Farmer of Northern Cape who was brutally assaulted with crowbar, dies three weeks after farm attack

A former farmer of Zimbabwe who fled the country because of old president Robert Mugabe’s groundbreaking policy, died on Monday afternoon after he and his wife were attacked on their farm in the Northern Cape almost three weeks ago. Athol Harvey (80) and his wife, Colleen (78), of the farm Weltevrede near Spitskopdam were attacked and robbed in their home on February 14.

A FEISTY 79-year-old woman fought off three men who force­fully en­tered her home on a farm sit­u­ated be­tween Barkly West and Wind­sor­ton dur­ing the early hours of the morn­ing of February 14.

Dur­ing the in­ci­dent, Colleen Har­vey was as­saulted while her hus­band, Athol, also 79, in­curred head in­juries af­ter be­ing hit with a crow­bar.

Speak­ing from her hos­pi­tal bed yes­ter­day, Har­vey said that the cou­ple were awo­ken by the sounds of in­trud­ers dis­man­tling the bur­glar bars with bolt cut­ters.

“I strug­gled to wake up my hus­band when I first heard the noises. By 2am the lights in the house were on and three men were in­side the bed­room and they rum­maged through the cup­boards and draws.”

Har­vey stated that the in­trud­ers were very spe­cific in their de­mand for ex­pen­sive jew­ellery, money and guns.

“They were not in­ter­ested in any junk jew­ellery. I told them that we did not have any firearms.

“My fin­gers were bleed­ing while I fought the men in an at­tempt to pre­vent them from rip­ping the rings off my fin­gers, in­clud­ing my di­a­mond ring and wed­ding band. I screamed at the men, who cov­ered their faces with bal­a­clavas and were wear­ing gloves.

“They ren­dered my hus­band un­con­scious when they hit him with a crow­bar and he was bleed­ing pro­fusely.”

Har­vey said that the in­trud­ers used her hus­band’s shoelaces to tie up both her and her hus­band’s hands and feet.

“While my hands were tightly bound I LEFT: Sev­eral of Colleen Har­vey’s fin­gers were in­jured af­ter at­tack­ers ripped six of her rings off her fin­gers.

Har­vey added that the in­trud­ers threat­ened her with a knife that was kept on the bed­room drawer.

“It was a butcher’s knife that I used to use when we still had the butch­ery. They kept telling me that they would kill me.”

She also sus­tained su­per­fi­cial stab wounds when the sus­pects grazed her leg with the knife.

Har­vey said that the sus­pects were “kind enough” to leave her hus­band’s credit card, iden­tity doc­u­ment and med­i­cal aid card.

“They searched his jacket and emp­tied it of all valu­ables. They dam­aged the kist when they dis­con­nected the tele­vi­sion.

“Af­ter a while the whole house was quiet and I won­dered where the sus­pects were hid­ing in the house. I man­aged to un­tie my feet and call for help. The cell­phone re­cep­tion is bad and my near­est neigh­bour is about 30 min­utes away.”

Har­vey said that, other than stock theft, the cou­ple had not ex­pe­ri­enced any se­ri­ous vi­o­lent crimes in all their years liv­ing in the area, which is about 80 kilo­me­tres from Kim­ber­ley.

“The farm is our home, my fa­ther in­her­ited it from my grand­mother and now we are here. We work hard to earn a liv­ing and to sup­port our chil­dren. Why can’t these sus­pects do the same?”

Po­lice spokesper­son, Cap­tain Ser­gio Kock, said that the North­ern Cape Trio Crime Unit was in­ves­ti­gat­ing a farm at­tack.

“The farmer and his wife were sleep­ing when the sus­pects en­tered the house, as­saulted them and tied them up. Although in­for­ma­tion is still sketchy, it is fur­ther al­leged that the sus­pects fled with the farmer’s white Mahin­dra bakkie, a firearm and a tele­vi­sion.”

Kock in­di­cated that the stolen ve­hi­cle was found aban­doned near the farm on the Barkly West road.

“The farmer and his wife have both been ad­mit­ted to hos­pi­tal for med­i­cal treat­ment.