Northern KZN
Brutal double murder of farmers
07:51 (GMT+2), Tue , 10 May 2016
Northern KZN
Ronnie Lombard (62)

The brutal double murder that recently brought Vryheid to its knees has evoked a wave of sadness and anger within the community.
Local farmer Billy van Rooyen (37) and his father-in-law, Ronnie Lombard (62), were ruthlessly gunned down on the night of April 19 in a savage farm attack which left two people dead, one injured and two families devastated in its wake. Lood van Rooyen, Billy’s father, was viciously assaulted by the attackers and required hospitalisation. He was discharged the following day.
According to Neighbourhood Watch, who responded when the call for help came through, 15 attackers armed with AK47s, who had allegedly been hiding among some trees on the property, converged on the Van Rooyen home in the Swart Umfolozi area shortly after 8pm on the night of April 19 and opened fire on the family.
It was reported that as many as 50 shots were fired at the Van Rooyen home.
Billy was shot in the chest when he stepped outside to investigate why his dogs had started barking.
He was mortally wounded in the attack and succumbed to his injuries in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.
Some believe it is just as much grief as his injuries that led to Ronnie Lombard’s death.
In the hospital, the elderly man is said to have pleaded with medical personnel to save his son-in-law Billy van Rooyen’s life.
“Leave me. I am old. Save my son,” he allegedly pleaded. He was overcome with sorrow when he learned that it was too late.
Billy had died on the way to the hospital.
Within the next few hours, Mr Lombard also succumbed to his injuries, his final moments shrouded in despair over the merciless slaughter his innocent grandchildren had witnessed.
Spokesperson for the family Ronnie Jansen van Rensburg, who is engaged to Billy’s sister Elaine, conveyed with deep sadness how this senseless act has not only robbed a family of a husband, a brother, a son and a father, but has also stripped the Swart Umfolozi community of a well-respected and esteemed comrade who committed much of his life to the upliftment of the community.
“We want people to remember Billy as he was,” affirmed Jansen Van Rensburg, who would have been Billy’s brother-in-law.
Billy was a devoted husband to his wife Karlien and a loving father to his two young sons Lodewyk (7) and Izak (4). 15 heartless, cold-blooded savages destroyed their family the night they chose to attack the Van Rooyen home.
Condolences have poured in for Billy and Ronnie’s loved ones in the wake of this shocking tragedy and, according to Jansen Van Rensburg, the community has rallied together in support of the grief-stricken family.
Billy’s widow Karlien suffered an unimaginable double loss, as her father Ronnie Lombard was also gunned down, another victim of the mercilessly orchestrated massacre. Lombard had moved to the farm to assist Billy with his workload three months prior to the attack. “Be alert,” advises Adriaan Botha of Vryheid Neighbourhood Watch. “Warn your loved ones who stay on farms to make sure they have adequate security in place and ensure they have open lines of communication with neighbours.”
Morné Potgieter, head of a private security organisation for farmers in Northern KwaZulu-Natal, said 26 farm attacks were reported to him in April alone. “Billy’s wife contacted us after the incident occurred and told us that Billy had been shot. We set up a roadblock and managed to apprehend six of the men involved in the attack,” said Mr Potgieter. “There doesn’t seem to be any real concern about these farm attacks. It feels like no one cares, not even the police. No one is protecting our farmers.”
According to reports, these six men were taken into custody for questioning after what some have described as an “act of terrorism” or a “military style attack” on the Van Rooyen farm. It is believed that, among those detained, were a security guard who worked at the farm and a former employee of the Van Rooyens.
“The suspects robbed the injured victims of cash, before fleeing the scene... Two counts of murder, attempted murder and house robbery are being investigated by Gluckstadt SAPS,” stated police spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane.
Due to an alleged “lack of evidence”, however, the suspects were released.
According to Ronnie Jansen van Rensburg, AfriForum has arranged for counselling for the family following their traumatic encounter. “Ons harte gaan uit na die families wat deur hierdie tragedie moes gaan,” said AfriForum’s Area Co-ordinator and Community Safety Consultant Eugene van Aswegen. “Mense wat hul inkomste op ‘n eerbare manier verdien, en dan net so goedkoop vermoor word, is onaanvaarbaar.  Gemeenskappe moet aanhou met teen misdaad inisiatiewe na die beste van vermoeë.”
The blatant disregard for human life exhibited by these attackers is merely another nail in the coffin of the economy, with farmers being brutally murdered on a daily basis and nothing being done by those in power to curb the violent attacks on the farming community.



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