The innovative Free State farmer and vermiculture expert David Leslie (81) was murdered. Attending to a generator outside the house due to load shedding he was attacked on 1 September 2020. According to reports at around 10 pm, a young black man that had requested employment earlier that day on the farm returned at night to murder the farmer. The attacker assaulted the elderly family and their caregiver with a traditional weapon before their son James Leslie could intervene and arrest the attacker.

David Leslie sustained serious injuries, with a broken nose and cheekbones and according to social media reports tragically died in Busamed hospital in Harrismith on Sunday 18 October 2020 from the attack.

David and his son James worked the 3 000ha farm between Warden and Harrismith in the Free State, where they cultivated approximately 700ha potatoes, 600ha maize, 600ha speckled sugar beans, and 600ha soya beans under the name Sesisonke.

The entire operation was run under conservation agriculture practices, a move the Leslies made about eight years ago after soil samples yielded puzzling results.

Earthworm Farming
Earthworm farming. Source: Farmers Weekly

Vermiculture is a form of earthworm farming where the worm castings are used as a base and mixed with water in large plastic containers in an anaerobic fermentation process.

David was a prominent farmer and his innovation in vermicultural methods was acknowledged in several publications in the farming community.

READE MORE: Benefits of Vermiculture

Free State police spokesperson Colonel Thandi Mbambo said a 22-year-old man was arrested for the murder of the Innovative Free State farmer.

Source: IOL

[Disclaimer: as a small publisher relying on volunteers – our reports are non-exhaustive of the Crimes against Humanity in South Africa – we report as much as we can and advise readers to do their own diligence]


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