The Banhoek Valley, over Helshoogte Pass from the university town of Stellenbosch, in the Cape Winelands. (Murray Williams, News24)
- Three men face five charges each, following a farm attack in Stellenbosch.
- One of the charges includes the alleged attack on the elderly couple’s animals.
- They are expected to apply for bail next week.
Three men accused of the latest farm attack in Stellenbosch will face up to five different charges – and are due to apply for bail next week.
It has also emerged that the farm owner, Raymond O’Grady, aged 77, was attacked with a hammer, and his farm animals were targeted too.
O’Grady and his wife, Betty, aged 72, were attacked at their famous farm, Hillcrest Berry Farm, shortly after 07h00 on Friday, 21 August, in the Banhoek Valley, east of Stellenbosch.
The picturesque hamlet includes the rural hamlets of Kylemore, Pniel, Boschendal wine estate and numerous other prestigious estates and wine farms.
Three men appeared in court on Monday after their arrest in swift police action at the weekend. They have been named as: Nomlise Siphule, Luthando Ngam and Moses Flephu, according to the public prosecutor’s office.
The charges they face are house robbery, kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, animal abuse – under the Animals Protection Act, for allegedly attacking farm dogs – and theft of a motor vehicle.
After her husband was attacked, Betty O’Grady was allegedly taken by the attackers, in the couple’s Toyota Hilux double-cab, up the Helshoogte Pass and down into Stellenbosch.
It is not clear what happened next. But a local security company said in a social media post that the bakkie had possibly triggered surveillance cameras in Stellenbosch, fitted with Licence Plate Recognition (LPR) software – and that this had influenced what took place next.
The bakkie was then driven to the Stellenbosch suburb of Kayamandi, where the attackers fled, leaving O’Grady in the bakkie. Because the vehicle was not ultimately stolen, prosecutors were considering an alternative charge of driving the bakkie without permission.
The men will remain behind bars until next Wednesday, when they are expected to apply for bail.