The Hoyana family – who tragically lost their son and brother, Anele, after he was bludgeoned to death in a farmhouse in East London over the weekend – says his killer was not a stranger but a neighbour of 15 years.
“Fritz [Joubert] was not a stranger to us as a family, he was our neighbour for 15 years,” family spokesperson Olwethu Hoyana told News24 on Tuesday.
“I personally do not live on the farm, it is a family home therefore I cannot claim to know him very well but my mother who lives on the farm knows him relatively well and [Joubert] would help her with anything she needed on the farm so this is shocking,” he added.
The 45-year-old smallholder had allowed Anele, his wife and their two children to live temporarily on his property.
Olwethu clarified Anele had not “officially” indicated to the family he was living with Joubert, but he knew the pair were going into business together.
“For the past four months, Anele was living at home but they recently struck up a friendship and we are told they started working on a game-farming venture,” he explained.
These plans were short-lived because during the early hours of Saturday Anele was murdered.
News24 previously reported that, according to Eastern Cape police, a traditional ceremony was under way at the farm. The men had been socialising in the early hours of Saturday when an argument ensued and escalated to a physical fight between the pair on the deck outside the farmhouse.
“The farm owner assaulted this 40-year-old male friend with his fists and a rifle butt, resulting in the victim sustaining severe head injuries,” police spokesperson Captain Hazel Mqala said at the time.
The murder was seemingly captured on videos that have been widely shared on social media.
In the videos, Joubert refers to Hoyana as Satan and threatens to punish him. Hoyana is seen holding one of his children. In other videos, he is seen slumped on a chair and then lying on a wooden deck outside with his traumatised wife nearby, News24 reported.
“This video is shocking, no one knows what brought about this aggression from Fritz towards Anele,” Olwethu said.
He said while Anele’s children – aged two weeks and two years old – were too young to register what happened on that fateful day, his wife – who witnessed the ordeal – was still traumatised.
“She is very, very distraught. We have not been able to sit down with her as a family to hear what happened. She is at home, safe with the kids but she is still traumatised,” Olwethu added.
Fritz was killed during a scuffle with on-duty police who arrived on the scene in the early hours of Saturday.
One of the videos showing Anele being assaulted while his wife begs for mercy in the background were shared by what the family refers to as an “imposter”.
A Twitter user with the handle @ThembaRumbu claimed to be Anele’s cousin on Monday.
“Initially, I thought it was pretty weird and a bit hilarious. Who is this guy?” Olwethu said.
The family only took the “imposter” seriously once they received news that he was allegedly seeking donations on behalf of the family.
“That is when we realised that this was getting out of hand, we do not know this man,” he added.
Rumbu has since deleted the tweets and apologised, claiming Anele was related to his sister and further acknowledging it was not his place to speak on behalf of the family.
“The deceased is related to my sister, and it was not my place to talk about it or come out with it and for that I apologise and as it is a sensitive matter I’d like to apologise to Anele’s brothers during this time. Ibingeyo ndawo yam,” he tweeted on Monday.
The Deceased is related to my Sister and it was not my place to talk about it or come out with it and that I apologize for and as it is a sensitive matter I’d like to apologize to Anele’s Brothers during this time. Ibingeyo ndawo yam
— Themba Rumbu (@ThembaRumbu) December 2, 2019