Dead farmer dragged behind bakkie
Carla van Niekerk, Beeld
Potchefstroom - When guests arrived for a braai on Saturday on a farm near Potchefstroom, they discovered their host's body with a chain around his ankles.
The murderer presumably attacked 40-year-old Johan Strydom with an iron rod at his gate on Saturday at about 13:00, Lesego Metsi, North West police spokesperson said.
He was then tied to the back of his Mazda Drifter bakkie with a rope and dragged to his store room.
According to Metsi, the murderer then closed the store room's door and fled with the bakkie and Strydom's cellphone and wallet.
The bakkie was found deserted later on Saturday in Potchefstroom and a 21-year-old black man was arrested.
He led the police to two other black men, but at this stage they are not being connected with the murder. However, the same two black men were arrested on Sunday morning after the police found some of Strydom's stolen property in their possession.
Ernst Meiring, who had been in the Duet congregation in Potchefstroom with Strydom, said he and another friend discovered the body when they went to the farm for a braai.
"We looked for him because he wasn't there and he'd been expecting us. We found him in the store room."
Jurie Schoeman, Strydom's good friend and one of the first people at the scene, said there was a chain bound around Strydom's ankles.
"Johan's hands were badly bruised. We think he fought back. He was such a good person. We just don't understand why this happened."
According to Schoeman, Strydom would have testified in court later this month, after recently catching a robber in a house on the neighbouring farm where his aunt, Martie Strydom, lives. The man was released on bail.
Schoeman said Strydom told him a week ago about how he was receiving strange calls. Each time he answered, the phone would be put down.
"About two months ago they broke into Johan's house and he then also reported a case of burglary."
Meiring said Strydom "wouldn't even hurt a fly".
According to Schoeman, who is also a farmer in the area, Strydom always put others first.
"He treated his workers well and he was always the peacemaker. This is a very big loss for us."
The police arrested the 21-year-old black man on a neighbouring farm, said Metsi.
The black man then pointed out to police where he had thrown his bloody clothes down a pit latrine.
Metsi could not confirm whether this man is the robber that Strydom had caught earlier.
The three black men are expected to appear in the Potchefstroom Magistrate's Court on Monday.