The Guard

The Truth On Board

Lismor massacre victims laid to rest

By Masilo Malakwane

Kestell – Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza, says attacks like the one that claimed seven lives at Lismor Farm in Kestell have a ‘very negative’ impact on the country’s economy.

Didiza was addressing scores of mourners at the mass funeral of the seven shooting victims who were laid to rest at the Tlholong township cemetery at the weekend.

The deceased are Binto Smit (55), Rudi Smith (17), and farm employees Nokufa Portia Monareng (30), Lerato Julia Moloi (33), Mothoduwa Chrsitina Moloi (36), Nomasonto Zulu (56) and Nosontsha Topsy Maduna (43).

“It’s high time the country re-evaluated its criminal laws to make the punishment more stringent against those who find themselves on the wrong side of the law,” Didiza told this publication on the side lines of the funeral.

Kestell community members including Emergency Medical Services officials were working overtime to comfort the family members who were traumatized at the sight of their loved ones’ coffins.

She said she had noted reports that the Eastern Free State area seemed to be under attack due to the high occurrence of illegal firearms owned by criminals. The Lismor Farm massacre is the second of its nature after a similar one at Toekoms Farm in less than 12 months.

Didiza was accompanied by, among others, Free State Premier, Sisi Ntombela who described the multiple murders as shocking and horrible.

“I stand by my word that the perpetrators of this heinous act should be anathematised. Police have a serious task in ensuring that they find illegal guns that appearss to be in the hands of criminals,” said Ntombela.

Meanwhile, the Executive Mayor of Maluti-a-Phofung Gilbert Mokotso claimed drugs are the main source of criminal acts in Maluti-a-Phofung.

“It’s very concerning how people are being brutally murdered and it’s now becoming a trend in MAP farms,” said Mokotso.

Dikwankwetla Party of South Africa, President, Moeketsi Lebesa, believes now is the time for the country’s Parliament to revisit the death penalty. “These perpetrators live better while in incarceration, on our tax money, even though they’ve done the unthinkable with other people’s lives,” he said.