Murder trial of young farmer begins

Henry

Rudi Gericke (42), a livestock speculator from the Free State, who is accused of murdering a young farmer from Ficksburg, had his trial start this week.

Gericke appeared in the circuit court in Ficksburg on Monday on charges of murder, attempted murder and assault with the intent to seriously injure. His trial was put on the court roll for two weeks.

RNews earlier reported that Gericke allegedly killed Evan Sorour (28) on the Moolmanspruit farm on January 8 last year and allegedly assaulted and allegedly tried to kill his father, Reuter (57).

Evan was reportedly shot five times and died of his injuries on the way to the hospital. Reuter was apparently also severely assaulted by Gericke. Gericke himself was wounded in the hip during the incident. At the time, it was reported that the shooting stemmed from an alleged dispute over livestock that had damaged a fence.

Gericke pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him.

According to the indictment against him, Gericke lived with his wife on the farm Moolmanspruit of Frederick Dell.

They only rented there and did not do any farming off the farm. The Sorours lived and farmed on an adjacent farm, Uitkyk.

On the day of the incident, the Sorours were in Rosendal, a neighboring town, for lunch. Evan received a call from Dell that there were some of their cattle on his farm, near the homestead in which Gericke lives.

Evan and his father decided to drive over to Moolmanspruit with their motorbikes. According to the state, Evan arrived at the farm first. He, Dell and the farm workers turned out the cattle.

Reuter arrived a while later and helped Evan drive their cattle back to Uitkyk.

At that point, Dell got into his car and drove off.

“He (Dell) saw the accused (Gericke) arriving in his Land Cruiser and then stopped. The accused wanted to know why Sorour was at Moolmanspruit. The accused was upset,” the document states.

Dell then apparently told him that father and son were there to get their cattle.

Gericke then allegedly argued that Reuter had spread gossip about him. After this he wanted to know from Dell in which direction the Sorours were, whereupon Dell indicated the direction to him.

Dell apparently asked Gericke “to please leave Reuter alone”. However, Gericke would not have paid attention to this and “rushed in the direction of the Sorours.”

Gericke overtook Reuter on his motorcycle and then blocked his path and knocked him off the motorcycle.

According to the state, Gericke continued to assault Reuter and even told him “you can just run away, I’m still going to kill you, even if it’s in your own house”.

Reuter fled on foot and caught up with Evan. While Evan was making a video of his father’s injuries, Gericke caught up with them in his van. They jumped out of the way, but Gericke jumped out of his bakkie and told them a video would not help them.

Reuter then moved between Gericke and Evan and asked him not to come closer. Gericke pushed Reuter again, whereupon Evan apparently pushed his father out of the way and pulled out his firearm.

“The deceased (Evan) took out his firearm and told the accused (Gericke) look, look. The accused then retrieves his gun. On the recording you can hear (Reuter) Sorour shouting: ‘shoot, shoot’.”

The state then claims “several shots” were fired. Evan collapsed, after which Gericke then approached and shot him again as he lay on the ground.

According to the post-mortem report, the cause of Evan’s death was “internal bleeding due to gunshots”.

Gericke was also shot in the hip in the process. He got into his van and drove away.

Reuter called for help, but Evan was pronounced dead on the way to the hospital.

Reuter began testifying for the state on Monday and Evan’s video was also viewed.

The case continues.