Crime Busters of SA: farm murders 2001-2003
Solidarity trade union: - list of farm murders
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- A Stuijt
- Retired South African medical journalist, ex-Sunday Times of Johannesburg.
In this historic East Cape town, where nobody ever used to locked their doors, middle-class families now are under siege from viciously violent criminal gangs who attacked them 389 times inside their own homes last year, and local ethnic-Indian intellectuals are targetted for terror-driven assassinations... This small town had 41 violent deaths last year...
September 19 2008. The Dispatch newspaper reports that violence-driven crime in the once sleepy Eastern Cape town King William's Town (pop. 8,000) is spiralling out of control, with residents saying they sleep with “one eye open”.
And so they must: more than one armed attack a day is carried out by armed gangs who invade the homes of local middleclass families in this one tiny town alone...countrywide, 40 families are attacked each day.
Picture: the local cops, who admit that violent crime has soared this year, now carry out impromptu body searches in the downtown shopping district of King William's Town in attempts to prevent the violent crimes terrifying local residents.
So fearful are the middle-class residents of this tiny town – situated near the provincial capital of Bhisho, one of the country's poorest districts – that they consider emigrating, and many are spending thousands of rands on alarm systems to protect their loved ones.
Local Kwikspar owner targetted frequently:
“Crime has escalated to such an alarming rate that I sometimes wonder what I’m still doing here; but I am passionate about this town,” said Peter Dhaya, one of the very few ethnic-Indians here, and who was born in the once so peaceful town and runs the local KwikSpar supermarket. His elderly father was shot last year. The town and its surrounding areas have been the scene of increasingly violent crimes that have sent shockwaves through the province. Two highly-educated local ethnic-Indians were murdered in cold blood this year, and even the local police spokeswoman 's husband was in a horrible stabbing incident - and she readily admits that crime has soared.
See video interview:http://www.dispatch.co.za/multimedia/kwt.wmv
Kwikspar owner Dhaya, a multiple-victim of crime himself, has installed high-tech security devices both at home and at his business premises.
- Several attacks, including an armed robbery three years ago in which his elderly father was shot, have forced him to employ drastic measures to ensure the safety of his family.
- “We now even lock our bedroom doors and have interlinking telephones lines. My daughter would at night phone us from her room if she hears funny noises and to check if we are OK.
- "That surely is not the way one should be living,” said the 50- year old Dhaya, who was born in King William’s Town.
Barbed wire has been placed along the electrified walls of his home, and he has spent more than R50,000 on alarm systems there. He has also placed more surveillance cameras at his business, after three armed robberies in the past four years.
Criminals fear no-one, are more daring and sophisticated...
In fact, Dhaya’s house might resemble Fort Knox, but he believes these armed criminal gangs are becoming more sophisticated and daring, almost as if “they are not scared of anyone”.
41 violent deaths in a town of 8,000...
In the South African Police Service crime statistics for the period of April 2007 to March this year, this tiny town recorded 31 murders + 10 culpible homicides, 372 armed assaults against members of the public, 289 'common' robberies, 136 armed robberies -- and 389 attacks targetting families inside their homes, during which rapes and murders were common. They also had three notoriously violent car hijackings: one was particularly horrific: a professor was gunned down, his family terrorised for six hours and his eldest daughter raped.
Bhisho was far less violent: Yet the overcrowded slums of nearby economically-destitute Bhisho (pop.600,000) showed crime statistics which were considerably lower than the higher-income, tiny town of King William's Town -- for instance no Bhisho families were attacked by criminal gangs inside their homes at all last year -- and there were 3 murders...
Community Policing Forum secretary Fumanekile Bixi said these police statistics are “inaccurate” and “not a true reflection” of the truly high level of crime that was taking place in King William's Town.
- “There has definitively been an increase in crime, especially against women ...” said Bixi.
And even police spokeswoman Thozama Solani herself -- whose husband was stabbed five times in an armed robbery last year -- says there's been a “noticeable” increase in violent crime, while still however disputing the claimed 'shortage of police officers'. -
By CHANDRÉ PRINCE
See video interview with local police:
A litany of horror:
SOME of the horrendous violent crimes that have been committed in King William’s Town and its surrounding areas just in the past few months include:
- The execution-style killing of ethnic-Indian Dr Pox Raghavjee in October last year. He was shot twice on a deserted road near the Bhisho Stadium. To date no arrests have been made, despite a substantial reward being offered;
- In April the home and car of King William’s Town-based African National Congress (ANC) member of the Provincial Legislature Phila Nkayi was broken into, with damage and losses estimated at R100,000;
- In May this year a man burgled the home of an unnamed senior South African diplomat and ANC politician, and then raped two of her relatives at knife-point;
- On July 14 an unnamed Fort Hare University professor’s family was terrorised for six hours during a hijacking ordeal between Dimbaza and King William’s Town, during which gangsters shot him dead and raped his eldest daughter. The family was also robbed of more than R3 000;
- On July 17 a 23-year-old woman was gang-raped by three youths, stabbed 37 times and dumped in a river. Three suspects have been arrested and have been denied bail;
- On July 22 Ntomboyise Xhegwana was tied up in her Zihlahleni village house and robbed of her vehicle and R3200 by two armed men;
On July 22 two men were hijacked in Port Elizabeth and driven to Dimbaza, where they were forced to watch the rape of two women; and
- On September 1 a mother and her teenage daughter were raped. They were on their way to a prayer session when attacked.
- On September 7 an 18-year-old teenager was torched and burned to death after a fight with members of his own gang at a tavern at Ndevana location near KWT. -
By CHANDRÉ PRINCE
King William's Town lies in a district with some 1,6million people according to the 2001 census. More than 90% are Xhosa-speaking, 4% are English- and 3% Afrikaans-speaking and there are small groups of other tribes. The area also has the highest rates of infection with the deadly combination of HIV + TB in the entire country. http://www.statssa.gov.za/census01/html/default.asp
The 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica reported that in 1904, the town had a population of "9506, of whom 5987 were whites" after repeated, exhausting wars with the British colonial government and the local Xhosa population throughout that previous century. However, the town only started prospering after the Crimean War. Many of the district residents are descendants of soldiers who fought in the pro-British Crimean War's disbanded German legion, and who were promised homes in the Cape Colony for their participation; hence such names as Berlin, Braunschweig, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Potsdam and Stutterheim given to settlements in this part of the country.
WHY IS THE HOMECOMING REVOLUTION LYING ABOUT SA'S VICIOUS CRIME RATE?
FOURTY HOUSEHOLDS A DAY ATTACKED IN SA BY ARMED KILLER-GANGS
Johannesburg - Sept 14 2008 - CITY PRESS REPORTS that the safety of passengers at Johannesburg international airport might be 'compromised' following the suspension of 52 Airports Company South Africa security personnel.
The National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) raised this concern, saying Acsa had no capacity to replace the suspended workers. http://www.airports.co.za/
UN WARNS: ' DON'T LAND AT JOHANNESBURG AIRPORT AT NIGHT...'
However even with a full contingent of ACSA security personnel, the airport was already very unsafe for passengers. In fact, on June 13 2008 the United Nations issued a warning to all its personnel not to land at this airport at night - it was just too dangerous. The UN travel alert also warned that the Johannesburg and Pretoria areas were the most dangerous with 'a marked increase in armed robberies of travellers from the airport this year.'
- "In most cases, victims are ambushed in their driveways or hotel lobbies with firearms, or robbed when they travel from the airport.'"Make advance travel arrangements and avoid arriving at the Johannesburg airport at night. Do not exchange foreign exchange at the airport and try and avoid giving out any personal information to anyone. When UN employees travel in a car or a taxi in SA, all their belongings must be placed out of sight on the floor or in the car-boot'.http://www.news24.com/Beeld/Suid-Afrika/0,,3-975_2339875,00.html
This week, 52 members of ACSA's most vital security personnel were escorted off the premises -- 'suspended for misconduct' claims the company - 'kicked out for not attending a meeting', claims the Union - which warns this week that serious understaffing problems have now been created at the airport which pose an immediate danger to the security of the passengers, warned Nehawu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla. Acsa denies the claim.
"These (suspended) guys double-check security measures implemented by private security companies at the airport and check if those companies comply with international standards. Who will do their job in their absence? Colleagues who remain can't possibly cope."
He also accused Acsa of unfairly suspending the workers, saying they were being punished for 'snubbing a meeting called by Acsa chief executive Monhla Hlahla earlier this year.
- "They continued working while their colleagues left their work stations to attend this campaign meeting and they were later accused of embarking on a go-slow," he said.
Pamla said the suspended workers 'were also embarrassed by being publicly escorted out of the airport building by police. They were not even warned. Police just approached them individually and told them they were requested to vacate the building, without any explanation," Pamla said. "They received letters afterwards, but no explanation was given. Even now the company refuses to elaborate. You can't shoot a person and then ask questions later, so they can't be investigating something they do not know."
An Acsa spokeswoman said however the workers were 'suspended for misconduct,'instead, denying that passenger safety would be compromised: 'contingency measures had been put in place. The people currently manning the stations are well trained and we are confident that security will not be compromised," she said. - City Press
Work halted at FIFA's worldcup football stadium in Nelspruit, SA by angry pupils
Nelspruit. Matafin township, South Africa. - In scenes very reminiscent of the anti-apartheid riots, hundreds of toyi-toying black South Africa schoolchildren yesterday burnt down their school while demonstrating at Mpumalanga's 2010 Soccer World Cup stadium in Nelspruit on Monday. Hundreds of stadium-workers were again prevented from entering the gates by the pupils. These children have been protesting for several months now.
Yesterday their anger at the local ANC-officials' ignoring their plight, reached breaking point. In their weeks-long attempts to be heard, pupils - some as young as eight -- joined in to protest about their stifling-hot 'temporary' Zozo-classrooms and delayed the stadium’s construction by yet another day.
Pupils evicted from the Cyril Clarke Secondary School in Mataffin marched the few kilometres from their temporary Zozo-classrooms to the stadium on Monday and again on Tuesday, just as they did last week and for several months before that -- demanding to be let through gates.
- Among angry talk of "taking back our old classrooms" in the building site, the pupils danced and whistled, sha-king sticks and branches outside the stadium gates with J&M Security and a heavy police presence keeping a watchful eye.
"Those classrooms are too hot, there is no fan or air conditioner and it is summer!" one of the boys shouted. Yesterday one group distracted the police, while another group torched a library and two of their temporary prefab-classrooms in protest against being evicted from their old, solid, brickbuilding-schools to make way for a stadium parking lot...
The firebombed buildings are part of a temporary prefab-school accommodating pupils from two other schools: the historic,, solid-brick Cyril Clark High in Matafin, and John Mdluli Primary schools in Matsafeni township. Sadly, these historic, solid-brick buildings are earmarked for demolition -- just to make way for a temporary parking lot for the R1-bn football stadium. The kids are being promised a 'brand-new building' with all the mod-cons, but meanwhile have been dumped in extremely hot prefab-classrooms where they collapse from the heat each day.
Moreover, the kids say the officials are lying -- they were kicked out of their comfortable brick-buildings so that the stadium building contractors could have offices. These buildings still stand and they want to go back because it's stiflingly-hot inside the ZoZo huts, and at least half-a dozen children collapse daily from the heat, health officials have confirmed.
picture:School-torchings during apartheid: On 16 June 1976, a large group of pupils organised by the Azanian People's Organisation (AZAPO), marched to Orlando Stadium, torched several schools and set off the infamous Soweto riots: http://www.southafrica.info/about/history/hastings-ndlovu-150605.htm
TEARGAS, HEAVY POLICE PRESENCE:
The two Nelspruit-based journalists write that the pupils started protesting outside the stadium at 07:00 on Monday morning. They quote police as saying that they 'deployed a heavy police presence.'
"The officers were distracted by some of the demonstrators when suddenly the buildings were torched," said Nelspruit police Inspector Dawie Pretorius. Police then fired teargas into the crowd, and forced the protestors away from the stadium into the fenced yard of their hated temporary school.
- Although police have not yet arrested anyone for the fires, they did arrest three pupils and three adult Matsafeni community members for allegedly smashing locks on a gate to the stadium construction site.
"We arrested the six suspected ringleaders, between the ages of 15 and 25 years, on charges relating to malicious damage to property," said Inspector Pretorius.
A daily occurrance: Confirming that the protests at the stadium site had become an almost daily occurrence, Inspector Pretorius said the demonstrators consistently complained that the new prefabricated school was impossible to study in -- and the health-records confirm this. Three of the protestors, Mavis Dube, 17, Tiger Mavuso, 18, and Jabulile Khoza, 16, said that while their old schools were solidly built brick buildings, the new school was a flimsy building without ventilation or protection against the Lowveld region's high humidity and stifling heat.
- "Up to six learners collapse each day because of the heat. Even the teachers no longer try to teach after break, because they know no-one can concentrate," explains Khoza. "The politicians and city council all promised us a better, bigger, brick school but here we sit in Zozo huts. The old schools are still standing. We were kicked out so the contractors could use them as offices."
ANC-fatcats say they are 'not involved':
Mbombela municipal spokesman Vusi Sibiya, while confirming that 'the city council is responsible for the 2010 stadium project', refused to accept responsibility for the schools.
"The mayor is not involved. The only thing that links us to the protests is that both the schools and the stadiums are in our municipal area. The people who must take responsibility are the provincial education department," said Sibiya.
And Provincial education spokesman Jasper Zwane is 'on holiday'-- referring all questions to spokesman Kagiso Phatlane - who was 'in meetings all day' and unavailable for comment.
Education department head Raymond Tywakadi also declined to take calls on the matter, saying he was 'in meetings'. http://www.news24.com/News24/South_Africa/News/0,,2-7-1442_2397855,00.html
SOURCES TO THE ABOVE