Barkly West farmer dies after attack

Several of Colleen Harveys fingers were injured after attackers ripped six of her rings off her fingers when her husband Athol and her were attacked on their farm. Athol died a few days ago. Picture: Soraya Crowie

A local farmer who was attacked on his farm, Weltevrede near Spitskopdam outside Barkly West, has died. 

Athol Harvey (80), died at his home on Monday three days after he was discharged from Gariep Mediclinic. 

Harvey suffered multiple injuries and a fractured skull after he and his wife, Colleen Harvey, were attacked by intruders on February 14 this year.

He was hit with a crowbar and both he and his wife were assaulted by their intruders. 

Harvey’s daughter, Suzanne von Maltitz, said yesterday that the family was awaiting the autopsy results to determine the cause of his death. 

“My father passed away on Monday at 5.45pm. He was at home at the time. 

“My mother and father were staying in Kimberley and had not returned to the farm as he was still receiving medical treatment for his head injuries. He had recovered from his injuries, except for the head injuries he sustained during the attack. 

“The doctor said he had fluid leaking in his head or brain and his body had to absorb it. 

“According to my mother, they had some tea in the afternoon and she heard him breathing deeply. She asked him what was wrong but he had already died,” Von Maltitz said. 

She said they suspected that the cause of his death was as a result of his head injuries. 

Read also: https://www.dfa.co.za/news/woman-fights-off-farm-attackers/

“After the incident, my father complained of headaches. I know my father’s medical history and he had been in good health before the attack. He was still farming and was not sickly. The pathology results will determine whether my father died from natural causes or from the fractured skull he sustained. If he did die from his injuries then the police need to charge those responsible with the murder of my father,” she said. 

She added that her mother was devastated by the incident and her husband’s death. 

“My mother is emotionally broken and angry, even though she has recovered from her injuries. My parents were married for 55 years. This is absolutely heartbreaking,” she said. 

Von Maltitz said she ran the farm while her parents were recovering from the attack. 

“I went to stay on the farm. I drove to the city every night to check on them. I spoke to my father on the phone on Monday and he told me what tasks I needed to carry out on the farm. He said that besides having a headache he was doing fine,” said Von Maltitz. 

She added that a private memorial service would be held on Friday. No-one has been arrested in connection with the attack. 

Meanwhile Piet Els, who was also attacked on his farm outside Kimberley, is still in intensive care where his condition has been described a “stable but serious”.

Several of Colleen Harveys fingers were injured after attackers ripped six of her rings off her fingers when her husband Athol and her were attacked on their farm. Athol died a few days ago. Picture: Soraya Crowiemore
Colleen Harvey after the attack. Picture: Soraya Crowiemore