Correctional supervision and suspended sentences for Parys farmers guilty of beating farmworkers

In 2016, Simon Tjixa and Simon Jubeba were brutally assaulted and later died in hospital. The five farmers convicted of assaulting them have received suspended sentences or correctional supervision.

Gert Van Der Westhuizen, Anton Loggenberg, Cornelius Loggenberg, Lodewikus Van der Westhuizen and Gert Van Vuuren appear at the Parys high court for the deaths of farmworkers Simon Tjixa and Simon Jubeba, who were assaulted before later dying in hospital.
Gert Van Der Westhuizen, Anton Loggenberg, Cornelius Loggenberg, Lodewikus Van der Westhuizen and Gert Van Vuuren appear at the Parys high court for the deaths of farmworkers Simon Tjixa and Simon Jubeba, who were assaulted before later dying in hospital.
Image: Thapelo Morebudi / Sunday Times

Three of the five Parys farmers found guilty of assaulting two farm workers who later died in hospital from their injuries were handed suspended sentences on Friday.

The three, Cornelius Loggenberg, Lodewikus van der Westhuizen and Gert van Vuuren, were handed a three-year, wholly suspended, sentence.

The two eldest farmers, Gert van der Westhuizen and Anton Loggenberg, were sentenced to correctional supervision.

Gert van der Westhuizen was also ordered to pay R20,000 to each of the families of the deceased, as he had already offered compensation. The money is to be paid by October 1.

In 2016, Simon Tjixa and Simon Jubeba were brutally assaulted by the farmers after being accused of attacking their then employer, Loedie van der Westhuizen.

In handing down the sentence, Judge Corne van Zyl said she had taken into consideration the fact that the three were relatively young at the time of the offence. She added that she relied on the sentence imposed on another of the farmers, Riaan Swart, who pleaded guilty to the same charges.

Van Zyl said the pre-sentencing reports handed into court showed that the five were not a threat to society and all played positive roles in their respective communities.

The NPA told the court about its intention to appeal against the sentences.

In its arguments for sentencing, the state said it preferred direct imprisonment to be imposed, because of the seriousness of the offences committed by the accused.

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