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Stutterheim farmworker hacked to death and cut in half with chainsaw

Image: 123RF / Fernando Gregory Milan

A Stutterheim farmworker accused of stealing a goat belonging to a neighbouring farmworker was hacked to death before his body was chopped in two with a chainsaw.

King William’s Town police cluster spokesperson Captain Siphokazi Mawisa confirmed that the police found the body cut in two pieces.

Three men, aged 23, 27 and 58, were arrested on Friday in connection with the July 27 kidnap and murder of Anele Somana, 30.

Mawisa said the three accused appeared at the Stutterheim magistrate’s court on Monday on charges of murder and kidnapping.

The case was postponed to August 14 for a bail application, and the suspects were remanded in custody, she said.

Asked about the cause of the killing, Mawisa said: “There are allegations that he [victim] stole a goat a long time ago.”

Somana’s niece, Thandi Velwayo, told DispatchLIVE on Tuesday that a missing goat was later found with twin kids.

The slaying took place at the 174-hectare Windledew Farm leased to East London banker Chris Steenkamp by Western Cape building contractor Eben Verster.

Both Steenkamp and Verster confirmed the incident on Tuesday, but referred the Daily Dispatch to the police.

Mawisa told DispatchLIVE: “A case was reported to the police on Friday, who quickly went to a farm where the male was allegedly kidnapped. On arrival they found a place that was burnt and found remaining clothes that were worn by the victim. Upon searching, police recovered the remains of a body in the farm. A farmworker was immediately arrested, with two suspects aged 23 and 27 years.”

Somana’s family members said they were traumatised. His aunt, Nomathemba Somana, 67, said she suffered health complications. “This is my brother’s eldest son. He stayed alone on a farm. We have been having sleepless nights ever since his disappearance.”

Velwayo said one of the accused was Somana’s brother-in-law.

She said: “I found my uncle in two pieces inside two bags buried under rocks on Windledew farm. It was terrible, bhuti. His upper body was separated from his lower body.”

Windledew Farm is six kilometres from Bare Acres farm, which made headlines in March when the decomposing body of a man was found hanging in a tree after a brother and three others reported to Bolo police that his brother, Odwa Maseti, who had been with them stealing sheep on Bare Acres, had gone missing during their theft on March 11.

The hanging corpse was discovered three weeks later.

Last September police minister Bheki Cele announced that Stutterheim district police station, which includes Bolo, was among the 30 worst areas for stock-theft in SA.

- DispatchLIVE / malibongwed@dispatch.co.za