The accused in the brutal farm attack on Robert Lynn and Susan (Sue) Howarth in February 2017 were each sentenced on 30 June 2022, in the Breyten Magistrate’s Court to 37 years imprisonment. Lynn and Howarth were attacked on their farm outside Dullstroom and tortured for hours before being left in a field. Howarth later succumbed to her injuries.
AfriForum’s trauma unit has been supporting Lynn in this matter since 2017.
The two accused, Mischak Nkosinati Yika and Temba William Yika, each faced charges of murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, theft, burglary, possession of a firearm and firing of a firearm within a built-up area. The accused were convicted on all the charges in March this year.
Lynn returned to Ireland after the incident after living in South Africa for 30 years. He testified during the court case but was not present for sentencing. However, he sent an emotional letter that was submitted as evidence.
Lynn wrote in his letter: “Losing my wife, Susan in this totally horrific way, has impacted me to my core, I will never be at peace again. Our friends and family are just as traumatized as I am. I am in my own prison of fear and total sadness because of these violent acts against Susan and I.”
Lynn sustained stab wounds to his back and legs during the attack and was also burned with a blow torch.
Acting Judge Lineo Liphoto said in her ruling that the manner in which Lynn and Howarth were tortured by the accused was degrading, cruel and inhuman and that the court should protect society from such heartless individuals.
“I am grateful with Robert and their loved ones that this day has arrived, and that justice could be done today. Although we are glad about the sentence, we know that no sentence can erase or change the trauma of these events. Justice has been done but the hurt and remembering is still there but now Robert can start healing with his loved ones at their own pace and move forward,” says Johan Kloppers, counsellor at AfriForum’s trauma unit.
Adv. Eric Sihlangu, the state prosecutor in the case, said earlier that the evidence against the Yika brothers was overwhelming.
This is one of many cases in which AfriForum’s trauma unit is involved. The trauma unit provides a unique service, and the counsellors walk the path to recovery and healing with every victim who approaches the unit.
“What we do is not just a job, it is a calling. We know that a person is never the same again after this type of trauma and therefore it is important to know that there is a dedicated team that stands firmly behind victims and their loved ones to offer support,” concludes Kloppers.
The accused have indicated that they will appeal against the sentence.