Wife and son of man killed in 2016 ‘farm attack’ in South Africa arrested


The wife and son of a man who was killed in what was initially thought to have been a farm attack have been arrested in connection with his death.

Tony Strydom, 45, was killed on a smallholding near Louis Trichardt, Limpopo, in July 2016.

On Thursday, Strydom’s wife, Rieta, 65, and son, Hendrik, 25, had been arrested and appeared in the Louis Trichardt Magistrate’s Court on a charge of murder on Friday last week.

Limpopo police spokesperson Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe confirmed the arrests.

“This is a very complicated case,” Ngoepe said. “As we are speaking, our investigators are still following up [leads].”

Strydom died in strange circumstances on a smallholding in the Ridgeway area. His family reportedly said he had gone target shooting, when he was shot in the back by unknown attackers. According to local newspaper Zoutpansberger, the family was renting a house on the smallholding, which belongs to Strydom’s employer. 

At the time, Rieta, Hendrik and Strydom’s other son, Pieter, 24, were reportedly interrogated by police. Rieta is the stepmother of two of the sons.

Strydom’s two sons had gone looking for him when it became dark and had found his body lying face down near his bakkie. They then reportedly turned him around and found that he was dead. His firearm was missing. 

The shooting was, however, a mystery. It was speculated that he could have committed suicide or that his death could have been the result of a shooting accident. 

Rieta told the local paper that she was “upset” about rumours that she was one of the main murder suspects.

“I am being told that I shot him for his money… I am sick and tired of these stories,” she is quoted as saying. “Someone even called me from the Free State and said they had heard that his sons had shot him.”

Rieta reiterated this in an interview with Afrikaans Sunday newspaper Rapport in 2016. “What money?” she wanted to know.