Five arrested for Ermelo farmer’s murder

Henry

Five men were arrested for their alleged involvement in the murder of a farmer from Ermelo last year.

Jannie Weideman’s lifeless body was found at his home in December. Weideman’s wife was apparently in Middelburg at the time of the incident after she had gone to town earlier. She called the neighbors and asked them to investigate after her husband did not respond to any of her calls or messages.

Weideman’s Toyota Hilux was looted during the incident, as well as a firearm and jewelery worth more than R300 000. The vehicle was later found abandoned, without a battery.

Col. Donald Mdhluli, police spokesperson, says the police’s investigation team worked tirelessly to track down the suspects in the murder, and succeeded in doing so this week.

Three suspects between 23 and 34 years old were already arrested on Monday. Only hours later, two more men, respectively 35 and 37 years old, were arrested.

At the time of the arrest, the police came across a vehicle’s battery which was presumably stolen from Weideman’s vehicle during the farm attack.

“Officers also seized firearms which are believed to have been used during the farm attack,” says Mdhluli.

Another firearm was recovered that was stolen in May 2022 in Piet Retief. The police are currently determining whether this firearm may have been used during the farm attack.

While officers confiscated the firearms, Vusumuzi Mandlazi (39) and Robert Shabalala (49) were also arrested for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition. Mandlazi and Shabalala have already appeared in court.

The police cannot rule out the possibility that these two suspects are involved in Weideman’s murder. Mdhluli says that while the police investigate Mandlazi and Shabalala’s movements during the farm attack, they remain in custody. They will appear in court again on February 15.

The five other suspects are expected to appear in the Ermelo Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

Lt. Gen. Mpumalanga police commissioner Semakaleng Daphney thanked the police officers involved for working 24 hours a day to connect all the clues that led them to the suspects.