STILL BAY NEWS - David Thomas, who was attacked on his farm outside Still Bay in April 2018 told the court on Friday 13 March how his attackers beat his head repeatedly against a brick wall after they had tied him up using his shoelaces.
David, his wife Brenda, her sister Heila and their friend Shaun were enjoying an evening braai when they were attacked by five armed men. Brenda's sister Heila was shot and killed during the attack.
David told the court in his testimony that he was was playing gospel music on his guitar when the five men appeared out of the darkness. Three of them charged at him, knocked him out of his chair and tied him up using his shoelaces and guitar strap. He testified that he was tied so tightly that he lost feeling in his hands for several months and that the scars left on his legs are just starting to fade.
The men demanded money and access to his safe and when they did not get it, grabbed him by the hair and beat his head against a brick wall.
However, David told the court that he and his wife did not even have a safe and did not keep large amounts of cash on the property.
After the attackers realised that he did not have any money to offer them, they turned their attention to Shaun Vorster, the Thomases' tenant and friend. They forced him to take them to his flat and open his safe, and stole about R40 000 in cash as well as firearms from him.
They also stole the keys to David's bakkie, which they later used to make their escape. The bakkie was eventually recovered in Mitchell's Plain, Cape Town.
Brenda and David were eventually rescued by their neighbour and a local security company. Shaun, who was not seriously injured in the attack, managed to run to the neighbouring farm and get help after the attackers left.
Since the attack, David and Brenda have moved to Vietnam. The trial has not yet been concluded and will continue in the circuit High Court in April.
'I was meant to die that night'
Brenda Thomas' testimony on Thursday, 12 March, detailed the two-hour ordeal she experienced when she, her husband, her sister and a friend were attacked.
Sitting around the fire while chatting to her sister Heila, Brenda saw five armed men appear out of the darkness. One of them seemed to be pointing a gun straight at her. "I saw the gun and waited for it to kill me. I heard the shot but I was still alive." Brenda's sister Heila, who had been sitting next to her, had been shot through the heart.
The sisters were seated closest to the area where the attackers appeared and had earlier swapped seats. At the moment the shot was fired Heila was sitting in the chair Brenda had sat in previously. This is why Brenda told the court: "I was meant to die that night."
The moment her sister's body slumped forward over the table they were sitting at, Brenda had the presence of mind to do the same, pretending she was unconscious.
That was how she spent most of the attack, with her eyes closed, either praying or pretending to be unconscious.
Because the attackers had their faces covered, Brenda was not able to say whether the accused were the men that attacked her that night, but that did not stop her from looking each of the five accused in the eye in court, as she described how she heard her husband David's cries of pain while being attacked.
The thumping sounds Brenda heard she would later find out were the sounds of David's head being bashed against a brick wall repeatedly.
Brenda and her husband David were tied up, while their friend Shaun, who was a tenant on the farm, was forced to take the attackers to his flat and give them access to his safe, from which they stole about R40 000 in cash. After a while, the attackers left Brenda alone and she was able to make it to her feet and attempt to escape.
However, one of them caught up with her. The man attempted to strangle her and shoved the jersey she was wearing into her mouth.
A devout Christian, Brenda told the court how she began to recite scripture out loud to her attacker, hoping that would get him to stop. After being tied up again, she was once again left alone and made another attempt to escape. She ran through the darkness towards a steep hill near the area where the attack took place.
She threw herself down the hill and made her way through dense bushes to the bottom, where she hid in tall reeds and waited for help to arrive. After a while she was rescued by Shaun, who had managed to get help from a neighbour after the attackers had made their escape in David's bakkie.
Read previous articles:
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- Still Bay case: 'Driver' testifies
- Second farm murder confession admissible
- Farm murder confession inadmissible
- Vyf moordverdagtes pleit onskuldig
- Farm murder: Identity parade deemed admissible
- Judge to decide about photos in court
- Plaasmoord: Identiteitsparade vandag onder vergrootglas
- Murder at farm braai: 5 in court
- Farm murder: 5 to appear in high court
- Plaasaanval: Blye weersiens word tragedie
- Stilbaai-Plaasmoord: 4 verdagtes vas
- Opvolg: Vrou sterf in plaasaanval
- Plaasaanval: Gerugte van arrestasies onwaar
- Opvolg: Vrou sterf tydens plaasaanval
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