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.
Billions of Rands worth of heroin, hashish smuggled inside batteries in Asian international syndicate operation…
September 20 2009 -- Fred Kockott of the Sunday Independent in South Africa reports that tens of thousands of batteries filled with hashish and heroin ‘raked in billions for the international (Asian-run) drug syndicate that has been operating between Durban and Britain for over a year.’
Six people have been arrested in Durban, and two in the UK. The SA-UK "battery gang", as it is now dubbed, is also suspected of having high-level government connections - even to officials in the correctional services, customs and police in South Africa.
- Head of the SAPS Hawks narcotics division, Senior Superintendent Devon Naicker, asked to comment by Kockott, however merely said: "they appear to be well connected".
“Bigger fish” than the five men now in custody:
Naicker, a former top SA Narcotics Bureau detective, is assisting a team of organised crime detectives investigating the syndicate operations following a tip-off from British authorities. Earlier last week, Naicker believed detectives had "taken down the whole South African leg of the scheme", but on Friday he said ongoing investigations had revealed "bigger fish".
- Naicker said he had been tipped off about the syndicate's operations after a consignment of 160kg of heroin, concealed among boxes of curios from South Africa, had landed at London's Heathrow Airport two weeks ago.
"We kept it very quiet and did discreet checks on the companies that had sent it. Then, when they had finalised the operation in the UK, arresting one suspect and seizing a total of 240kg of heroin, they gave us the go-ahead to take down the syndicate," said Naicker.
After arresting two South African men, Moganenthan Nadasen, 52, and Gopal Ganesh, 48, at the SA Cultural Curios - a small shop in Phoenix's Starwood Mall - a "whole chain of events unfolded".
Phoenix is primarily Indian: located some 20km northwest of central Durban, is one of the oldest Indian settlements in South Africa, with indentured labourers from sugar cane plantations during the British colonial occupation years, making their homes there decades ago. Places of interestinclude the Emperumal Hindu Temple, 1875, in Mt Edgecombe and the historic Phoenix settlement, spiritual home of Mahatma Ghandi. the founder of modern-day India who practiced as a young lawyer there.
The arrest of the two South African men – Nadasen and Ganesh, pictured in the news clipping above -- "led us to another business, and from one warehouse to the next, to another storage facility, a battery factory and to a home in La Lucia where they had run a packaging laboratory to conceal the drugs," said Naidoo.
By Wednesday, police had arrested three more suspects - British nationals Paul Bromley, 40, the Beazley brothers Paul, 34, and John; and confiscated vast amounts of drugs. This included 116kg of heroin, six tons of hashish (cannabis resin), and 500kg of compressed cannabis.
Naicker estimated the local street value of the drugs seized at R600 million.
- "It's probably worth 10 times that in UK and Europe. That's a serious amount of drugs to go missing. People are already crying, literally so - over it."
He said because of the "tight security" needed around the South African leg of the investigations, only a handful of Durban organised crime unit detectives, led by Captain Devan Moodley, had been involved in the investigations.
He said the evidence and interviews conducted indicated that the drugs had been shipped from the South East Asia, including Pakistan, offloaded in Maputo, then trucked via Johannesburg to Durban. In Durban, the drugs were allegedly taken to various storage facilities and warehouses and then to a house in La Lucia where packaging and concealment of the drugs took place.
- The main method of concealing the drugs was by using empty battery casings and boxes of curios. These items would then be freighted to Johannesburg International Airport and flown to the UK, where they were collected by duplicate front companies, such as SA Cultural Curios UK and battery shops, said Naicker. "From there, they were distributed throughout the UK and Europe. This was all happening under the pretence of legitimate trade."
To support the trafficking scheme, an entire battery warehouse had been established in Durban specialising in the production of battery casings. With the scheme having allegedly operated for over a year, Naicker believes the syndicate raked in billions through the sale of the drugs.
He said investigations and asset seizures flowing out of the "battery gang" case trial were likely to extend over several years, but might never expose the drugs' original sources. "We will investigate that, but it's obviously difficult for us to make headway in tracing suppliers in places like Pakistan and Afghanistan," said Naicker.
My comment: If these Pakistan/Afghani networks, linked to their kin in Durban South Africa, can smuggle drugs this easily, they could also use similar sophisticated methods to smuggle explosives all over the word – and indeed also other weapons. These are in fact manufactured on a vast scale in South Africa, with its government-controlled, local arms-manufacturing industry, and AECI explosives manufacturers serving the needs of the large mining-conglomerates.
September 21 2009 -- Die Burger, the Afrikaans-language newspaper in Cape Town, is running a report today by journalist Herman Eloff – quoting the well-respected crime-busting organisation e-blockwatch in South Africa, which claims that the ‘missing 24-year-old Nikole Renaye Harris of Olympia in Washington State, USA never was missing at all.”
It was all a hoax and the girl is safe and sound – in the USA, writes Eloff.
Andre Snyman of e-blockwatch reportedly old the “Burger” journalist that Ms Harris ‘never arrived in South Africa at all -- and the calls she’d made were never placed from inside South Africa. She probably sat with a map in front of her and picked out placenames.”
His organisation became involved in the girl’s countrywide search on Saturday when professional hunter Tex Wormald of Cradock – who was expected the American girl to arrive at their family hunting lodge – officially reported her as missing enroute from Johannesburg Airport. The eblockwatch team then sent out an SMS late on Sunday-night, saying: ‘we found the American girl. She’s safe in the USA. “
- However SA Police captain Jan Greyling said he’s still ínvestigating all the leads and they cannot confirm this latest information (from eblockwatch).
Here’s what’s been reported thus far:
“On Tuesday she hired a silver VW Polo at Joburg airport, lost her way -- driving nearly to Musina although headed for Cradock – but by Saturday she disappeared somewhere near Hanover, Cape Town…
September 19 2009 at 03:33PM -- Twenty-four-year-old Nikole Renaye Harris, en-route to Cradock in the Eastern Cape has gone missing, police said on Saturday. She’s frail: suffering from low-blood pressure problems which can cause her to become comatose.
Police inspector Elmarie van Eck said Ms Harris had departed from Johannesburg International Airport in Gauteng on Tuesday after arriving from the USA -- and had hired a silver Volkswagen Polo there. Ms Harris, is from Olympia in Washington State in the USA, a small town of about 42,000 residents.
“She was meant to drive to Cradock in the Eastern Cape. When she did not reach her destination, her friends filed a missing persons report.” The hired car could not be traced because it did not have a tracking device.
"So far we have no other leads, but we suspect she could be somewhere in the Western Cape," said Inspector Van Eck. On her last phone call to her friends, the missing woman said she ‘had just passed a Bloemfontein road sign’.
Llewellyn Prince of Rapport newspaper writes on Sept 20 2009 that search parties have been launched trying to find her. Her friend Tex Wormall, email Royhunt@intekom.co.za, tel. Tel: +27(0)48 881 1363; Fax: +27(0)48 881 1363; Mobile: +27(0)83 305 9885 – and pictured below right with his parents Jenny and Roy, has been travelling along the entire route she could haved taken, hoping to find her – and calling on area farmers to try and locate her and her car.
However by late Saturday-afternoon, there still was no trace of Nikole. She travelled from the town of Olympia in Washington State, in the USA for a surprise visit to her friend Tex Wormald (24), on the Wormald family game farm near Cradock, the Afrikaans newspaper reports.
Initially she’d lost her way when travelling from Johannesburg Airport – she headed north instead of South – unfamiliar with driving on the left-hand-side of the road. Wormald said personnel at the car-rental agency at the airport had to redirect her towards the Craddock-route. “However when she phoned me at 3am on Wednesday-morning, she’d already passed Polokwane/Pietersburg and was nearly in Musina on the Zimbabwean border. I told her she was heading in the wrong direction, and had to turn around to head southwards.’ I then also took my car and started driving in her direction, and told her I’d get her in Bloemfontein or Johannesburg. Then her cellphone got weak. She ended up on the N1 near Cape Town and phoned me when she was somewhere near Richmond, Hanover or the Three Sisters,’ he said.
“I could hear that she was getting confused because she has a low-blood sugar problem. I begged her to just stop the car and wait for me. She then phoned again and told me she was ‘scared of standing next to the tarred road’ and would turn off into a dirt-road.
“I am somewhere on a bed…’
He last heard of her late on Saturday: “she said she was somewhere on a bed, but didn’t know where, and her cellphone has since been put on voice-mail. I searched the whole place for her, I asked farmers in the area to help search for her on the dirt-roads. I phoned all the hospitals in the vicinity. I know that when her sugar-levels get too low, she can’t talk and falls into a coma’.
“”I suspect she’s somewhere in a hospital and that her name isn’t on record because she can’t speak,’ he added. Anyone with information about her whereabouts – or who may have spotted her – please urgently contact Inspector van Eck on 082 301 8552. – Sapa
- Wormald family game farm: http://www.wormaldhunting.com/aboutus.php
SAPS ’ shoot to kill’ plan hits the headlines with grossly understated daily death-rates….
Sept 20 2009 - The UK’s Guardian newspaper ‘s David Smith in Johannesburg is amongst the many foreign correspondents who reported this week’s shock announcement by the new police commissioner Bheki Cele that he’s considering ‘introducing a zero tolerance policing policy ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup football tournaments in South Africa. ‘
Smith - who like so many other journalists have been doing, also described Cele as a ‘cowboy’ with a ‘penchant for pinstripe suits and panama hats – also reports that Cele moreover, has the support of the police minister Nathi Mthethwa. “We are tired of waving nice documents like the constitution and the human rights charter in criminals’ faces,’ Mthethwa was quoted as saying. “We are going to meet these thugs head-on, and if it means we kill when we shoot, then so be it…’ http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/sep/16/south-africa-police-world-cup
Allowing police to open fire on suspects without having to worry about consequences…
Smith also adds his own personal comment, writing that “the plan prompts accusations of return to apartheid-era justice…”, noting that this change in tone “ has come when the ‘plain-speaking Cele called for a change in legislation that would allow police to open fire on suspects without having to worry about "what happens after that"…
This journalist did not counter-balance his story with the equally horrific fact that hundreds of cops are injured and die each year in this criminal violence – and aren’t allowed to shoot back at all unless the criminal attacks them first… http://censorbugbear-reports.blogspot.com/2009/08/cop-badly-beaten-by-angry-cape-town-mob.html
VIEW MY VIDEO – HOW MANY SOUTH AFRICAN COPS DIE EACH YEAR?
At least 90 people a day die violent deaths in South Africa – and those stats date to from March 2007 to March 2008 – and that also EXCLUDES other murders carried out by motor-vehicles…
Alas, this otherwise undoubtedly excellent correspondent – just like all the others in the world who keep on making the identical mistake – are being fooled by the way the SAPS has listed its “murder” and “culpible homicide’ statistics on its internet site. Journalists don’t realise that there are two seperate categories for violence-related deaths, with ‘murder’ at the very top of the page and ‘culpible homicide’ way down near the bottom of the same page… One has to scroll all the way down to find those second violent-death statistics, those for culpible homicide … http://www.SAPS.gov.za . It’s an old propaganda-trick: the SAPS relies on the fact that journalists will merely quickly glance at the top of the list, find ‘murders’, and ‘attempted murders’ right on the top two lines – both horrendously high anyway -- and then write confidently that ‘South Africa has one of the highest crime rates in the world, with an average of 50 murders a day.”
- Alas they are so wrong. Had this Guardian journalist scrolled farther down this page, he would have discovered that there also are another 49 ‘culpible homicides’ a day which should be added, as they are in the same category, namely ‘deaths through violence’. http://www.saps.gov.za/statistics/reports/crimestats/2008/totals.pdf . And that’s not the end of the SA government’s official propaganda-subterfuge in this regard…
SA traffic deaths often also are murders – but are excluded from the SAPS statistics:
South Africa’s official homicide rate already stands at 72.5% per 100,000 – already about five times the world average. However, the SAPS police statistics’ unnatural deaths – i.e. its ‘culpible homicide’ and ‘murder’ classifications together, still do not include the country’s horrific traffic-related unnatural deaths, which often also are murders; nor the many uninvestigated unnatural deaths related to the many paupers’ graves.
- Traffic deaths – now officially at 43% for every 100,000 people a day (up to March 2008), with 49-million residents a horrific statistic -- are recorded by a seperate government department, and the SAPS’ unnatural death-statistics and those of the traffic safety authorities are not added together.
For instance, on the far left is convicted taxi-driver Percyval Matji, 31, found gulty on September 10, 2009 at Pretoria Regional Court of murdering 15-year-old Afrikaans pupil Bernadine Kruger, right, in Pretoria on 23 February 2009. Matji, the court ruled, had bumper-ridden the white child on her motor-scooter aggressively across two lanes, causing her to crash, and then deliberately ran over her with his taxi once more. Is this horrific murder now going to be included in the SAPS’ murder-statistics?
MANY MURDERS COMMITTED IN TRAFFIC:
In South Africa, it’s also an established fact – according to the SA Medical Research Council -- that a great many people also are often murdered, i.e. deliberately run over in traffic, according to this study:, “The Relationship between Homicides and Road Traffic Fatalities” by the SA Medical Research Council: download the report at: http://www.mrc.ac.za/crime/homicide.pdf
Moreover, when quoting the SAPS statistics, we are talking about very old crimes indeed – that ‘2008’ designation on the top of the SAPS.gov.za crime-statistics page is very misleading, as it refers to old crimes dating back from March 2007 to March 2008.
- Newer statistics from March 2008 to March 2009, or in fact any crime statistics at all after that, are not being made available by the SAPS authorities.
- Local crime-fighting residents’ associations have even had to start keeping their own stats in their own suburbs because of this neglect. Yet it’s also on record that the country’s many thousands of heavily-armed criminals gangs have over the past two years become increasingly feral and willing to kill just to steal a cellphone.
And what about all those mysterious ‘paupers’ graves”?
The SAPS and Traffic authorities’ unnatural-deaths statistics also do not include the great many dead bodies found all over South Africa -- andwhose deaths remain inexplicable even though most bear the signs of violence. These ‘mystery bodies’ languish in government mortuaries all across the country, and if they remain unclaimed after 60 days by relatives and their death-causes thus also remain uninvestigated, they are buried in paupers’ graves…
One of the latest examples of ‘paupers’ being buried was on 25 August 2009 in Welkom, when 89 illegal miners – armed illegal miners, mostly from Lesotho, who hack gold from the deep South African gold-mines and sell them to Chinese crime gangs – died from a deeply mysterious fire below ground, very likely started to lure them all out because the police can’t engage in battle with them in the dangerous, dark shafts below. These clearly were 89 unnatural deaths, either murders or culpible homicides, but no court-ruling was made on the causes of their deaths, many moreover remained unidentified -- and this entire horrific event was never properly examined by a court of law: It was just recorded as another ‘mine-accident’.
Indeed, as foreign journalists are quick to point out, South Africa ‘s unnatural deaths’ statistics already are the highest in the world – but when these murders carried out in traffic, the ‘pauper grave deaths’ and the many mysterious mine-deaths due to illegal mining also are included, the country’s daily death-toll from violence-related acts would probably be three times as high as presently listed on the SA Police’s truly pathethic http://www.saps.gov.za (documents) pages…
The Guardian writes that ‘Mthethwa's remarks came the day after police gunned down six armed robbers outside Pretoria as they attacked a cash-transit van.
- “The current law allows police to use lethal force only if their lives or the lives of innocent bystanders are in danger. They are not allowed to shoot at fleeing suspects,” writes the Guardian, noting that this aspect of policing was changed after the end of apartheid in 1994.
He also quotes Mthethwa as ‘denying that revisions to the law, to be presented to the South African parliament soon, would allow the police to apply their own brand of rough justice. We must hasten to say that trigger-happy members of the police must not think that this is a licence to kill. It is a measure aimed specifically at serious violent crimes and dangerous criminals," he said.
Smith writes that rival politicians and civil liberties groups are alarmed by the new move, quoting the shadow police minister, Dianne Kohler Barnard of the opposition Democratic Alliance, as saying:
- "I'm not keen to go back to apartheid-era policing. The police already have the right to use lethal force, but I think they want the right to shoot criminals in the back if they are running away." She added that it was no coincidence the proposals had come before the World Cup and local elections.
"There's a great fear that visitors will be harmed, which thankfully hasn't happened at major events up to now. We have to be very careful. We don't want shoot-outs in town centres where innocent people are seen as collateral damage. We don't want to be a police state all over again," she said.
538 police members found guilty of serious crimes such as murder, rape, theft, corruption in 2008:
Concerns deepened recently when it emerged that last year 538 police staff were found guilty of crimes such as murder, rape, theft and corruption. "One should be a little hesitant to give people like that more powers," Kohler Barnard said.
He also quoted Jacob van Garderen, head of Lawyers for Human Rights, speaking to The Argus newspaper, as saying that ‘the law already gives police enough scope to police the country effectively. These statements are cause for concern, and I am afraid that, even if they change the laws to become more draconian, they will not solve the crime problem," he told the Cape Argus newspaper."The real problem is not so much the law, which allows police to respond with the necessary force, but resources, the capacity of the police and their ability to work effectively with other government departments, such as the National Prosecuting Authority, when it comes to fighting crime."
MY LETTER TO THE GUARDIAN UK
The crime statistics of '50 murders a day', as quoted by your journalist in the article, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/sep/16/south-africa-police-world-cup about South Africa, are not only inaccurately understated BUT moreover, very old.
Your journalist should have done his research just a little bit better. He probably forgot to scroll down the police statistics' page http://www.saps.gov.za/statistics/reports/crimestats/2008/totals.pdf right to the very bottom -- where he would also have found the 'culpible homicide' statistics hidden away rather well -- and culpible homicide plus murder rates show the criminal-violence-related deaths rates in South Africa actually total nearly 89 deaths a day --
- and these stats moreover are very old, dating from events in March 2007-March 2008. Newer stats are not available.
These SAPS stats moreover -- also do NOT include the deliberate death-rates caused by traffic 'accidents', yet the SA Medical Council also reports in their report: http://www.mrc.ac.za/crime/homicide.pdf that more than half of all the 'deadly accidents in traffic' in South Africa actually are murders, i.e. people who are being deliberately run down and murdered while finding themselves in traffic, i.e. these aren't 'accidents' but "murders'.
- These statistics also do not get included in the SA Police Service statistics.
It's been my experience as a journalist in South Africa over the years - before and after apartheid - that when one quotes any SA crime statistics, it's always more accurate to investigate all the various authorities who seperately record unnatural deaths like this - such as the SA Medical council, Statistics SA -- and not merely rely on the old statistics of the SA Police Service.
And then we're also not even talking about the clearly violence-related deaths seen in so many daily paupers' funerals - also crime-victims who are picked up in the countryside and along the roadways , often also discarded newborn infants, and who clearly died of violence-related injuries, but who remained unclaimed by relatives, and whose deaths thus are never recorded nor investigated except in the mortuary records.
- These tragic crime-victims are buried after 60 unclaimed days in the mortuaries in paupers' graves.
South Africa's violent-death rates are so out of control that it's true that it is becoming an impossible task to record them accurately, however journalists should always try to get the facts as accurately as they can, and not just blithely quote police statistics -- which every journalist inside SA knows to be inaccurate, understated and often deliberately manipulated for political reasons...