Sources have confirmed that Johnny Burger, owner of a Wine farm in Robertson, shot and killed himself this morning. He recently received massive criticism via social media, for his alleged physical abuse of a farm worker.
Burger first hit the headlines in July this year. This, from news24:
A Western Cape farmer accused of blinding and rendering a teenager epileptic will appear soon in the Ashton Regional Court, The Star reported on Monday.
According to the newspaper, Flippie Engelbrecht, who is now 19, was 15 when he and his father were attacked while on their way home from a farm in January 2008.
His head reportedly hit a wine tank during the assault and he later went blind and started having epileptic seizures.
The Star reported that Engelbrecht was burnt when he fell into a cooking fire during a seizure in September, and had to have his hands amputated.
Since then, Flippie has been fitted with a pair of ‘robohands.’
The Cape Argus reported earlier this month:
The blind teen amputee at the centre of an assault trial has been fitted with a pair of “Robohands”.
Flippie Engelbrecht, 19, lost his eyesight and developed epilepsy after he was allegedly assaulted by a farmer when he was 15.
He later lost his hands after falling into a fire pit during an epileptic seizure.
The creator of “Robohands”, Richard van As, completed the prostheses last week and Flippie received them on Friday.
The wine farm’s ‘John B‘ wines have been stocked in Pick ‘n Pay and our sources have confirmed that the head winemaker was concerned that the negative social media press would lead to his wines being pulled from Pick ‘n Pay shelves.
Flippie’s biggest supporter was leading something of a crusade on social media, before his suicide this morning. Carin Papenfus was spreading the word about Flippie, using the hashtag #flippie to create awareness. Some people on social media thought it was a spam campaign (see below).
Tweets also show a similar response to any tweets that Burger, his son Kobus, or the farm feed would send out. See screenshots below.
The article to which Papenfus links to in the above Facebook post is this article. The article does not make mention of the wine farm, but it does mention the article subject’s friend J. Burger – not the same person as the farm owner.
The Robertson community has been divided over the incident, with some people alleging that Engelbrecht hand injuries were caused by to cable theft.
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