hear them laughing …

The money is forgotten. These attackers have taken the attack to a whole new level. A display of power. An orgy of torture and barbaric cruelty.

The attacker is encouraged to go and fetch more boiling water. While he walks away, another one comes closer with a toolbox filled with tools. He takes out a power drill. He turns to his accomplice, and exchanges a few words before they burst out laughing again.

You are now the focus of their attention. Two attackers come closer, and hold your head in a firm grip, while a third takes out the thickest and largest drill bit, and screws it into the power drill. He switches it on, and sets it to “hammer-action.” You can hear it.

They laugh again.

You can’t feel them drilling slowly through the bones of your temple, and through to your eye-socket. All you can feel is the vibration through your head. Through your brain.

You are suddenly aware of your wife’s eyes. They are red, bloodshot and filled with fear and repugnance.

“Don’t look. Don’t look!” You try and mumble to her, but no words come out.

You can now smell how the drill begins burning at your flesh and your skull as it keeps turning and turning …

Pieter SwartThis is a farm attack that took place in Bonnievale where Mr. Tool Wessels was shot and killed outside his home after being tortured for hours. He was dressed only in his underwear. A tie was pulled firmly around his mouth.

His wife Liezel survived the attack. She managed to free herself while the attackers took Tool outside where they continued to torture him, and finally, kill him. She managed to get to her car, and sped away where she was able to get help.

Describing an attack in such detail is horrendous, but I am not sorry. It has to be done. This is how it happens. This isn’t an isolated incident. For 25 years, we’ve heard and read about farm attacks, but the reality of the tortures is never mentioned.

Normal crimes? Hate crimes. Decide for yourself.

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