Winemaker Charles Back survives brutal crow bar attack and still makes it to work the next day

Charles Back of Fairview estate in South Africa has survived a brutal attack at his farm in which he suffered a number of broken bones, making it into work the next day to demonstrate what “real work commitment looks like”.

Charles Back lived to tell the tale, making it into work the very next day. Image: Fairview.

On Tuesday evening (13/02) Back was set upon by three people at his farm in Paarl. He was beaten up with a crow bar, suffering broken bones as a result, and was rolled up in a carpet and “left for dead”.

In a Facebook post released on the Fairview page, Back, the third generation owner of the estate, posted an account of his ordeal.

He describes the attack as “physically and emotionally painful” and that his escape “is nothing short of miraculous” and that he feels as if he has “come back from the dead”.

What is all the more remarkable, however, was that Back still made it into work the next day.

Back has been working at the estate since 1978. Image: Fairview

“I decided to come straight from the hospital and stop by Fairview, to show my millennial counter-parts what real work commitment looks like, as on-going banter we have between us,” Back said.

He was beaten up by what he refers to as “three common gangsters” and does not believe that the attack was “politically divisive in any way”.

In his statement, he referred to the “ongoing farm attacks” which are taking place across the region.

In September last year, fellow winegrower Joubert Conradie, was shot and killed at his farm in Stellenbosch. 

“I am so grateful to be alive, and my heart goes out to all the people that have lost their family members in the ongoing farm attacks,” said Back in his statement.

“I want it to be known that this attack was not politically divisive in any way, but that these were just three common gangsters motivated by their own self-interests. I believe in the values that this country was built on, and continue to hope for harmony and peace.

“I am now doubly motivated to come into work everyday, and will continue to ensure that I can contribute and try make even the smallest difference in my community”.

10 Responses to “Winemaker Charles Back survives brutal crow bar attack and still makes it to work the next day”

  1. amazed says:

    South Africans are probably the toughest people on the planet.

  2. True grit! Very thankful you were not even more badly hurt and pleased to see you back on your feet Charles. Best wishes, Philip

  3. Angela Reddn says:

    Amazing Fortitude. You are one tough cookie. Best wishes

  4. Laurie Malcom says:

    G-d Bless Mr Back !! May you live to 110 enjoying your wine every day!!

  5. Thank you for being so measured in your response and comments Mr Back. You are an inspirational and brave man indeed!
    With every best wish for a full and speedy recovery.
    Holly & Simon Bellingham-Turner

  6. An example that should inspire. Back is back !

  7. Like the others, I salute your courage and generosity of spirit. I remember with great pleasure my visit to Fairview many years ago.

  8. Greg Miller says:

    I am not saying I’m not as tough as he is, but I called off work tomorrow just having looked at the photo.

  9. Abby and Judy Tren says:

    Abby and Judy Tren are horrified to hear about the attack. We will always remember how Fairview and Backsberg not only produced wonderful wines but were leaders in their excellent treatment of staff. It was a joy to distribute their wines in the Gauteng area in the 1970s and 1980s

  10. Francis Vorhies says:

    My wife and I starting drinking Backsberg Red in the early 90s and for many years have been regular visitors to Fairview. Fairview is also a must-visit wine farm for our overseas guests. We were, of course, most saddened to hear that Charles had been attacked. But we raise our glasses of Primo Pinotage in a toast to Charles, to his courage, to his passion, and to his love for the Beloved Country.

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