Agri Eastern Cape has distanced itself from reports that described a man who killed a traditional healer on his smallholding as a farmer. Condolences have been pouring in for Anele Hoyana after he was bludgeoned to death in a house belonging to Fritz Joubert over the weekend.
Police later shot Joubert dead.
According to Eastern Cape police spokesperson Captain Hazel Mqala, Hoyana was murdered on Saturday by his 45-year-old “friend and farm owner” Joubert, whom he had been temporarily staying with, together with his wife and children, on a farm in Geluksdal, Gonubie.
Agri Eastern Cape president Doug Stern said Joubert had been an Eskom sub-contractor who lived on a small lifestyle property and was not “a farmer or member of any organized agricultural organization”.
He said they viewed Joubert’s actions with shock and horror.
“The man was clearly deranged and from information received, the actions of the SAPS (SA Police Service) members who attended the scene were clearly justified,” he said.
“To refer to him as a farmer, to fuel anger towards the farming community is irresponsible and undermines the efforts of real farmers to build an inclusive, safe, non-racial sector.”
Stern said the incident would clearly anger any normal person.
“This must, however, be regarded as an isolated incident, perpetrated by an extremely disturbed person. What happened is tragic, but to direct public opinion against the farming community for cheap political points, must be guarded against.”
The Daily Dispatch said Hoyana, 40, was training Joubert to be a sangoma.
It reported that a traditional ceremony had been underway at the time.
In bizarre videos posted on his Facebook page in the early hours of Saturday, a sweating Joubert, in a Springbok jersey, gives a tour of his farmhouse and claims on camera he is the chosen one.
In the videos, Joubert refers to Hoyana as Satan and threatens to punish him. Hoyana is seen holding one of his children. In other videos, he is seen slumped on a chair and then lying on a wooden deck outside with his wife nearby.
Expressing their outrage on social media, many people could not believe the police had referred to Joubert as Hoyana’s friend. Others were disturbed by what appeared to be an unprovoked attack and that someone else on the scene had filmed one of the videos.
Mqala said the men had been socializing in the early hours of Saturday morning when an argument ensued and escalated into a physical fight on the deck outside the farmhouse.
She said Hoyana was assaulted with fists and a rifle butt. Police found him with numerous head injuries.
When a warrant officer from Bluewater police station entered the house, Joubert allegedly told him that “nobody is going to leave the farm premises today”, said Mqala.
“At that stage, the farm owner had taken his friend’s children hostage and locked them in the bathroom. He then requested their mother to return to the house as she was hiding outside fearing for her life.”
A constable from the Gonubie police station also arrived on the scene.
“It is alleged the farm owner then locked the door and instructed the police to place their firearms on the table. They did not comply with his instruction.”
The Bluewater police officer spoke to Joubert, while his Gonubie counterpart went to the bathroom and rescued the two boys – aged two weeks old and two years old – who were cowering in the bath.
He then took the children outside and handed them over to their mother.
Mqala said Joubert had attacked the Bluewater police officer from behind with his fists and attempted to disarm him.
A shot went off during the struggle and hit the floor. The police officer warned him to stop but he attacked him again and he fired a shot in self-defense.
“… during [the] struggle the bullet from his service pistol entered underneath Joubert’s left arm and fatally wounded him,” she said.
The police officer received medical attention after suffering a fractured nose, jaw and injuries to his face.
Firearms and ammunition were confiscated from the scene.
Independent Police Investigative Directorate spokesperson Sontaga Seisa confirmed it was investigating the circumstances surrounding Joubert’s death, while the Gonubie police were investigating Hoyana’s death.
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