Farm workers guilty of murdering Bonnievale farmer


Four citizens of Lesotho were found guilty this week and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Tool Wessels, a farmer from Bonnievale in the Western Cape.

Ntabanyane Tlali, Thabiso Ramollo, Moeketsi Hlauli and Keketso Matshabisa were working as farm workers on Wessels’ farm Kapteinsdrift when they shot him dead on the evening of 13 May 2019 on this farm near Bonnievale.

His wife, Liezel, was seriously injured and left unconscious in the farmhouse, but survived the attack.

Tlali, Ramollo, Hlauli and Matshabisa were each given a life sentence in the Circuit High Court in Swellendam on Thursday after Judge Dereck Wille found them guilty on charges of murder, attempted murder, aggravated robbery, possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition. has.

Liezel attended the sentencing.

Ao. Joseph Swartbooi, Western Cape police spokesperson, says Tlali, Ramollo, Hlauli and Matshabisa did not show up for work on the day of the murder. However, they waited for the couple on the farm that night.

RNews reported at the time that four men with balaclavas overpowered the couple at around 18:00. Liezel was stabbed in the chest with a sharp object and burned on her back with boiling water. She lost consciousness, but later regained it and fled to a neighboring farm to call for help.

After Liezel raised the alarm, a search for Tool was launched. His body was found a few hundred meters from the farmhouse, at a pumping station next to the river. He was already dead.

Swartbooi says a suspect was arrested a day after the murder, which led detectives to the murder weapon.

At the time, during interrogation, it was established that three other suspects had fled to Lesotho. The suspects were finally extradited on 25 July last year and transported to the Western Cape to stand trial for the murder of Wessels.