On Saturday evening at around 6 pm on July 25, the body of Chrisjan van Niekerk(76), was discovered at Alexandria near Port Elizabeth. A family man and devout Christian, the farmer was killed with an ax or machete in the shop on his farm – Nooitgedacht. He was almost completely blind.
Warning – graphic content
A local customer came across Chrisjan’s bloodied body on Saturday afternoon when he wanted to go and buy necessities. The store’s door was open when the customer arrived, but the security door was locked.
When no one responded, he peeked into the store and saw a bloody hand protruding from under the counter.
Christine van Niekerk, Chrisjan’s sister-in-law, says he had been assaulted in his shop many times, but went there because he considered it his space. “Despite the attacks, he believed that God would look after him,” says Christine.
She says it is not yet clear how the attackers manage to enter the store, or what the motive for the murder was not.
“Chrisjan was a family man. He loved his community very much and his faith in God was unwavering, “says Christine.
Christine says that although Chrisjan struggled to see, he still tried to farm productively. He had a herd of cattle that he managed himself. His early years as a farmer were marked by his chicken and vegetable farming.
“Farming runs in his veins. He himself loved the farm so much. He never got a chance to ever leave it. He always asked, “What will become of me in a retirement home?” What will I do with myself? The farm is my love and my home. ‘”
Christine’s granddaughter, Danelle Griesel (20), wrote in a letter to her uncle Chrisjan about his soft heart and how everyone knew him.
Arrests made for the Chrisjan van Niekerk
The teamwork and the quick response of local farmers, community members, the neighbourhood watch, the local police, and the Port Elizabeth police dog unit led to the two brothers’ arrest. Marius Muller, national operations coordinator for AfriForum, says that the parties involved worked tirelessly on Saturday night to comb the area. “Members of the local neighbourhood watch jumped in with their night-vision drone and helped locate the suspects, about 15 km from the farm.” he said.
They are expected to appear in Alexandria Magistrate’s Court this week on charges of murder.