The family of Glenn and Vida Rafferty, who were murdered on their farm in Normandien outside Newcastle in northern KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday night, say they were loving and warm people who were an integral part of their community.
Gunmen apparently ambushed the couple as they returned home. Security cameras on the property were vandalised.
The assailants took the couple’s car which was later found abandoned near the farm.
The couple’s daughter-in-law, Tamsyn Rafferty, says she and her husband were already on their way to visit her in-laws from the Western Cape when they received the bad news
“Glen and Vida were so loved in the community and the community has lost pillars of strength and the family have been in the area for years or for generations rather. We are all shocked and they were both speaking IsiZulu and there is nothing anybody can say bad about them.”
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala has condemned the killing. In a statement, Zikalala calls on law enforcement officials to work around the clock to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book.
KwaZulu-Natal police have confirmed that while the couple’s car was found abandoned near their home, their cellphones were not stolen.
The Freedom Front Plus has added its voice to the growing chorus denouncing Saturday night’s double farm murder. In a statement, councillor in the Newcastle Local Municipality Lourie Bosman says security cameras on the rural road recorded the events that led to the couple’s murder and the escape of the suspects.
The latest incident comes after a nationwide bikers protest calling for sterner action against the perpetrators of farm murders.