17 November 1994 Leave a comment
Lichtenburg dairy farmer Willem Jacobus Scholtz, 72, murdered 17 Nov 1995
Willem Jacobus Scholtz, born 15 August 1923, was murdered on his farm in Lichtenburg district on 17 November 1995. The statement from his brother-in-law Cornelis van Dyk, submitted to Mrs Lita Fourie of the charity organisation Tabita, (information below) – describes that Mr Scholtz was ambushed and shot dead when he stepped outside his homestead at 04.30 as he did every morning, to fetch anthracite for his coal-stove.
Mr Scholtz carried his own legal firearm for self-protection. From two empty shell casings from a .32 pistol and five from a .45 (Mr Scholtz’ firearm) it appeared that Mr Scholtz tried to defend himself. Two black men were apparently on the scene: police forensic evidence was that one of the men shot and killed him before they tried to force open the safe in his homestead: but had failed to notice the safe-keys which he carried on his key-chain.
Mr van Dyk wrote that ‘his movements were apparently watched for days before he was murdered.’ The son in law, who lived nearby and worked on the farm, noted that when he heard the shots he presumed that Mr Scholtz was firing warning shots again to scare off the scavenging dogs – which often ran around on the farm and belonged to the black workers. The son-in-law was used to Mr Scholtz firing off warning shots and did not go and investigate.
Mr Van Dyk said in his statement to Mrs Fourie that only when he went to milk the cows at 5.30am, did he discover Mr Scholtz’ body outside the coal-shed. Mr Van Dyk alerted Mr Scholtz’ brother over the citizen-band radio network maintained by North West farmers, police rushed to the farm. The gunman was arrested later in Taungs in the North Cape when he tried to sell two firearms. The man apparently did not come from the North Cape but used to work as a trucker and knew the region well.
Mr Van Dyk wrote that his father-in-law ‘was good for his workers and spoiled them, and kept money in his room. Mr Van Dyk said he often warned his father-in-law against this because the black workers knew of this habit: in fact they often arrived with R100 notes to exchange for smaller currency. The black gunmen – whose name Mr van Dyk did not mention – was sentenced to a lifetime in prison in the Lichtenburg Regional court. The statement was signed by Mrs Martie van Dyk and Mr Cornelis van Dyk.
source: Tabita charity archives: statements from relatives: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.156697524360854.30198.100000618226363
Lita Fourie – scrapbooks of farm-murders, Tabita charity organisation