Five Parys farmers convicted in connection with farmworkers' deaths to be sentenced next month
Sentencing proceedings against five farmers convicted in connection with the deaths of two farmworkers in 2016 have been postponed to September 9.
The five — Boeta van der Westhuizen, Anton Loggenberg, Lodewikus van der Westhuizen, Cornelius Loggenberg and Miela Jansen van Vuuren — were found guilty of assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm on the two farm workers, Simon Tjixa and Simon Jubeba, in January 2016.
NPA spokesperson Phaladi Shuping said the five appeared in court on Friday for the presentation of pre-sentence reports. They will appear again on September 9 for arguments before sentencing, which is expected to take place the following day.
Tjixa and Jubeba were killed after going to the home of their then-employer, Loedie van der Westhuizen, to claim unpaid salaries.
Shuping told TimesLIVE that postmortems on the deceased found they died from multiple injuries.
He said according to evidence presented in court, when the deceased workers arrived at Loedie's residence, a confrontation ensued resulting in the farmer activating an alarm, alerting a local security company of an attack.
“When the alarm went off, it also alerted neighbouring farmers who converged at the scene. Local farmers tracked down and confronted Tjixa and Jubeba, about 8km from the farm. They assaulted the two men before handing them over to the police,” Shuping said.
The two died later in hospital, days apart.
Loedie was not charged as he was not part of the fatal assault.
- This article was modified September 10, 2021 to reflect that the accused were acquitted of murder but convicted of assault GBH.