The residents of Elsies River have expressed relief following the sentencing of the fourth suspect in the Valencia Farmer murder case. Farmer was brutally gang raped and murdered in Eerste Rivier in 1999. Elmario Maasdorp was the fourth suspect linked to the case. He has been sentenced to 23 years in prison for Farmer’s murder and rape. He was arrested last year after new evidence had surfaced linking him to the attack.
14-year-old Valencia was gang raped, stabbed 50 times and her throat slit – a case that left the community shattered. Three men have already been sentenced for their part in the crime – Glenville Faro, Russel van Wyk and Franklin Roberts.
Joan Mouton, founder and project co-ordinator of Community Women Action, which is a women’s group that was set up in response to Farmer’s murder said that they are relieved to get closure.
“Since September last year, when they caught Elmario we supported Mrs Farmer, so now she can rest at ease,” she stated.
Mouton added that during Mrs Farmer’s difficult time of losing her daughter, the community assisted her by going to court with her and today was no different.
“Her child would have been 30 years now. I have two kids of my own who were the ages of Valencia, and I can feel for Mrs Farmer who has been suffering for so many years,” Mouton emphasised.
“Today, we feel at least there is something happening. We truly felt that the justice system is failing our woman and children because why are we unable to keep our woman and children in the community safe? This sentencing gives us hope.” VOC (Najma Bibi Noor Mahomed)