A Lutzville farmer has been found guilty of murdering a farmworker by beating him with a spade, dragging him with a quadbike, and then burying him behind his father’s smallholding three years ago.
He has also been found guilty of two counts of assault.
Martin Visser, who owns the Dassieshoek farm, stood in the dock with folded arms after Judge Nathan Erasmus handed down his verdict in the Western Cape High Court, sitting in Vredendal, on Tuesday.
Visser, 43, had pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, assault with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm and four charges of common assault of three other people.
Visser was arrested a year and a half after the remains of Adam Pieterse, 32, who worked on a neighbouring farm, was found in the vineyards behind his father, Chris Visser’s farm in March 2015.
The cause of death of “Mannetjie Dukvreet”, as he was commonly known, could not be confirmed owing to the state of the corpse.
Pathologist Dr Esme Erasmus said his remains had been in an advanced state of decomposition.
His sand-covered body was clothed in a T-shirt, blue torn shorts and tights.
Pieterse had cuts on his scalp, and his brain was too decomposed to be assessed.
He had a cut on his left upper arm, resembling a defensive wound, and his genitals and perineum – the area between the anus and the scrotum – had been mutilated after his death.