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Retired judge gives slain workers dignified burials

2023-04-21  Loide Jason

Retired judge gives slain workers dignified burials

Two farmworkers, who were murdered at Farm Josephine near Dordabis in the Khomas region earlier this month, will be laid to rest on Saturday at Aranos.

Farm owner, retired judge Gerhard Maritz described the incident as outrageous, cataclysmic and dismaying. He has contributed to the funeral arrangements of the two farm workers – Wisser Bock (22) and 30-year-old Albertus Bock – for them to have a dignified funeral. 

“Although I am not attending the funeral, I have contributed by buying coffins and other services needed to give them a dignified funeral. However, I will not attend in person, as I will attend another funeral in Windhoek, which is taking place on the same date,” he said.

Maritz described the late employees as trustworthy, adding that he had been working with them for more than five years. 

Khomas police on 11 April discovered the dead bodies with gunshot wounds to their heads in separate rooms at Farm Josephine in the Dordabis district. 

The alleged suspect, identified as Michael Martin (30), who was also an employee on the farm, has since ended his life shortly after seeing the police at his homestead in the Oshana region.

Maritz said although the victim suspect was also his worker, he did not contact his family, as the police are still investigating the matter.  

“As the matter is still under investigation, I did not contact the family – and I don’t know when his burial will be conducted. He is the perpetrator in the matter, and it will not be right for me to contact the family,” he explained.

Maritz said Albertus worked for him for 11 years, Wisser for five and Martins for eight years.

“I don’t know what happened. I still struggle to figure out what exactly led to that horrific incident. My workers had no history of tensions during the period they have been working at the farm,” he noted.

The retired judge added that a fourth employee who stays with his girlfriend at the farm was on annual leave, and had travelled to Aranos before the incident.

“Martin was also living with his girlfriend, but she travelled to the north before the incident occurred. Even when I contacted my remaining worker to ask if there were tensions and fights at the farm before, he said there were none. I still struggle to understand,” he continued.

According to the police report, Martin allegedly contacted Maritz on 11 April about an ongoing robbery at the farmhouse by six armed persons, who demanded the password to the safe to be provided via telephone, which he (Maritz) refused to give.

The retired judge then called the police to rush to the scene – just to discover the decomposed bodies of the workers who had been killed days earlier. 

Police sources said the victim suspect probably committed the murders on Saturday afternoon, stole a Land Cruiser, and drove the vehicle to the north thereafter.


2023-04-21  Loide Jason

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