Marais family, Wesselsbron targets of cops, hired killers

Armed attack by six uniformed cops created permanent fear, trauma for Marais Boer family, Wesselsbron

  • Four contract killers were captured by Wesselsbron farm-watch in Oct 2010 who had been hired to kill Marais, the main State witness in a high-level corruption trial involving leading ANC-members…

Virginia, Free State. Local well-known boer Carel Marais, farmer and businessman of Wesselsbron, testified about he and his family still receiving death-threats after they were attacked by four black police officers, an ex-cop and the brother of a leading ANC-MEC in the legislature, on their Free State farm. “We try to stay positive but it’s not so easy every day. To know that our lives also are still being threatened, is difficult. We have lost all our faith in the police.’


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Despite repeated threats against his life, and the fact that four contract-killers had already been captured by the local Marnet farm watch when they were trying to kill him, Marais courageously testified yesterday in the corruption-trial of the six unnamed, highly-placed black Free State men.

  • Marais had also testified on 4 October 2010 that four hired black killers had also been sent from Gauteng to his farm to kill him so that he would not be able to testify at their corruption trial yesterday. Members of the local farm-watch Marnet captured the men in a road block on his farm… 

The Boer businessman’s testimony was backed up by SAPS inspector Nico Smith who testified on the same day that he himself also was threatened with contract-killers if he pursued his investigation –  and that it was established that the four black men arrested by the farm-watch while trying kill Marais, had been paid R1,000 ($100) each for it. Smith also handed in signed and sworn statements from specific, well-informed prisoners at Odendaalsrust confirming that a contract-killing was taken out against Marais.

Tom de Wet yesterday noted that the six (unidentified) black men on trial for corruption  – four black police officers, one black ex-police officer and the brother of an ANC-MEC in the Free State legislature — had shown up at the Marais farm dressed in police uniform, and attacked the family, holding them up at gunpoint. He has since then had to install thousands of Rands worth of security equipment, now has to pack a gun every day for self-protection as they are ver likely still being earmarked as targets by contract-killers. It would be impossible for the family to join the witness-protection programme because of his business interests and his farm.  His attorney Tom Bothma confirmed that Marais has lodged a civilian damages-law suit of more than R2,8million against the SAPS.

2010-10-04 Free State Farmer Carel Marais and wife escape unscathed from 4 hired killers
sent to kill him before his testimony in 24 Jan. Free State corruption trial…

2010-10-04  Tom de Wet reports in Volksblad from WESSELSBRON that local farmer Carel Marais, 59, had his life saved by the restlessness of his little Jack Russell-dog which usually is very calm. He said the dog alerted him and his wife to the presence of four armed black men who ‘were there to kill me so that I would not testify in a corruption trial.’

Marais is the main witness in the trial of nine men which is scheduled from 24 January next year at the Virginia High Court. One of the investigating officers in the case, inspector Nico Smith, confirmed that he was also threatened with contract-killers. Said Marais: “I have no doubt that those four men from Gauteng, who were each found with R1,000 cash on them after their arrest, had come to kill me.” 

The SAPS also obtained sworn statements from specific prisoners at Odendaalsrus confirming that a contract-killing was taken out against Marais. He and his wife Ina were first alerted by a ‘bird in the garden making very strange noises,’ they said. Only later did they realise that the four armed attackers were whistling like that to communicate with each other. The couple also were alerted by the fact that their little dog was jumping up and down and barking loudly near some bushes in the front garden. When he walked closer he saw a black man pointing a firearm at him – but Marais was faster, fired off a shot and ran behind a wall to hide – running smack-dab into three other gunmen who fled.

  • His gun failed to fire at that point and he yelled at his wife to lock the front door while he rushed inside through the backdoor and immediately raised the alarm on the Marnet-farm-security radio network.

Neighbours arrived within five minutes and other farmers also set up road-blocks, capturing the four armed suspects within half-an-hour about 2km from the homestead. Their firearms were ‘missing’ said Marais.

Agri-Free State security chief Hennie Gerber said the farm-watch units had acted pro-actively by setting up road-blocks, as they also did in the attack a week earlier against Mrs Cecelia Steynberg, who had shot an attacker inside her bedroom before he could kill her. “If our security plan is in place and the cooperation is there, the suspects won’t get away”, Gerber said. SAPS sergeant  Mmako Mophiring, confirmed that the four suspects – all from Gauteng province, were in the custody of the Falcons, the organised crime-unit and that their vehicle was confiscated.   Volksblad

About Adriana Stuijt
Retired South African-Dutch journalist formerly Sunday Times Johannesburg

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