“I’m not going to make it today"
That’s what Herman Botha, 64, kept on telling Benita Botha, his daughter-in-law, after a farm attack in the Groblersdal district.
“You are going to be okay. You are going to pull through,” she kept on reassuring him,
“He said he was in a lot of pain and went to lie down on the lawn,” said Benita.
It’s thought that Botha had a heart attack soon after that and before an ambulance arrived to take him from the farm to a rugby field in Groblersdal, where an emergency helicopter was on standby to take him to a hospital in Pretoria. Botha died in the ambulance before he could be transferred to the helicopter.
Botha, a well-known farmer in the Loskop district, had an angiogram last week and had two stents inserted in his heart.
The family believe Botha probably died of a heart attack as a result of the shock of the attack.
They had to get counselling after the attack and Botha’s death.
“He still spoke to us just after the attackers left. I told him to take it easy,” Benita said.
Botha was beaten over the head with a steel pipe on Sunday as he opened the garage door to take out a braai-stand.
He’d been with his son Bernard to feed some of the cattle on the farm shortly before that. Bernard had dropped Botha off at home after which he’d gone to a pivot irrigation plant near the house.
Bernard became suspicious when he got back to the farm house and didn’t see his dad.
“He opened the garage door and came face to face with the robbers. There was a pool of blood where they’d beaten my father-in-law. Bernard thought he was dead,” Benita said.
The robbers, meanwhile, had taken Herman Botha to a bathroom in the house and tied him up.
Bernard was kicked in the face and beaten over his back several times. He was also tied up.
Benita, her three young children and her mother-in-law, Meisie, were overpowered when they returned home from church.
“The men tied my mother-in-law and myself up and locked the children in another room.”
They were not injured.
“Their hearts are broken because their grandfather was a big role model for them,” Benita said.
Meisie and Herman had been married for 41 years.
The men had fled in a Toyota Etios which was later found abandoned.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said a pistol had been recovered and three men arrested. They are set to appear for a bail application in the Groblersdal Magistrate’s Court next week.