Suspect arrested after murder of Amalia farmer


A suspect was arrested on Saturday morning in connection with the murder of Coen van der Walt (67) on Christmas Day on a farm outside Amalia in the North West.

The 52-year-old suspect was arrested in Schweizer-Reneke, Lt. Col. Amanda Funani, provincial police spokesperson, confirmed. “He is expected to appear in the Schweizer-Reneke Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.”

RNews reported earlier that Van der Walt and his girlfriend, Linda Thomas, were attacked in their farmhouse outside Amalia just after they had done some shopping in Schweizer-Reneke. The suspect demanded money from the couple.

Frieda van Rooyen, Van der Walt’s daughter, said the suspect broke in through the roof of the house. “He waited for them in the house,” says Frieda.

Neil van der Walt, Frieda’s brother, says he suspects the suspect broke in because he thought the house was empty for the holidays. His father lived on the farm and worked as a foreman for the owner.

At the time, the suspect searched the house and came across Coen’s firearm.

Van der Walt and Thomas had just returned when Thomas apparently entered the house first and was assaulted and tied up. This was followed by Van der Walt. A struggle arose after Van der Walt confronted him when the suspect tried to tie him up.

In the process Van der Walt was shot first in the ribs and then in the head. The suspect then fled and Thomas called for help.

Van der Walt’s vehicle, two mobile phones and an unknown amount of money and the firearm were stolen.

The vehicle was later found abandoned in the Ipelegeng informal settlement outside Schweizer-Reneke.

Van der Walt is survived by his three children, Neil, Frieda and Etienne. He will be cremated after which a funeral service will be held on January 5.