Following the conviction and sentencing of four suspects for the 2019 brutal murder of farmer Tool Wessels and the attempted murder of his wife on their farm in Bonnievale, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Ivan Meyer said, “This guilty verdict and sentencing takes us a step closer to ensuring justice for Tool Wessels, his family and the farming community of Bonnievale.”
“The guilty verdict and lengthy sentences imposed by Judge Dereck Wille of the Circuit High Court sends a strong message that attacks on our rural communities will never be tolerated. I am still however devastated by this loss of life and my heart still hurts for Tool, his family and loved ones. An attack on anyone in our agricultural sector is an attack on our rural economy.” continued Minister Meyer.
In addition to being found guilty of murder and attempted murder, the accused were found guilty of robbery with aggravating circumstances and the unlawful possession of two firearms and ammunition.
The four suspects were sentenced to life imprisonment for murder, ten years for attempted murder, fifteen years for robbery with aggravating circumstances, and five years for the unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.
In addition, the four were sentenced to 3 months imprisonment for contravening the Immigration Act.
“I commend the relevant law enforcement and judicial officers for ensuring that those who committed this crime are held accountable. No matter where it occurs or against whom it is committed, crime is unacceptable in our communities. This also demonstrates that criminals will have no place to hide here in the Western Cape. The law will catch up with them. Our efforts to make the lives of criminals uncomfortable within the confines of the law will not cease,” commented Minister Meyer.
“This is indeed welcoming news and I commend the court for its finding and sentencing. The investigators should also be applauded for their sterling work and for ensuring that these convicted criminals do not get away with this heinous crime. Regardless of who you are or where you come from, lawlessness will not be tolerated in our province. As the Western Cape Government, we have a clear goal and that is to halve the murder rate by 2029. We want both our urban and rural residents to feel safe,” said provincial Minister for Police Oversight and Community Safety Reagen Allen.
“I once again send my deepest condolences to the loved ones of those we have lost including Tool Wessels’ friends and family. The Western Cape Government will continue to work to ensure farming and rural communities are protected and treated with the dignity they deserve. Where a crime has occurred, the guilty must be punished and face the full might of the law,” concluded Minister Meyer.
Spokesperson for Minister Ivan Meyer