Auctioneer’s Hammer Falls On Site of Massacre

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By Petronella Sibeene REHOBOTH An auctioneer’s hammer fell yesterday on Kareeboomkolk Farm, the site of last year’s massacre when eight people were brutally murdered in one bout of bloodletting in the Rehoboth area. The farm, situated some 50 kilometres south of Rehoboth and whose owners Rassie Justus Erasmus and his wife Elizabeth Maria were among the massacre victims, was auctioned for the sum of N$800 000. The daughter of the two deceased, Yolande Erasmus told New Era she has since the death of her parents tried to maintain the 2 500 hectares of land but economic circumstances prompted her to auction off the farm. The 26-year-old Erasmus stated, “It is difficult and expensive for me as a young person and also a woman to manage a farm. Earlier, I sold small animals in order to survive.” Based on evidence given in court on the second appearance of the two suspects, the name of the deceased’ son had also cropped up. Though she did not want to discuss her brother’s matter, Yolanda said the decision was taken by her to auction the farm after getting permission from the Master of the High Court. The brother, she says, has no say in this decision considering that from childhood it was a family decision that the daughter would take over the farm the day the parents passed away. “It was agreed that the farm would be mine when my father dies. We knew my brother would get the house in Hochland Park and also that he would be the sole owner of the cell phone business our mother owned,” she said. Apart from the infrastructure and other immovable property auctioned, 300 sheep and 70 goats were also sold. Giel Nieuwoudd, a 72-year-old farmer from the east of Rehoboth purchased the farm, expressing satisfaction with the price. Though the house farm is not in a good condition, Nieuwoudd said that other infrastructure such as the fencing and dam are in a good condition hence his decision to buy the farm. He also bought 50 of the auctioned sheep. Since the killing of the six farm workers together with their employers, only Stanley Rooi and his wife Melende Rooi have been working there. Now that the farm would be under new management, Nieuwoudd is prepared to keep the two workers but according to Rooi, the offer would only be accepted if the new farm owner offers a good package. Brothers identified as 22-year-old Sylvester Beukes and 24-year-old Gavin Beukes allegedly killed the eight deceased. The two young men face 12 counts involving the farm massacre of Mr and Mrs Erasmus as well as six farm workers, including a pregnant woman and two minors. Apart from that, they face charges of aggravated robbery of items worth N$30 000, theft of a motor vehicle valued at N$120 000, theft of livestock worth N$7 400 and arson. One of the accused Sylvester Beukes pleaded guilty to all charges against him while his brother Gavin pleaded not guilty to all the atrocities committed. During their first appearance in court, the younger of the two brothers, Sylvester, pleaded guilty and openly admitted that he killed the farm owners to take revenge on all the ill treatment received from his boss. Yolanda confirmed that police investigations are complete and soon the case would close.