Crime Busters of SA: farm murders 2001-2003
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- A Stuijt
- Retired South African medical journalist, ex-Sunday Times of Johannesburg.
With aldicarb/two-step agri-poison readily available at taxi-ranks and muti-shops, violent crime-syndicates are using it to poison family dogs before they attack people inside their homes…
Aug 4 2009 HEIDELBERG, GAUTENG/TRANSVAAL -- Gloria Edwards of Beeld newspaper reports that in the small rural town of Heidelberg in South Africa, more than 500 pet dogs have been found poisoned with aldicarb – the agricultural poison better known as Two Step.
Dog poisoners are ruthless criminals
Chubb security services has been warning since last year “of the alarming increase in dog poisoning by criminals lurking in SA's suburbs” . The armed response company gets regular reports of such incidents.
They urge dog owners to keep their animals locked inside the house at night and also, to train them not to ever take any food from strangers.
"Criminals line meat with rat poison and throw it over the fence. If an owner suspects the dog has been poisoned, the dog must be rushed to a vet immediately," the statement said.
Earlier this year, Tim Snow of the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Poison Working Group told a Mail & Guardian journalist that tons of illicit Aldicarb/Two Step poisons, imported by the container-loads from the USA, are for sale at taxi-ranks and in muti-shops – and are used to also poison dogs in suburban areas. http://www.wingshooters.co.za/pdf/articles/Poisons-Enough%20is%20Enough.pdf
Picture, poisoned dogs in Vanderbijlpark – Tens of thousands of dogs are being poisoned countrywide by local crime-syndicates before they go on their crime-sprees. Thus preventative policing to help find these poisoners often can also roll up an entire gang in one fell swoop. In Heidelberg, police reportedly refuse to help the community in this pro-active policing approach. However in Vanderbijlpark, police are more cooperative. . On this picture, police constable Metsepe Moletsane sadly looks on as nine-year-old Renier van Jaarsveld, 9, and brother Roelfie, 4, kneel in dispair next to their murdered little dogs Sussie and Killer. All eight of the family’s dogs were poisoned. picture: Beeld photographer/journalist Sonja van Buul.
One Heidelberg veterinarian tried to save 500 poisoned dogs thus far this year:
The five-hundred dogs poisoned in Heidelberg are just the statistics from one local veterinarian, said resident Debbie Seinsch. Obviously, many more dogs are being poisoned than the residents know about. “From those 500 dogs, the vet could only save 40,’ she said at a recent emergency meeting of the Heidelberg Police Community Forum about the crime threat emanating from the mass-poisonings.
The local residents heard at the meeting that the forum members had managed to gather their own reliable information after police had failed to solve any of these cases – and obtained proof that a specific organised crime syndicate from the nearby Ratanda squatter camp was responsible for these mass-poisonings, carried out before crime-sprees. However, residents said when they took the tip-offs from a reliable source – who’d risked his life to help them -- to the local Heidelberg police’s organised crime branch, they weren’t interested, saying that ‘this was not their job’.
Ratanda police station with its suspended, squatting commander…
It’s also at this very same Ratanda police station where its suspended commander, Senior Superintendent David Matlahola, was forcibly removed from his office after he’d moved into it with all his belongings – and was ordering junior cops around to fetch and carry for him -- after the police had stopped paying him R8,000 a month to stay in a guest house. Clearly, policing this community has fallen by the wayside while this insanity was going on. Matlahola was suspended in 2002 after a charge of sexual harassment was laid against him. He was moved to a Limpopo police office but then returned to the Ratanda police station where he was in charge when the sexual harassment complaint was laid. Upon his arrival from Limpopo, the police paid about R8000 per month for him to stay in a guest house ‘to give him time to find a house’. http://www.thestar.co.za/?fSectionId=&fArticleId=nw20090807140532303C756528
Crime spree in Heidelberg:
Heidelberg chairman of the local community police forum, Johan Bester, who callled an emergency meeting of the residents, said he was also deeply disappointed that the invited police commander, senior superintendent Balaraman Govindasamy, had failed to show up.
Heidelberg residents expressed deep anger with the police’s failure to act against violent criminals which were poisoning their dogs. They feel threatened and angry by the poisonings, because often these are just the first warning signs that their families will be attacked next.
Many residents said they had shown up at the meeting to try and work with Gonvindasamy in ‘trying to find answers about their lack of action against criminals’. The residents now are even threatening to turn their fighting mood into action ‘if the police don’t act by protecting our animals.”
Mrs Seinsch said her daughter-in-law Leoni who lives in J G Strydom Street in the suburb of Rensburg, has already lost four dogs to poisoners, and the vet managed to save two.
The community announced that they would pay R10,000 to anyone who can provide information which would lead to the arrest of the poisoners – and a man from Ratanda tipped them off about the organised crime syndicate, which poisons the dogs before they go on their crime sprees. “We took the information to the Heidelberg detectives branch but an inspector there refused to accept it because ‘it wasn’t his job’. We also took the information to the police’s organised crime branch – but thus far, nothing has been done.
Resident Mrs Margaret Paton also complained about the police’s slow reaction to take action against the crime-syndicate.
Bester said Heidelberg has become a disaster area for dogs and demanded that the police provide an immediate action plan. Local superintendent Michiel Olivier reacted by saying that ‘although it’s difficult to catch such criminals, we will do everything in our power to find a solution together with the community.’ It’s not clear why Govindasamy couldn’t have said all this at the emergency meeting himself. http://jv.news24.com/Beeld/Suid-Afrika/0,,3-975_2545121,00.html Also click here for other South African dog poisonings
Similar complaints about police lethargy in response to the violent-crime wave which is washing over South Africa, also are reported from other regions of South Africa. The latest horror stories in this regard emerged from the well-to-do northern suburbs of Johannesburg.
Increasingly, besieged white residents are asking themselves why SA taxpayers still must pay taxes for such lax policing services when taxpayers now also have to spend most of their waking hours and spend vast amounts of money on policing their own communities and protecting their own neighbourhoods and family homes with expensive security measures. And often, when members of these community-policing forums make citizens’ arrests during their patrols and turn the suspects over to police – even the worst criminals are released on bail.
Police didn’t know about attacks until hearing it from the news media…
Picture from IOL.co.za: This debonair dandy is the country’s new Police Commissioner – Bheki Cele, a super-rich businessman without any policing experience. He admitted in parliament that ‘many policemen own taxi-companies’. Which might also explain what is really going on at South African police stations these days…
“The problem of police officers owning taxis was well known in the service,” National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele said in Parliament on Friday. Cele told Parliament's standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) the conflict of interest of officers owning taxis was "one of the main troublesome areas" in the police service. "You have cases for example where an officer would have a mother with 51 taxis," he said. "The problem is known."Cele wasamong the public officials who had been called before Scopa to answer questions on government employees doing business with national departments. - Sapa http://www.int.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=13&art_id=nw20090807120730895C532461
In the latest horror-incident which police didn’t know about until hearing it on Radio 702 two hours later, four Blairgowrie, Randburg residents – a man, a woman and two twin babies they were looking after – who were locked in a maid’s room on Friday-afternoon and set alight by a large armed robbery gang. Nothing was robbed. People who knew the family said it may have been a ‘love-tiff’. Whatever it was – the police only showed up two hours later after hearing about it on the radio. http://www.int.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=13&art_id=vn20090808072530338C404750
And two days earlier at nearby Midrand, Damelin distance-learning college lecturer Mrs Gillian Lindsell, 42, pictured, a mom of three young girls, photographed left, was shot through the back without any apparent reason after she was ordered to lie down on the floor of her home by a gang of armed black men. She is now fighting for her life at Johannesburg General Hospital. Police told Beeld newspaper when the journalist inquired as to the progress they may have made in finding the large robbery gang, that they ‘weren’t even aware of the incident, but would investigate…’ http://midrand.oink.co.za/content/view/121/1/
Dog poisoners are ruthless criminals
Chubb security services has been warning “of the alarming increase in dog poisoning by criminals lurking in SA's suburbs” since last year. The armed response company said they are getting regular reports of such incidents. “Dog owners need to be vigilant for any suspicious visitors in and around the communities," Chubb services said in a statement. They urge dog owners to keep their animals locked inside the house at night and also, to train them not to ever take any food from strangers. "Criminals line meat with rat poison and throw it over the fence. If an owner suspects the dog has been poisoned, the dog must be rushed to a vet immediately," the statement said.
These criminals are very ruthless and also don’t hesitate to kill any homeowners who get in their way besides poisoning their dogs, security experts warn. Many dog-poisonings are never reported to police.
For instance, Pretoria businessman John Cooper, 48, died in his bedroom and his wife was assaulted on March 23, 2009 – after their Rottweiler guard dog was poisoned by a gang of five attackers. Paramedics managed to save the dog in time, said police spokesman Captain Bonginkosi Msimango. Msimango said Cooper, the owner of West End trailers, ran the trailer business from his house in Proclamation Hill. Just after 1am on Sunday, five armed men entered the house and confronted Cooper and his wife."They shot the man,” said Msimango. “He died in the bedroom. The robbers then ordered the wife to give them money. She opened the safe and the robbers fled with an undisclosed amount.’ Willie Lightfoot, of LifeMed Ambulance Services, said they were called to the scene at about 2am. http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?art_id=vn20090324062636380C463382
Tons of imported, illicit Aldicarb/Two Step at taxi-ranks, muti-shops
Between 176 000 and 470 000 gamebirds also are maliciously poisoned on farms in Southern Africa every year because Aldicarb/Two Steps is widely available, and imported from the United States by the container-loads each month. The deliberate poisoning of wildlife and pets thus has taken on disaster proportions.
- The poisoning is done deliberately for a variety of reasons; for food, to sell the game meat, to control pest animals on crops or predators of livestock. Aldicarb is one of the ‘dirty dozen of agricultural poisons, so powerful that a small dosage can kill a grown man.
Earlier in 2009, Tim Snow of the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Poison Working Group told a Mail & Guardian journalist that tons of illicit Aldicarb/Two Step poisons are for sale at taxi-ranks and in muti-shops – and is being snapped up to also poison dogs in suburban areas. http://www.wingshooters.co.za/pdf/articles/Poisons-Enough%20is%20Enough.pdf Reports of poisonings of residents in black townships also are widespread: http://www.mg.co.za/article/2008-08-16-body-of-missing-teen-found-in-pit-latrine