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 what is being described as “a humiliating act of racism”, a group of black ANC councillors found themselves crammed into the back of police vans en route to police cells in the Democratic-Alliance-run Midvaal municipality… reports The Sowetan.
This tabloid newspaper, with the largest black readership in the country, writes that these arrests were carried out after formal tresspassing charges were lodged with the local SAPS by Albert de Klerk, Midvaal municipal manager from the Sedibeng district-municipality.
Picture: This headline in the Sowetan newspaper described the ‘jail ordeal for council officails” (sic) endured by the squatter-demonstrators, who demanded that the Midvaal municipality hand over public land so that homeless migrants can expand their squatter camp.
Important to know about this story however, is that the Midvaal municipality is being run very efficiently by the Democratic Alliance. Midvaal has already launched massive cleanup campaigns of the adjacent freeway, energising large groups of volunteer-ratepayers in the process – although this municipality isn’t responsible for the national highway at all; it’s upgrading the sadly-neglected local electricity grid and also plans to move an illegal squatter camp from municipal land.
Picture from Midvaal website: Midvaal residents are an energetic lot who have volunteered enmasse to clean up the adjacent national highway even though it’s not their responsibility – and are also addressing the filthy conditions on municipal land which was taken over illegally by a group of squatters. They also are upgrading the electricity grid. For details about Midvaal municipality’s plans read their website: http://www.midvaal.gov.za/
De Klerk allegedly accused the ANC-councillors and 32 residents of the Mamello squatter camp of trespassing after they staged a sit-in at the Midvaal council offices on Friday.
“Some councillors could be heard screaming and asking for water because it was hot in the police vans. To top it all, they were fingerprinted like criminals. Midvaal still conducts itself like an old apartheid state,” an unnamed resident allegedly told Sowetan.
The incident was confirmed by ANC Midvaal secretary Dan Manweli. He said the group had gone to see Midvaal mayor Timothy Nast about the council’s plans to move the informal settlement.
“They staged a sit-in because the manager had lied about the mayor’s whereabouts. Officials from the housing department were invited to come and clarify certain issues. While everybody was waiting De Klerk called the police,” Manweli said.
He said the councillors were charged with trespassing and freed at midnight. Speaking to Sowetan yesterday one councillor said: “I am very sick after being in jail for eight hours.” De Klerk did not respond to Sowetan’s requests for comments, they write. “We are planning to intensify protests and sit-ins,” said Manweli, who accused the DA-led municipality of delaying projects aimed at assisting black people. “When the housing department wanted to build houses for Mamello residents, the municipality claimed there was no land available. It later transpired that there was council- owned land next to Mamello ,” Manweli said. Meanwhile, residents have vowed to cause disorder in council offices until their demands are met. Simon Shabalala, one of those arrested, said: “We want to see development in our settlement. We are tired of living under inhuman conditions.” http://www.sowetan.co.za/News/Article.aspx?id=1103582
Gruesome meathook murders of Van Zyl couple; FS farmers ask: “where are the news media when farmers are murdered?’
2010-01-09 SENEKAL, FREE STATE.More than 100 upset Free State farmers protested outside the Senekal magistrate’s court during the first appearance of two black murder-suspects who were arrested for the gruesome ‘meathook’ murders of Afrikaner farmers Koos and Retha van Zyl, 63 and 66, on their farm Poortjie between Senekal and Steynsrus on Jan 7 2010.
“Where are the news media today? Where are the TV-cameras? If a farmer were to kill a farm-worker, there would at least have been government ministers at the court today. But murders of farmers are just too commonplace,’ said Fanie Ferreira, chairman of the Emdonia farmers’ cooperative. He said there is a strong feeling of dismay among the farmers. “Those guys are angry,’ he said.
Appearing in court were two black South African citizens, Ndaba (29)and Pule Jacob Mpanyane (22) on charges of armed robbery, motor vehicle theft, livestock theft and the double murder of the Van Zyl couple. They were not asked to plead, the case was postponed to 1 February 2010 while the suspects would be seeking legal-aid assistance. They remain in police custody until their bail-application hearing.
The Van Zyl couple were assaulted most cruelly with a meathook before they were shot dead with their own shotgun before fleeing in the couple’s daughter’s car. Alert police officers spotted the car, which had been reported stolen, and arrested the two suspects.
Ferreira said the worst part of the tragedy was to witness the suffering of the couple’s daughters. Estie, a Ventersburg teacher and younger daughter Marietjie, a candidate-lawyer in Bloemfontein, were also present at the court. Their brother Erik was expected to arrive soon from the United States of America, where he works, they said. The couple’s burial takes place from 11am on Tuesday on the farm Bethsaida. A memorial service will be held at 12:00 at the NG (Dutch-Reformed) Church North, opposite the Paul Erasmus Afrikaans High School in Senekal, and will be led by Rev Pieter van Heerden, said the family in an interview with Volksblad newspaper.
- Local provincial MEC Thabo Manyoni, who holds the policing and security portfolio, said the gruesome murders of the Van Zyl farm couple and of three-year-old Onele Galada in Thabong both on Christmas Day, ‘were due to moral decay’. Manyoni visited the girl’s family on New Year’s Day and handed them food-parcels. http://www.volksblad.com/Content/Suid-Afrika/Nuus/2114/22cb0da821d84605847d51694aaa05e3/09-01-2010-05-33/LUR_skryf_wrede_moorde_toe_aan_morele_verval_
- farm attacks, a Ficksburg, a young Free State farm couple have suffered yet another farm attack: http://www.volksblad.com/Content/Suid-Afrika/Nuus/2114/e969550280d04c4bbd51ed30298cb26c/11-01-2010-01-38/Booswigte_slaan_weer_toe_op_grensplaas
There have been many gruesome farm murders on Free State farms of late: such as the following:
20091216 Hennie, 55 and Magda Visagie, murdered on Free State farm, found dumped in North West
Vierfontein (North Free State). Dec 16 2009. The bodies of Free State mineshaft-carpenter Hennie Visagie, and of his wife Magda were found dumped along a North West province road by the SAPS -- near Orkney and Potchefstroom -- after an alarm was raised by a fuel-pump attendant. He alerted the SAPS after a man in a ‘bloodied’ BMW tried to purchase fuel with a pin-card – but didn’t know the pin-code, report Tom de Wet en Johan Brits of Volksblad newspaper.
The fuel-pump attendant alerted the police at 03:00 when he also noticed that this man was washing blood from his hands at the petrol-station. The police pulled over the BMW near Fochville, write the journalists. “The inside of the BMW was coated in blood, as was the luggage-compartment, and the vehicle was filled with household-goods and electrical appliances. ‘
The 26-year-old suspect was arrested for questioning while the SAPS traced the car’s ownership to Hennie Visagie, a 55-year-old mineshaft-carpenter at Anglo Ashanti’s Tau Lekoa-mine near Vierfontein in the Free State. The couple lived not too far from the mine in a homestead on the farm Weltevrede.
The suspect -- "described as “a French-speaking 26-year-old man from North Africa”- admitted that there ‘had been an incident on the farm’. The SAPS called in the dog-unit and police helicopter to mount a search for the Visagie couple, and located Mr Visagie – with a gunshot wound in his head – hidden beneath a blanket on the outskirts of Orkney. The suspect admitted that he had dumped Mrs Visagie’s body along the road outside Potchefstroom, but that he could not remember exactly where. The helicopter search also located her, again with a headshot and hidden beneath a blanket, about 12km outside Potchefstroom.
Their son Frikkie said he couldn’t believe that his parents had to die this cruelly – just for their car and a few household goods. His father’s boss had phoned him on Tuesday at around 12:15 asking why his dad hadn’t shown up for work. The son said he stood outside his parents’ home from 13:00 to 18:00, praying while the police search was going on. Just after 18:00, the SAPS told him that their bodies had been found.
The suspect is described in this report as ‘a French-speaking man from North Africa, who works in a butchery at Orkney, and is the friend of a young woman who lives in another home on the same farm where the Visagies also lived, and the father of her young child’. There was no forced entry to the Visagie homestead and it is suspected that the couple had opened the door to the suspect, who may have been known to them. http://www.beeld.com/Content/Suid-Afrika/Nuus/1928/c3d06877ea3d44a3abf4fd47aa2f4d3f/16-12-2009-10-33/%E2%80%99n_PIN-penarie_%E2%80%93_%C3%A9n_sy_BMW_is_vol_bloed_ Farm murders – details, photos, sources 2008/2009 S.Africa
’Kill Boer Kill Farmer’ANC-slogan daubed with the blood of two tortured Afrikaans murder-victims’ on homestead walls…
If any more proof were needed that a great number of these murders against Afrikaner families are racist hate-crimes targetting this small very visible minority; the Bloemfontein police reported in March 2009 that the hate-slogan Kill the Boer, Kill the Farmer was painted on the walls of a homestead – and the murderers used the blood of Alice Lotter, 77 and daughter Helen, 57, after they were tortured to death:
The cruel torture murder of Alice Lotter, 77, and her daughter Helen, 57, caused a wave of abhorrance amongst the white community because of its incredible cruelty. The women, both frail, were tortured to death at their farm in Allenridge near Welkom in the Free State on March 6 2009.
Stabbed in vagina, anus with broken glass shards:
According to forensic evidence, the Lotter mother and daughter had died excruciatingly painful deaths: first tortured by being stabbed with broken glass bottles into their vaginas. One of the women also had her breasts cut off while she was still alive . Both women’s blood also had been used to paint anti-Afrikaner hate slogans on the walls of their homestead.They were then allegedly killed by strangulation: i.e. they were hanged.
In response, Odendaalsrust farmers held a demonstration outside the law courts, left, where the accused murderers were appearing with a reenactment of the way these women had died.
The demonstration drew condemnation from the Afrikaans news media ‘for its gruesome nature’. However this reenactment wasn’t nearly as gruesome and horrid as the torture these women had to endure.
Afrikaner police officers who investigated this horrific slaughter and had to gather forensic evidence, were also severely traumatised and required trauma counselling. And, despite the fact that the Lotter homestead was only one block away from the police station, no-one inside responded to the screams from these women while they were being slowly tortured to death. Click here for report of Odendaalsrust law court demonstrations.
And to her eternal disgrace, the local ANC-mayor had then organised a counter-demonstration against a local white farmer who was appearing in court at the same time of a minor charge -- and has since been acquitted. The mayor totally ignored the horror these two white women had to endure. Cruel torture-murders of two Afrikaans women was muti-harvesting: Read the original story in Afrikaans
20090401 Jan van Wyk, 82, and Basie Venter, 65, penises mutilated before these two empoverished Afrikaners were killed on Viljoenskroon farms – penises harvested live for ‘traditional medicine’ .
- A self-confessed sangoma from Lesotho has been arrested for this muti-murder. The penises were found buried in a ‘ritual ceremony’ on one of the farms. The sangoma’s trial is pending. It’s not certain whether he’ll be granted bail as yet. http://www.news24.com/News24/South_Africa/News/0,9909,2-7-1442_2495253,00.html
Dr Gregory Stanton, the US-based legal expert who founded Genocide Watch after investigating the Cambodia Pol-Pot genocide, said in the SA TV documentary ‘A Bloody Harvest’ – after he had viewed SA police forensic videos of the scenes of such murdered Afrikaner/Boer farm families – that the reasons for these cruel mutilations and the repeated pattern of murderers’ ‘decorating victims’ bodies” (usually with Afrikaans bibles) are warnings that these victims were seen as ‘Inhuman vermin which had to be exterminated’- and that a ‘genocide was already in progress in an advanced stage’ against this small 3-million-strong, highly visible minority in South Africa. View video on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtLmJSQBiwa
These armed militia-style attacks have become a very clear pattern since 1994 in South Africa: well-organised, armed gangs of young black males go through considerable trouble to break into rural, peri-urban and suburban properties occupied by members of the most visible minority group in South Africa, and which the black population refers to as “Boers” (their generic term for all whites). A total of 74,595 of these attacks have been logged by the SAPS statistics against urban families since 2002 – and 60% were carried out in ‘traditionally white’ suburbs, and on smallholdings/farms mainly occupied by whites. By Dec 16 2009, we logged 3,117 murders on smallholdings, peri-urban regions and on commercial farms since 1994 – whereas the SA government farm-murder statistics claim less than 1,700 murders up to 2006... All these ‘farm-murders’ and attacks against white families in towns, are frequently carried out in execution style: as the details below clearly indicate, however many of these murders also show their genocidal nature cruel tortures and grotesque mutilations carried out by the perpetrators. Yet these are all referred to as ‘just ordinary crimes’ by the SAPS…
Moreover, The SA government and Agri-SA’s official statistics of ‘farm murders up to 2006’ are grossly understated: http://www.politicsweb.co.za/politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page72308?oid=153322&sn=Marketingweb_detail
For forensic photographs of such injuries, view: the Trauma Society of South Africa picture gallery
Kitty Botha, 83, murdered in Lyttelton home, Pretoria with her dachshund
‘God Does Not Sleep,’ … read the note which murdered Afrikaner widow Kitty Botha had stuck to the wall of her Lyttleton, Pretoria home…
Gauteng province -- Herman Eloff of Beeld newspaper reports from Lyttleton in Pretoria that 83-year-old Afrikaner widow Kitty Botha was at home with her beloved dachshund when the security gate around her cottage was torn down by attackers -- who then killed them both. The attackers then plundered her belongings and torched the house.
Picture far left: Kitty Botha’s Bible and religious notes she had stuck to the wall, such as ‘God does not sleep’ remained unscathed in the fire which her murderers had started…
Her grandson Ryan Dekenah said the neighbours still tried to douse the fire with garden hoses when they saw the smoke at around 20:30 while emergency services were rushing to the scene. The emergency personnel found the old woman’s body in the hallway with her little dog.
Kitty Botha had lived in this house for 55 years - 27 years by herself, said Dekenah. Local police merely ‘confirmed’ the incident. They didn’t arrest anybody but were ‘investigating’ they said. SA crime statistics per province: http://www.saps.gov.za/statistics/reports/crimestats/2009/province.htm
'UK TV actress Victoria Smurfit: ‘It was kill a tourist day - and we were in the way' …
The actress revealed in the Daily Mail that she came within inches of death when a gunman opened fire on a taxi she was travelling in while holidaying in South Africa – the nation that will stage the World Cup in just six months.The actress, who has starred in ITV police drama Trial & Retribution and the BBC’s Ballykissangel, was injured by flying glass when the vehicle’s windows were shattered.She felt a bullet whizz past her as it tore through the cab – ‘tangibly blowing the air’. It hit the passenger window ‘barely half an inch’ from the head of her sister-in-law, Charlie.
“Ballykiss Angel’ star's taxi was shot at in Strand Street, Cape Town. Police say the shooting was likely to have been part of an initiation ceremony … Add your comments to the Daily Mail article by clicking here Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1241996/Ballykissangel-star-Victoria-Smurfit-shot-Kill-Tourist-Day-South-Africa.html#ixzz0cHXdOrS6
Victoria Smurfit writes in the Daily Mail: “I was shot at on New Year’s Eve. In Cape Town, South Africa. In a taxicab. Not just me. My family were there too. With 20 minutes to go on the clock before midnight struck 2010, my husband, brother, sister-in-law, my mother and I were giggling in a car. Having left a fancy restaurant out in Constantia, a smart suburb, we were heading to a club. Very VIP tickets in our hands, courtesy of a TV pal of mine, it was to be the perfect place to ring out a tricky old year.
“The mood in the taxi was light”, she writes.. (…) and then : “Crack! Or pop? I can’t really work out exactly which sound is correct as it happened so fast. Maybe it was a crack and a pop as the bullet entered through Charlie's window. Crashing through the taxi, which had slowed down to turn right in to the street where the nightclub was. Everything became very slow. No one looked at each other. It was not the sound of the copper bullet that told us we had been shot at, at point blank range, it was that we all felt it journey past us. Either in front or behind our faces, it tangibly blew the air as it crossed our paths. The cab had taken a violent intake of breath. With the air in the vehicle sucked out, it left us in no doubt. That was not a stone that hit us. “
“Blood started seeping out of my collection of veins at the elbow joint. I could see Doug, next to me, was upright and shiny eyed. I reached an arm out to him. Thank God, he was fine. The balloon we had nicked from the suburban restaurant bobbed behind his ears. He touched my solar plexus. Had I been hit? No, it was my heart trying to beat out.Seconds ticked in silence. ‘Turn around and look, turn around and check your family are alive’ I told myself. I couldn’t do it. Couldn’t bring myself to swivel to potential carnage. The seats behind me held precious people. Mum, My brother Dermot and his wife Charlie. Still quiet. ‘Is everyone OK??!’ I shrieked. Well I think I shrieked, in my head I did. ‘Wow’ said Charlie.‘Go driver, Go Go,’ Dermot instructed with the power of a man not used to being disobeyed. The car started to slow down. ‘Llandudno. Now!’ Dermot had slid down his seat. Trying to drag Charlie and Mum with him, out of range of this random attack.” (…)
“Our names were not on that bullet’, quipped Doug…
“What was the trajectory? A .22 pistol you say. At a 6 foot range. (…) ‘Our names were not on that bullet’ quipped Doug. I feel a desperate need to know our taxi driver's name. Alvin he says. So unperturbed is our cabby I asked if this happens all the time in Cape Town. Well we have all read the stories. ‘Not to me.’ His voice was steady. Odd. Maybe he is thinking about the state of his car or policy. ‘I am bleeding!’ strangely thrilled that I have a war wound, I picked out a lump of Doug's window from my elbow. Schrapnel. ‘Hospital?’ questioned flat Alvin. (…)
“At the very moment we all gratefully stepped out of the taxi, a chorus of ‘HAPPY NEW YEAR!’ could be heard around the Camps Bay coastline. Dermot raised an ironic eyebrow. Never had any of us had such a sober end to a year. “
- We called the police…
“We called the police. We felt it was our civic duty to inform them that someone with a gun was roaming the main street. ‘Yes, thank you,’ and a hang up. Well, we were interrupting celebrations I suppose. “
- Cabby was on a scam… A few days later, Charlie's mother, was at a lunch locally and happened to be sitting next to a lady involved in the police. The next day two cops were discharged to our rental to take statements. It turns out Alvin was on a scam and had logged the incident for his insurance. He had quoted ’a shotgun came into the window. No passengers. Car was worth 40 grand'. Hmm, not the one we were in. I can't blame Alvin. It’s a tough town. Apparently what happened to us was Gang Initiation. A young man, wants to feel he belongs to something, tries to attach himself to a group but has to prove his mettle.
“It was kill a tourist day. And we were in the way. It is frustrating not knowing who the shooter was. Not as frustrating as it must be for him, unsure if he is now a murderer. Maybe he is only 12. I could be writing this in mourning. If the car had gone two miles an hour faster. If the shooter had raised his arm slower. If we had not looked out the window. If we had not tried to turn a corner. If if if. Each one of us in the taxi that night has dealt with it differently.
“Dermot, an information junkie, has immersed himself in Youtube. Ploughing through every ‘Violence in South Africa’ video. Doug refused to say ‘Goodbye’ to me a couple of days later as he went overnight to the desert. He was off to photograph the German horses of Namibia. A deep hug and a determined ‘see you later, see you later’ replaced the traditional sentiment. Charlie, a resolutely upbeat woman, admitted to mortality and held her son and mother close, kissing Dermot at every opportunity. Mum had a heart flutter and ended up in hospital on New Year's Day. So much for internalising being better for you. She was given the handsome doctor's mobile number though, so elegance can pull you through.
- I cry a lot. If my mind is allowed a fallow moment, it plays back those last 20 minutes of 2009. But it re-edits for different endings. Certificate 18 endings. Not the Parental Guidance one we luckily had. 2010 could have started as a horror story for us. Phew.’
- This was a very brief summary. For the entire Daily Mail article click on: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1242110/It-kill-tourist-day--way.html#ixzz0cHRPpsHh
The drama started around 1am when Venter's neighbour, Deon Holtzhausen, his wife, who he did not want named, and two guests were enjoying an evening together.
Holtzhausen said he opened the kitchen door to let the dogs out when he was confronted by three men. One pointed a firearm at him. The other two were armed with a knife and a screwdriver.
"They took a blanket which was over our pool table and cut it up to tie us up. They threw us onto the floor, demanding a gun, which I don't have. They would not listen to reason," he said.
When the men stripped his wife of her underwear, Holtzhausen realised she was about to be raped."I had to distract them from the women, so I offered to open the safe. There was R3 000 in cash. They then had the cheek to sit and share the money between them, dishing it out like a pack of cards while we were lying tied up on the floor in front of them. "They even helped themselves to food and drink from the fridge," he said.
In the meantime, Holtzhausen's 16-year-old daughter was awakened by one of the dogs' incessant barking. She heard strange voices in the house and immediately started phoning whoever she could think of - one of them being their neighbour's son, who alerted his father, Venter. Venter, a former North West provincial traffic officer, sprang into action.
"I jumped over the wall and walked around the house. My son called the police. I tried to wait as long as possible because I didn't know what the situation inside the house was. All I could hear was women screaming," he said. Eventually he approached the kitchen door. "All three ran towards me, but when they saw I had a gun, two of them ran back into the house."
The third man, the one with a gun, pointed it at one of the people lying tied up on the floor. "I told him to drop his gun, but he cocked it instead. That's when I decided I had to fire," he said. The bullet hit the robber in the head, killing him. Venter chased the other two into the main bedroom, and made them lie on the floor with their hands behind their heads until the police arrived. Venter is adamant that he is not a hero.
"The heroes of this were Deon's daughter and my son. I did what I had to do. I have very mixed feelings about what I did. It is not easy to kill someone, but we have to help each other as neighbours." It was discovered later that the robber's revolver had only one live bullet loaded. The rest were empty shells.
- "He had the live bullet in the chamber just above the trigger, but did not realise that when the gun is cocked, the chamber moves forward, so he would have fired a blank," he said. "Those guys were there to stay - they were walking calmly through the house and had only taken jewellery and cellphones - they had not even started on the other rooms. They had demanded Deon's car keys and were probably going to spend the next few hours ransacking the house. They probably would have raped the women and the young girl," he added.
Two men, aged 38 and 30, appear in the Germiston Magistrate's Court on Monday on charges of house robbery, said police Captain Steady Nawa.
This article was originally published on page 2 of The Star on January 04, 2010 http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=15&art_id=vn20100104040558229C582638