Colonel Dave Eric Wessels (66), a former soldier who was honored with the Honoris Crux gold medal was found murdered on his farm just outside Viljoenskroon, in the Free State.
Colonel Dave Wessels served in the Border War and completed several operations, even after losing his leg in 1975 in a battle at Novo Redondo.
He received the Honoris Crux medal of honor for bravery saving a wounded black soldier under fire.
On Sunday 25 October 2020 his neighbor, Ignaz Streicher, went to investigate when foul play was suspected. He noticed that Colonel Wessels’ pickup truck was gone.
He then noticed that the burglar bars had been cut off at one of the windows and began calling out to the Colonel.
Ignaz says “I first started at the bedroom window and noticed his crutches were lying next to his bed and the bedside table drawer was open”.
Ignaz then went to investigate at the window where the burglar bars were cut and noticed blood on the wall of the spare room. He then contacted the SAPS and the neighborhood watch.
The police broke a window to gain entry to the house and confirmed it was Colonel Wessels’ bloodied body that was on the single bed in the spare room.
According to Ignaz Streicher, “Wessels fought back to the end”. Several items were used to strangle and tie Colonel Wessels to the bed and he was found with a plastic bag over his head.
He had sustained numerous head wounds in the attack and there is a suspicion that the injuries were inflicted with a camera tripod, found near the body. The house was ransacked with drawers and cupboards forced open.
CCTV footage shows the suspects leaving at around 06:20 am with the Colonel’s vehicle. The vehicle is a Toyota Hilux Club Cab with registration FZC 861 FS.
The two suspects aged (52) and (25) was arrested and have appeared in court at Viljoenskroon. One of the suspects were out on parole for previous crimes.
The community was filled with shock and horror:
HE DID NOT NEED TO DIE LIKE THAT, NOT SO CRUEL, ONE WITNESS SAID.
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