Farm attackers should be removed from society – Modise

Perpetrators of violence against the farming community had no place in society and should be permanently removed.

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This was according to North West Premier, Thandi Modise, speaking after an attack on the elderly Stighling couple on their farm Sterkstroom in Ventersburg on 17 March. Modise asked the police to work closer with the farming community to prevent farm attacks. Chairperson of the Ventersdorp District Farmers Association, André Strydom, said it did not seem that perpetrators were deterred by the threat of going to jail, should they be caught. “This is a tragic situation,” he said.

Johan Stighling died and his wife Cora was injured in the attack. The couple were apparently on their way to church when they were accosted by two men. Stighling was killed in the ensuing confrontation and his wife was assaulted with a baseball bat. The men tied her up and fled with two mobile phones. A 22-year-old suspect who lived close to the farm was charged with murder, while two more suspects were arrested later.