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Free State reels after murder of another young cattle farmer

'When you are a black victim of crime, you die. You become a statistic. You are just another number - whether you are in the township or the farm," says Afasa's Piet Mothepu following the murder of Serame Machakela

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The African Farmers’ Association of South Africa (Afasa) has condemned the brutal killing of another young cattle farmer who died after being shot in the head on his farm in Odendaalsrus in the Free State.

Food For Mzansi can confirm that the 37-year-old Teboho Machakela succumbed to his head injuries earlier this week after being attacked and robbed on 19 August 2020. An unknown group of assailants got away with about R5 000 in cash.

Machakela’s father, Serame Machakela (67), says his son was attacked while he was “on duty at his shop on the farm premises.” The attackers simply entered his shop, shot him in the head and took off with the money.

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Teboho Machakela farmed in Odendaalsrus in the Free State. Photo: Supplied

After the attack he was hospitalised and in a coma for six weeks before he was discharged and sent back home. Machakela died on Monday.

His father tells us, “We have reported the matter to police who have opened a case and are currently investigating my son’s violent attack. We are still waiting for assailants known to us to be arrested.”

According to Serame Machakela one of the perpetrators threatened to kill his son just days before they attacked him. “We even opened a case of assault against him. I still remember that day vividly. I was visiting Teboho on the farm. He came storming towards Teboho aggressively and accused him of killing his father. I was so confused. When we were leaving, he was waiting for us at the farm gate and then proceeded to swear at Teboho.”

The heartbroken father still remembers the chilling words from the man he suspects killed his son. “I heard him very clearly. He simply said, ‘Teboho, I am going to kill you!’ Days later my son was attacked, and today my only son is no more.”

‘Lady justice’ fails the black victim

Piet Mothepu, the acting chairperson of Afasa in the Free State, was close to the young farmer. He says, “I got this news very late yesterday. I started to share it (widely) because he was such an instrumental figure in the black farming community. He was an academic, who would go out of his way to help those in need.”

He remembers Machakela as a successful and driven young man who loved Bonsmara cattle, and also owned a ChesaYyama and a tavern. “He was very busy, that young man. Innovative, ambitious.”

Mothepu says, “From Afasa’s side we are very, very disappointed that he was killed. That guy was very influential. When you are a black victim of crime, you die. You become a statistic, you are just another number whether you are in the township or the farm. They won’t even treat you as a priority.”

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Noluthando Ngcakani
Noluthando Ngcakani
With roots in the Northern Cape, this Kimberley Diamond has had a passion for telling human interest stories since she could speak her first words. A foodie by heart, she began her journalistic career as an intern at the SABC where she discovered her love for telling agricultural, community and nature related stories. Not a stranger to a challenge Ngcakani will go above and beyond to tell your truth.
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