One of the robbers who allegedly attacked and injured Schalk, 64, and Lana, 63, Coetzee on Saturday at their farm near Reivilo in North West, appeared in Taung Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.
Thembile Cornelius Plaatjie, 38, remains in custody until his next court appearance on June 17, when he is expected to apply for bail, Col. Police spokesperson Adéle Myburgh said.
Plaatjie is charged with attempted murder, house robbery and motor theft. His suspected friends were also arrested and interrogated a few hours after the attack on Saturday, but released for the time being.
The Coetzee couple are still being treated at a hospital in Kimberley. Schalk sustained severe burns when the robbers poured boiling water over him.
Lana sustained fractures to her skull and cheekbones during the assault. Both are full of bruises.
The robbers demanded money, of which there was not much in the farmhouse, said Piet Coetzee, Schalk’s brother.
The robbers had scarves around their faces and handguns when they attacked Schalk outside the farmhouse around 8am. They assaulted him, and attacked him with stones and corrugated iron before assaulting Lana in the house. The robbers later both burned the couple in the house with boiling water after the Coetzees had already handed them all the money in the house.
The robbers then tied the couple up and looted the house. They then left with the stolen property in the couple’s Nissan X-Trail.
Lana unwrapped herself and walked a mile to call for help from the neighboring farm. Her face was badly swollen after the attack and her eyes were blue and swollen.
Police and farmers in the area worked together to search for the Nissan and it was finally noticed in the Schweizer-Reneke area. However, the suspects ran away. The vehicle was later brought to a standstill and the occupants ran away.
Plaatjie was apparently shot in the torso when he allegedly shot at one of the farmers, Myburgh said. He was arrested and treated in a hospital under police supervision. He was not seriously injured and has since been discharged, after which he appeared in court.
According to Brig. Police spokesperson Sabata Mokgwabone stolen cellphones, as well as a handgun, have been seized, which may have been used in the attack.
It appears the robbers allegedly stole a vacuum cleaner, meat and a heater.