Farmworker had bad feelings about Cilliers’ silence

The two murder accused in Bethulie Circuit Court. Photo: André Grobler

A Rouxville farmworker on Monday repeatedly told the Circuit Court in Bethulie that he had a bad feeling when he could not get hold of his employer, Dr Bennie Cilliers.

The court is hearing evidence in the trial of two men who are facing murder and attempted murder charges and one of robbery with aggravating circumstances in relation to the death and robbery of Cilliers and his wife on their farm Gouda, near Rouxville. The men, Thabang Jordaan and Vid Zamayo.

The men, Thabang Jordaan and Vid Zamayo face charges of housebreaking with the intent to rob and robbery with aggravating circumstances, the murder of Cilliers and a charge of attempted murder on Cilliers wife. They pleaded not guilty.

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Farmworker Sello Khiba testified that he had tried several times to phone the couple and went to investigate at the house where the doors were open. He did not enter. Breaking down in tears several times, Khiba said he finally went around to the bedroom window where he saw blood on the curtains. He also saw the Doctor, as they called Cilliers, with a bloody face in the room.

Khiba took a farm vehicle to get help but luckily found a neighbouring farmer in the field near the farm’s gate. The farmer called the police.

When police arrived on the scene they found two severely assaulted people in the bedroom.

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Constable Maditaba Motloung testified that she found a man and a woman in the room. They had head wounds. The man was lying still while the woman was still breathing. The court heard that one of the policemen pulled a cloth from her mouth and she took a soft deep breath. Both the victims were tied at the hands and feet.

Motloung said she found a heavy iron bar in the lounge as well as a plastic fencing pole. Both had signs of blood. While in the room, the constable also saw a pair of pruning scissors near the woman on the floor.

Captain Petrus Spies of the Free State Organised Crime unit testified to the seizure of allegedly stolen items and clothes from the two men in Bloemfontein. The court adjourned until Tuesday. – André Grobler/Courant News