Crime Busters of SA: farm murders 2001-2003
Solidarity trade union: - list of farm murders
2003 - June 2009:
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- A Stuijt
- Retired South African medical journalist, ex-Sunday Times of Johannesburg.
Zenzenina* – what was her ‘sin’ except the colour of her skin?
This poor murdered child haunts me. She died all alone, torched to death in a township surrounded by nothing but enemies -- whatever had been this young girl's sin to die such a cruel death, except the colour of her skin?
She no doubt suffered terribly: fully aware, alive, she was set alight and was still burning when a 'passerby' just happened to 'see a burning body.' Imagine it: in a crowded township with tens of thousands of people, only one person notified the police. And of course nobody saw anything at all of the event itself.
Are human torches such a ordinary event in this township that nobody even pays any attention to such human suffering?
Now she's on a mortuary slab – unclaimed, unknown -- with her torso and limbs twisted and blackened, and only one hand and her blonde strands identified her as having been a white girl. Imagine this murder scenario in any suburb anywhere else in the world-- would decent citizens just stand by and let a child be burnt to death in front of their eyes and then not alert the authorities, not even try to save her life?
What kind of people are those who allowed this to happen? And then the conspiracy of silence which followed, with the police saying they had 'seen no suspicious vehicles.' Exactly what is that, a 'suspicious vehicle" anyway? What kind of cops are those, that they didn't immediately mount a huge door-to-door search throughout the area for witnesses?
Somewhere, this blonde girl with size-4 shoes must have parents or siblings who must be looking for her?
Capt Mike van Aardt, a top SA detective has now taken up her case. And he’s known for his extraordinary skills in finding the killers. Anyone with information about her possible identity - or anyone searching for a missing female relative -- is urged to call the investigating SAPS detective, Capt Mike Van Aardt on telephone 0 082 575 1808
This very young girl, described as white, blonde hair with pink-dyed streaks, wearing a pair of blue jeans and sideway-striped multicolour t-shirt, with well-manicured toe- and fingernails, size-4 shoes and 34-A bra, was torched to death while she was still alive on November 16 2009 alongside the Welgevonden road in Orange Farm squatter camp between 4 am and 5am. A passerby notified the police that ‘there was a body burning alongside the roadway. ‘
Police forensic experts believe she was between 15 and 20 years of age, no older. Anyone with information about her possible identity - or anyone searching for a missing female relative -- is urged to call the investigating SAPS detective, Capt Mike Van Aardt on telephone 0 082 575 1808 http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1026941238#/photo.php?pid=30852624&id=1026941238&ref=mf
Video – The ANC-freedom struggle frequently used torching as ‘punishment for sell-outs.’ On this video, shot by a Dutch TV-crew, a black girl was torched to death amidst screams of ‘Viva Mandela Viva’. One can only hope that this girl in Orange Farm did not undergo the same ‘treatment’ – the details of her death are still too sketchy to know…
*Zenzenina – what have we done? a struggle song of the ANC: This is a protest song ands traditionally sung at funerals. It was important during the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. Senzenina means “What have we done” with the implication “what did we do to deserve this?” (Also spelled “senzeni na”.) Here you can see the original lyrics, with an English translation MP3 Recording of Senzenina
- (Zulu/Xhosa) Senzenina/Sono sethu ubumnyama/Sono sethu yinyaniso/Sibulawayo/Mayibuye i Africa.
- What Have We Done? What have we done? Our sin is (the colour of our skin) that we are black Our sin is the truth They are killing us Let Africa return. http://www.ngsw.org/~afrmedia/php/showfilm.php?id=29501
Dec 15 2009 - There is no end in sight to the hijacking of buildings in Johannesburg -- despite a promise in August by Community Safety MEC Khabisi Mosunkutu, left, to crush the practice, writes Sowetan journalist Katlego Moeng.
Residents of the inner city, Hillbrow and Berea say the hijacking syndicates seem unstoppable.
- The death of Johannesburg – pictures, videos etc
- Anti-Privatisation campaign fights against forced evictions of illegal squatters
‘No feedback from Hillbrow SAPS”
Many, like Sylvester Maepa of the Johannesburg Inner City Forum, say that laying a charge at the Hillbrow police station is “problematic” -- as there are no feedbacks from the police. “When you open a case, one risks being evicted before the hijacker is arrested or appears in court,” said Maepa.
Sowetan was told by provincial police superintendent Noxolo Kweza that over the past two years, a specialised police task team managed to arrest only 13 of the 500 suspected building highjackers – and there were four police officers and an attorney among the suspects. “So far, only one police officer has been convicted and given a suspended sentence. Kweza said the police officer has been discharged from the police service. The cases of the three remaining officers are pending. Two of these officers are from the Jeppe police station, writes Moeng.
And their conviction rate is dismal: “A suspect, connected to the hijacking of 24 buildings in the Johannesburg inner city, appeared in the Johannesburg magistrate’s court yesterday. He was arrested in June. Another suspect who was arrested in August also appeared in court on Friday. He is currently on R50,000 bail.However the charges against the attorney, who was arrested in September, have been provisionally withdrawn. Charges against the three suspects arrested in Yeoville in June were also withdrawn.
Another suspect on R10000 bail was arrested last month and his case was postponed to February 2 before the Johannesburg magistrate’s court.”
Kweza said: “We have a task team specialising in this crime and they are looking at more than 500 cases of building hijackings which also include houses.”
What is ‘building hijacking”?
She said she could not deny nor confirm whether indeed the police systems could not recognise “building hijacking” as a charge but she said “what I can tell you is that the suspects are mostly facing fraud and theft cases”. Although Sowetan has been reliably informed that the NPA has established a unit to specifically deal with building hijacking prosecutions, spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said: “We can’t confirm anything at this stage but we are aware of the problem of building hijackings in Jo burg CBD .” http://www.sowetan.co.za/News/Article.aspx?id=1097452
Moses Ka Moyo of the Friends of the Inner City says ‘there also have been little or no attempts by those in authority, civic society or in the media to explain in layman terms what Building Hijacking entails, there is so much confusion around this term.”
Even resort to murder to extort money…
Ka Moyo writes: “In May 2005 ex-president Thabo Mbeki even entered the fray with stern words for the hijackers, saying: ‘some of these criminals are even brazen in their criminal activities to the extent that they even resort to murder so as to hijack buildings in order to extort money from our people ‘.” Ka Moyo continued: “We are nearing the end of 2009 and the hijackers are still continuing to make more money and making many in the inner-city homeless and destitute .” He also called on Gauteng MEC for community safety Mr. Mosonkuthu, to ‘not continue leaving the responsibility to the City of Johannesburg only.”
Anti-Privatisation campaign: http://apf.org.za/spip.php?article9&lang=en
Dr Marius Pretorius ‘may never have normal vision again'
Vereeniging – Dec 15 2009 – One of South Africa’s pioneer-eye surgeons -- who for 21 years was president of the International Southern African Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery -- never be able to see normally again after a brutal attack in which the gang tried to gouge out his eyes, reports Louise Cook.
Marius Pretorius, 70, and his wife Lien, 68, were overpowered in their Vereeniging flat last week by three men armed with guns and knives. They tied up both victims with rope and ties, before trying to strangle Mrs Pretorius.
The couple's daughter, Hannelie Warren, told Beeld newspaper on Monday that they tried to gouge out her dad's eyes. The attackers apparently said they didn’t want him to see again and identify them to the police.
"One attacker sat on my dad's back and smoked a cigarette while he was tied down. My dad has horrific injuries - he may never have normal vision again."
Repaired crime-victim’s eyes several weeks earlier:
The Pretoria News report quoted Mrs Warren as saying that ‘just weeks earlier he had treated someone whose eyes had been damaged in a house robbery. A robber had apparently tried to gouge the patient's eye with a pool cue. He had operated (on the patient) and was so chuffed because he was able to get to all the muscles," explained Warren.
The men found the couple's walk-in safe and took money before they triggered an alarm. The three men, all dressed in black, then made their escape. When he realised that the robbers had left, Pretorius was able to slam the door shut and, calling for his wife, began leopard-crawling towards the bedroom. "At this time, both my mother and my father thought that each of the other was dead," Warren said.
In the bedroom, Pretorius was able to untie his wife and hand her the telephone.
"My mom said that she had never seen anything like this, there was so much blood."
Warren said the robber had ripped Pretorius's eyelids off but that his cornea had not been damaged. His right eye was more damaged than the left, she said.
Pioneered a cataract operation:
Pretorius is a well-known ophthalmologist who, Warren told the Pretoria News, had pioneered a cataract operation. "The support from other ophthalmologists has been phenomenal. Some have flown out to see my father" said Warren.
Pretorius is in the Emfuleni Medi-Clinic and was operated on last week, when his eyelids were repaired. But doctors will only know next month if his sight will be restored. An MRI scan was preformed on Pretorius on Saturday and Warren said that one of the detached muscles could be seen. This has given the family hope that his eyes might be saved.
Warren told Beeld newspaper that her parents were severely traumatised and receiving counselling.
No arrests have been made and Warren accused the police of dragging their feet. Pretorius, speaking from the Emfuleni Medi-Clinic in Vanderbijlpark, said on Monday evening that since the attack almost six days ago, police had not interviewed him about what had happened. "They only spoke to my wife. No one has been to ask me any questions," he said.
'This is appalling'
Warren said people in the building where the attack had taken place and who saw the attackers before and after the incident had also not been approached by police in a bid to gather any evidence."This is appalling," she added.
Captain Shado Mashobane of the Vereeniging police station confirmed that no arrests had been made, but said the investigation was underway.Warren said they had been flooded with e-mails and phone calls of support from ophthalmologists in the UK, US, Australia, China, Canada, Hungary and Hawaii.
Only 100% black-owned businesses qualify for listing in the new Black Pages
December 15, 2009 Black-owned small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) can register for Shanduka's Black Pages - a directory of black businesses, the executive chairman of Shanduka Group, multi-millionaire Cyril Ramaphosa, said yesterday.
Shanduka Black Umbrellas was launched in October by multi-millionaire Ramaphosa as a beneficiary of the Shanduka Foundation. Shanduka will publish its inaugural Black Pages in the first quarter of next year.
"All 100 percent black-owned businesses from around South Africa are encouraged to grow and showcase their enterprises by registering. There is no cost for the service".
The blurb on their website says that Shanduka Black Umbrellas is ‘a non-profit company involved in the support of emerging black business through enterprise development. Members are provided with a working environment and support services that will enable them to thrive.
The support services are:
•Computers, printers, fax, internet access and e-mail
•Business software and a database of business tools
•Drivers and vehicles
•Other companies to network with
•Inclusion in a business directory made available to corporates for business opportunities
‘All this is made available for a nominal monthly fee of R500 or R1,000 ($50 or $100) depending on the stage the business has reached. This allows entrepreneurs the space to focus on their core business with the assurance that support is on hand and overheads are covered. Shanduka Black Umbrellas is registered as a not for profit Section 21 company and complies with all laws that govern such an organisation.” http://www.blackumbrellas.org/