Bonnievale residents are rallying together after one of their own was killed in a brutal attack on a farm on Monday night, opting to offer comfort for the family, rather than live in fear, a religious leader said of the small Western Cape town.
“Bonnievale is such a nice town,” said Dutch Reformed Church cleric Willem Liebenberg after vintner Tool Wessels was found murdered, and his wife Liezel recovering from serious injuries in hospital.
“There is heartache over what happened, but we will carry on,” he said.
He said the Wessels’ daughters Annelie and Jana, who are studying at Stellenbosch University are spending most of their time at their mother’s bedside in Worcester.
“She is stable. I think her body is very broken and sore, but by grace, she is stable,” he said.
Police have arrested a 19-year-old man for murder and attempted murder.
Liebenberg said he had spoken to police and he was optimistic that more arrests would follow.
In the meantime, the Wessels’ daughters were receiving unwavering support from relatives and the small, tight-knit community.
“It is a very big shock… but the family is calm. Under the circumstances they are doing well,” the cleric said.
“They are receiving a lot of love and care. It is also a family which stands together nicely so the support network is there.”
Netwerk24 reported on Thursday that their daughters Annelie and Jana did not want to go back to their home.
Annelie Wessels, 23, said she did not even want to know what had happened during the attack.
“I do not want to know the details,” she said. “I have asked everybody not to tell me.”
Liebenberg said: “I just want to say, people ask me if Bonnievale farmers are fearful. But we say no. We are upset and disrupted. But the community is standing together.
“We are trying to see this in perspective and we stand together and carrying on.”
Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut said the 19-year-old suspect had been arrested and a .22 rifle stolen during the incident was recovered.
Social media responded angrily over the attack.
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