Message from Farm Attack victim, the incident happened last week!
Durban – A KwaZulu-Natal Midlands
The couple, victims of a farm attack are appealing for an end to violence in communities and for all South Africans to unite against crime.
Burgen Thorne released a video at the weekend, after he and his wife, Chantelle, were attacked in their Hidcote home by three knife-wielding intruders last week.
Thorne is now paralysed from the waist down and is expected to use a wheelchair.
Speaking from his hospital bed, Thorne said he would not wish this kind of abuse on anyone.
“We have spent our lives teaching people, educating people to read and write and make better lives for themselves.
“We have felt the horror of this violence and senselessness,” Thorne said.
In an interview with The Mercury, his wife said the attack had left her reeling.
She said she had been relying heavily on support from friends in the community and family to get by.
Chantelle said she had been setting up the laptop, while her husband was preparing a snack for them.
“I heard him bellow from the kitchen and thought our dog was having a fit. I rushed to see what was going on and there were balaclava-clad men standing in the kitchen.
“They had shattered the glass door.
“The men started kicking Burgen in the ribs and back. They also stabbed him three times. At one point, my husband was lying in a pool of his own blood.” She said one of the men grabbed her and led her through the house, at knifepoint, while he looked for items to steal.
“There is nothing of value in our home. We have literally put all our money into building this house and all they managed to take were the car keys.”
Chantelle said a farmhand, who lived on the property, rushed to the house to see what was going on and he was also assaulted.
She said they had had burglaries in the past but they were never violent.
The couple is children’s book illustrators, who have worked for clients including Oxford and Cambridge universities and Pan Macmillan.
They moved from Gauteng and had been living in Hidcote, near Mooi River, for 12 years.
She said Thorne would have to undergo physiotherapy.
“He will be in the hospital for the next four to six weeks.
That’s how long it will take his spine to recover from the trauma of the men standing on his back and kicking him,” she said.
Earlier this year, national police commissioner, General Khehla John Sitole, announced he had met the Transvaal Agricultural Union of South Africa to discuss issues around rural safety and the implementation of the Rural Safety Strategy.
He said this strategy comprised a Farm Safety Plan, designed for farms to ensure a collective rapid response between stakeholders, to address all safety issues and incidents that affected the agricultural community.
He said their turnaround vision included rural development aimed at combating stock theft and farm attacks.
KZN violence monitor, Mary de Haas, said many rural areas were badly policed and crime was rife.
“Some of the culprits in farm attacks have been doing crime in their own areas with impunity and were only caught when they attacked farmers.
“Part of the bigger problem is the failure of police intelligence. There was the talk of sector policing but I doubt that is happening.
“Some farmers use security companies but protection is something we pay the police to do,” she said.
De Haas urged farmers to have the cellphone numbers of station commanders and duty officers.
“Often landline phones are out of order or go unanswered if a station is badly run.”
Originally sourced from https://farmattacks.co.za/message-from-farm-attack-survivor/