Life sentence for Cookhouse farmer’s murderer
GOOD, old-fashioned detective work and bit of luck led police to well-known Cookhouse farmer Jonathan Troskie’s killer.
Murderer Luyanda Ximiya, 26, was arrested at the police station after he was spotted inquiring about the case’s progress in Cookhouse.
He was sentenced in the Grahamstown High Court on Thursday to life imprisonment for murder.
Another 35 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances and possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition were added on.
Ximiya shot and killed Troskie, 71, and then savagely beat his wife, Idelette, 73, in December 2013.
Troskie was shot and killed after going to an outbuilding at about 10pm to check why a generator kept tripping.
At the time, the couple’s five young grandchildren – aged between six and 14 – were staying for the holidays.
The children were locked in a bedroom by Ximiya and three others before they assaulted Idelette.
Four suspects were believed to be involved but evidence only incriminated Ximiya. Idelette has since left the farm and moved to Somerset West.
The case was handed over to the Organised Crime division of the Hawks.
Hawks lead detective Warrant Officer Shane Kuhn, 44, yesterday revealed Ximiya had been arrested four days after the attack.
“The attack itself was life changing for the family. They were traumatised and we were determined to catch the perpetrators,” said Kuhn, a detective of 25 years.
The Hawks spent four days after the attack following up leads, tracking suspects and talking to informants.
“A suspect we were questioning said the man we were looking for was inside the police station. He was sitting in there wanting to inquire about the progress of the investigation.
“The DNA results later revealed that his blood was on [Idelette’s] top,” he said.
“Within two days [Ximiya] spilt the beans and told us his role. However, he claimed he was coerced, but evidence shows he was probably the instigator.”
Kuhn said Ximiya had refused to name any other people involved. “We will continue to look for them. It may take time but we will get them,” he said.
Cousin Chris Troskie, 76, said Ximiya’s life in jail would not bring his cousin back.
“He was more than my cousin . . . he was my best friend. We did everything together,” he said. “The incident has left me devastated and scarred for life.”
Agri Eastern Cape chairman Ernest Pringle, who represents 3 000 farmers in the province, said the hefty sentence was “welcomed”.
“It will most definitely serve as a deterrent. Entire families are ruined due to these attacks.”
Police spokeswoman Captain Stefanie Smith, who visited the scene, described the attack as well planned. “This sentence is a victory for all officers involved and everyone who knew the family.”
Acting Cradock cluster commander Colonel Gibson Ntsangani said: “This is a prime example of how brilliant detective work and long hours on the case resulted in this hefty sentence.”