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.
2010-02-06 Koos van Staden, 77, Glenco sugar estate Hoedspruit, killed by attacker, wife shoots back
Hoedspruit, LIMPOPO. - Unknown criminals attacked an elderly Afrikaner couple on their farm in Limpopo on Thursday night, killing 70- year-old Koos van Staden. He and 66-year-old wife Henriette were sleeping in their homestead on the Glenco sugar estate in the Hoedspruit district when they were attacked, writes Thobile Mlangeni. He quoted SAPS superintendent Ronel Otto as saying that the elderly couple were in bed at about 21:30 when “ intruders or an intruder “ fired a shot through a window into the Van Stadens' bedroom. "Van Staden was shot in the neck and died on the scene," said Otto.
The victim's wife managed to shoot back at the attacker (s) and ‘they fled without taking anything. The number of suspects involved is not known and neither is the motive for the attack," said Otto. No arrests have yet been made. Trackers and members from the police's dog unit are helping to search for the attackers. Otto could not confirm whether the couple was the owners of the farm or just living there. http://www.news24.com/Content/SouthAfrica/News/1059/6381b4a8663342f3a807f246c02298bc/05-02-2010-01-12/Elderly_farmer_shot_dead
-----------------------------kraal on his Hoedspruit farm - and while police initially reported this as an accidential death due to a ‘buffalo attack’, forensic examinations revealed that he had been stabbed to death.
A second court-hearing subsequently ruled that the initial ruling by the local inquest court that Munks had been killed by a buffalo on his Hoedspruit farm was wrong. A few weeks after this ruling, two armed attackers were arrested while breaking into a nearby house – and ‘spoke out of turn during questioning by police’ admitting to Munks’ violent death. http://www.news24.com/Rapport/Nuus/0,,752-795_2396862,00.html
Beware of biting robbers:
It also was reported in Hennops River today that three people in a car were attacked by a smash-and-grab window-breaking robber while passing the Diepsloot squatter camp yesterday. When the 15-year-old teen put up a fight to stop the black attacker from grabbing their belongings, she was bitten on a leg. Similar incidents where attackers bite their victims – in South Africa this could be a death-sentence with the high level of HIV-AIDS infection – were also recorded before.
And to illustrate the extremely dangerous conditions in the South African countryside, a 15-year-old girl was also shot and injured during an armed attack by three men while the girl’s mother, Mandy Cocco, 43, had stopped at the God’s Window overlook to take pictures while enroute to Hoedspruit from Pietermaritzburg on Dec 4 2008. Beeld journalist Buks Viljoen reported that the mom works in Dubai, while her two children attend boarding school in Pietermaritzburg.
Ms Cocco worked in Dubai and was in SA to fetch her son and daughter for a Dubai holiday. Ms Cocco - her maiden-name – did not want her daughter identified by name for fear of reprisals. The mother and daughter had stopped at the world-famous overlook to take pictures enroute to Hoedspruit to fetch the girl's brother.
Three black men walked past, one grabbed her handbag, the girl screamed and hit him with the camera, she said. Then one of the black men simply pulled a gun from a plastic bag and shot the teen for no apparent reason whatsoever - they had already robbed the visitors and could have just walked away... The teen was hit in the right shoulder. The three attackers then climbed into Ms Cocco's rented Mercedes-Benz and chased off. The vehicle was found abandoned in Phalaborwa several hours later. The girl underwent surgery at Nelspruit Medi-Clinic to remove the bullet. Mc Cocco said her child was very traumatised. Police capt. Malcolm Mokomene confirmed the attack at the time - and said no-one has been arrested. http://www.news24.com/Beeld/Suid-Afrika/0,,3-975_2437580,00.html
Our picture gallery for people shot and/or traumatised and injured in 2008/9 with surnames starting with L to S can be copied from http://cid-b6b44a5376348175.skydrive.live.com/play.aspx/Kill%20the%20Boer%20kill%20the%20Farmer%202009%20victims%20K%20-%20S?ref=1
Knysna on the spectacular Garden Route was voted SA's favourite town three times running, and the development boom on the Garden Route coast changed the lagoon town from sleepy holiday haven to an exclusive playground for tourists and millionaires. Equally popular is Hermanus. However, a 2006 investigative programme by M-net’s Carte Blanche TV, revealed that Knysna had a 'slippery underbelly of drugs and crime, a dangerous fire stoked by official apathy, ineptitude and corruption'.
Is Knysna still as criminal today? One would hope not: this entire, stunningly beautiful coastline of the Garden Route has been designated by FIFA as one of its choice holiday destinations for the tens of thousands of foreign football fans expected to attend the world cup football tournaments in the Western Cape province this year… http://beta.mnet.co.za/carteblanche/Article.aspx?Id=3038&ShowId=2
Picture: Recently a new police team was put together by the SAPS in Knysna: (left to right); new detectives commander senior superintendent Chris Marnewick; the new deputy station commissioner senior superintendent Attwell Metu; senior superintendent Nolan Michaels and Knysna Community-Policing Forum chairman Warrick Langisa. http://kcpf.co.za/News/index.html
However, tourists should still be very aware of violent crimes when visiting there. The crime statistics for the two most popular towns, Knysna and Hermanus, show that there has been no meaningful reduction in officially-reported violent crimes since Carte Blanche broadcast its shock report in 2006.
The ANC-run municipality of Knysna, population 51,468, (comprised of 14,733 households in 2009), registered a total of 51 murders plus homicides combined in the reporting year 2008/9 SA Police statistics. The drug-related crimes also were high: 688; as were the reported rapes, 88. There also were 346 thefts by armed thugs from cars and 464 armed robberies of families inside their homes and of business people combined. Equally life-threatening and invasive crimes -- burglaries of homes and businesses – also were also high: 924 and 150 respectively. The local police-community forum for Knysna also reports the identical statistics. http://kcpf.co.za/Stats/index.html http://www.saps.gov.za/statistics/reports/crimestats/2009/provinces/w_cape/pdf/knysna.pdf http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knysna_Local_Municipality
Retired Afrikaans couple Nick and Elsie Els murdered in Swellendam near George – they’d moved from Phalaborwa to be ‘safe’…
2010-02-05 GEORGE, Garden Route - Tisha Steyn reports in Die Burger newspaper that Nick and Elsie Els – a retired couple who had moved from Phalaborwa to Swellendam to be ‘safe in a peaceful village’, were both found murdered yesterday-morning. Their bloodied, lifeless bodies were discovered by their gardener at their home on the corner of Kerk- and Bloekom avenues, reports Ms Steyn.
Swellendam is famous for the nearby Bontebok National Park, where this endangered African buck can be seen in all its glory. The SAPS statistics show that the population of about 25,000 residents last year were targetted by 159 armed attacks against families inside their homes last year; 19 murders plus homicides together and 48 registered rapes (‘sexual crimes’). There also were 219 grievous assaults and there’s also an amazingly high level of drug-related crimes registered for such a small village. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swellendam_Local_Municipality
Sixty-three-year-old Els and 58-year old wife Elsie were murdered with a ‘blunt object similar to a road-hacking tool,’ said police.
They found ‘blood on the front-door, and there were signs of a struggle in the living room,’ they said. Mr Els lifeless body was found in the living room, Mrs Els was found dead in their bedroom.
Neighbours and long-time friends were deeply shocked. Mrs Mariaan van Wyk a friend of the couple for 45 years who knew them ever since Phalaborwa, said the couple had moved to Swellendam because they wanted to live in a quiet, safe village.’ Five years ago, the Van Wyks and the Steyns had pooled their resources and purchased Powell House business premises in Voortrekker street together and the building houses Mrs Van Wyk’s hair-salon and Mrs Els’ interior decorators’ shop, ‘Something Else.’ The entire building now is owned by Els because Van Wyk had sold his shares to the couple.
“Nick was retired but helped Elsie with hanging blinds etc. They built their dream-house on top of the koppie overlooking the town,’ Mrs van Wyk said. The Els couple leaves two sons, Jaco of Pretoria and Francois of Nelspruit, who are enroute to Swellendam to arrange the funerals. Daughter in law Coret Els said they still visited with the family in Swellendam and Struisbaai over the December holidays. Good friends from Phalaborwa, such as the businessman Manie Kriel, said they were devastated by the double murder. There seems no motive – police were unable to establish whether anything was stolen -- and no-one was arrested. http://www.beeld.com/Content/Suid-Afrika/Nuus/1928/15cb5f42ed784e58a8167580deb03f9e/05-02-2010-06-53/Egpaar_in_stil_dorp_vermoor
Drug abuse, rape rates among youths are high: drugs easily available in Knysna:
On July 6 2009, Knysna residents, police and prisons officials joined forces publicly in an anti- drug march in Hornlee, Knysna, joined by Western Cape Finance, Economic Development and Tourism MEC Alan Winde.
Joint Operation: Western Cape Finance, Economic Development and Tourism MEC Alan Winde and Knysna businessman Ralph Stander took part in an anti-drug march in Hornlee in Knysna yesterday. Picture: Katherine Wilkinson
Winde said it was the first time he had seen such a united front against crime. Knysna businessman Ralph Stander, who grew up in Hornlee and organised the march, said the protest action was just one facet of a much broader initiative to turn the community around. The marchers, led by a church band, were addressed by Stander, Winde, Knysna police station‘s commissioner Nolan Michaels, Knysna prison-chief Monre Arries and Knysna senior secondary school principal Anton Titus.
Winde warned that ‘a community where drug use prevailed among the youth would permanently remain in poverty because youngsters would not be equipped to enter society and the market place as productive adults”. Michaels said he was committed to making Hornlee a place where “our kids can be safe from drugs and crime”. He is a past pupil of Knysna Senior Secondary himself.. And local prison chief Arries warned that ‘Knysna was one of the places in the Western Cape where drugs were easily available.” He also vowed to form a united front against the social scourge.
Drug dealers operate with impunity
- Journalist Katherine Wilkinson reported that ‘for years, Hornlee residents have been frustrated and angered that drug dealers operate with impunity, destroying their children‘s futures and wreaking havoc on their families. Residents also bear the brunt of violent crimes committed by tik addicts. A number of the speakers also spoke out against rape” http://www.gardenroute.org.za/article/view/4639/
High society court case:
Besides last year’s 51 recorded murders plus homicides, the 688 drug-related crimes, the 88 rapes and 464 armed robberies of families inside their homes reported in Knysna’s 14,733 households last year, the town also hit the headlines when one of its leading citizens got charged in court on criminal charges: Knysna millionaire widow horse breeder Lesley Young, 61, picture below, is scheduled to appear as one of the three defendants in a criminal trial on March 3 2010 in the George Regional Court. She is accused of hiring two local men to rob her ex-boyfriend, 68-year-old Ian McDonald. The case is notorious not only because the widow is white and wealthy, but also because of the ease with which she had allegedly managed to hire some young local men to carry out the accused crimes for her. Young, 61, was charged with conspiring to commit robbery and perjury in a case which has its origins in her acrimonious split from 68-year-old Ian McDonald, with whom she had a relationship for seven years.
In a civil case last year, Knysna magistrate Gerald Mentor ordered Young to pay McDonald R80.000 for sending her co-accused, Errol Khan and Loots Springboard, to take back a bakkie which belonged to her but which McDonald continued to use for about six months after they split. Khan and Springboard face charges of robbery in connection with the incident. Magistrate Mentor ordered Young to pay McDonald a further R50,000 for maliciously and unjustifiably instituting legal proceedings against him, and R30,000 for defamation for falsely claiming that he tried to poison her, taking the total damages award to R160,000. The criminal case was postponed to March 3 2010 to give the three accused opportunity to prepare for their defence. They have not yet been asked to plead. http://www.knysna.co.za/article/view/5151/
Beware of crime during WC2010 warns local newspaper
The local XPress Garden Route tourist industry newspaper – which otherwise doesn’t report any crime news -- warned that tourists and residents will have to be vigilent ‘a s certain folk are seeing the WC2010 frenzy as an opportunity to grab extra cash for their own pockets.”. Journalist Bongani Tom writes: “It seems that a lot of people are forgetting the important aspect of safety during this time - South Africans from all walks of life tend to be vulnerable and exposed to crimes of all kinds as preparations continue for the world to descend on our beautiful country. Competition seems rife in the growing phenomenon of electronic theft,’ he writes, adding: ‘Be aware of the dangers we face now more than ever, and don’t become a bad World Cup statistic at the hand of shameless fraudsters.”http://www.cxpress.co.za/showArticle.asp?aid=4872
- Things aren’t much better in Hermanus, population 48,346, which registered 28 murders plus homicides in the 2008/9 reporting year, 289 drug-related crimes; 493 burglaries of homes and businesses; and 19 armed gang-robberies attacking families inside their homes and business people combined. Those are high statistics for two such small ‘holiday resort’ towns… http://www.saps.gov.za/statistics/reports/crimestats/2009/provinces/w_cape/pdf/hermanus.pdf
Pepper spray, whistles and security guards for tourists visiting Fernkloof nature reserve in Hermanus.
Those are the statistics: but what are the physical and economic effects of these violent crimes on visitors and local residents alike?
Hermanus hit the headlines recently with some very violent attacks on foreign tourists, all hiking in the remote state-owned Fernkloof nature reserve. Things got so bad there that the authorities at the nature reserve put up crime-warning signs, started assigning security guards to hiking groups – and issuing them with pepper spray and whistles.
The last reported attack was on December 30 last year, when a fifth group of tourists hiking at Fernkloof reserve in Hermanus was attacked within just a few months. Three international volunteers lodging at nearby Camphill School were held up at knifepoint on Monday morning by two men who stole their camera and a cellphone, police spokeswoman Pindelwa Mavakala said. And just as had happened in previous attacks, the attackers stoned the hikers, telling them to look away. The hikers - Brazilian Luca Reigosa, Swiss Cornelia Schneider and German Anna Fliske, aged between 19 and 26, according to Mavakala - were not injured. This happened only a week after a Canadian couple of South African descent were stabbed, stoned and left bound by two men at the intersection of a jeep track and a hiking trail. A week before that, an Italian couple were attacked: noted is the extreme violence and cruelty with which these attacks are carried out: for instance, a party of elderly South African hikers was cruelly beaten with their own walking sticks.
Municipal manager Werner Zybrandts said the two women were body-searched by the attackers. Four of the five attacks occurred at this site and police are investigating “whether the attacks are linked”. After Monday's attack, which happened shortly after 11am, the three hikers walked down to the information centre at the Fernkloof Nature Reserve entrance. Law enforcement officers subsequently arrested a man they found in the reserve, Zybrandts said. Later, in the Hemel-en-Aarde valley on the other side of the mountain, Mavakala said a security guard had become suspicious and followed a man who was slowly driving a vehicle close to Camphill Farm while talking on a cellphone. "Two guys climbed into the car and he dropped them off later, close to Hermanus," she said.
Police officers, who had arrived on the scene, arrested all three men and found the hikers' cellphone and camera in bushes close by. Zybrandts said one of the four men - who were still in police custody late Tuesday - had been positively linked to Monday's mugging. "We're still busy with investigations to see if we can recover any of the items that were stolen in the other attacks," said Mavakala. As a result of the previous four attacks, Zybrandts said, warning signs had been erected at six of the reserve's informal entrances, warning hikers of the attacks and urging them to use the main entrance where they could sign in to a control book.
The three hikers mugged on Monday had not, however, passed one of these signs. "They came in from a totally different area on the other side of the mountain. There are no signs there." In the first attack on November 12, an Italian couple was held up while sitting on a bench. One week later a German couple was held up at knifepoint nearby, and a week after that eight elderly South African hikers from Strand were beaten with their own walking sticks, said reserve manager Grant Forbes. http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?art_id=vn20091230043520332C161573
Janet and Martin Stern, SA expats from Toronto, tied up, thrown with rocks, beaten and left behind, bleeding and injured
“They were vicious,’ the victims told Canadian TV news
Dec 25 2009. The Sterns had visited Hermanus annually for the past 10 years, but this Christmas Day they found themselves pleading for their lives after being stabbed, stoned, bound and robbed. This was the fourth attack in two months at the Fernkloof reserve. The news of the latest attack hit the headlines in Canada. http://www.cbc.ca/video/news/player.html?clipid=1367435107
The Canadian news media was told how they were stabbed, stoned, bound and robbed while hiking. Martin, 59, and Janet, 57, Stern, left, were left bruised and lacerated after the "completely senseless" attack.
A concerned hiker, Delia Scott, has offered a R1,000 reward for information about the attacks: "It is very close to our hearts because my husband and I often hike that route," she said.
Picture left:: Cape Times, Michael Walker, also read Canadian news article: http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2009/12/23/hikers-stabbed.html
Municipal manager Werner Zybrandts said Hermanus was now stepping up its security in the area, erecting warning signs and offering security guards, pepper spray and whistles for hiking groups. Martin said having hiked for more than half an hour from the entrance to the reserve at the bottom of the kloof, they were walking along a jeep track on top of the mountain when they passed two men walking in the opposite direction. "I said good morning, and they nodded," he said, speaking from his hospital bed at Hermanus Medi-Clinic. A few seconds later they heard running footsteps behind them and presumed joggers were approaching. "The next thing we knew we were being stabbed in the back. I was stabbed next to my kidney, and they stabbed Janet in the arm," said Martin. "They pushed us to the ground and picked up rocks." One attacker smashed Martin across the face with a rock and ripped his bag from his back using his knife.
"They had large hunting knives that looked about 12 inches (30cm) long, then they really started roughing us up. " Janet started saying to them: 'Would you treat your mother like this?'" Every time she said it they beat her again. "I was trying to reason with them, but they were totally out of control," she said. "I think they were drugged up," said Martin. "They were completely senseless - there was no rationale. "If they had just come to us with knives I would have given them the money equally." The attackers took a camera, Janet's watch and wedding ring and cellphone before forcing them down the slope away from the road, throwing rocks at them as they walked. About 30m down the slope the attackers used the couples' shoelaces to bind their feet and hands.
"We were feeling very faint and we were beginning to pass out and they told us to lie down. One of them kept saying: 'Don't kill them. Don't kill them.' Our worst thoughts were that they would slit our throats, or rape. "Janet said to me in Hebrew: 'We're going to pray to God,' and then they left us." The couple were left alone, dehydrated, drenched in blood and weak…
When Janet tried to raise her head, they threw rocks at her, and then the couple were left alone, dehydrated, drenched in blood and weak. Staggering back to the road, they collapsed repeatedly.
"There were flies all around us. The blood was caked everywhere." Reaching a bench at a viewing site, Martin said: "We can't stay here. We're losing too much blood." Staggering again down the jeep track, they saw a group of hikers approaching - the Jouberts. They gave them water, mopped their brows, applied a tourniquet to Martin's worst wound and called rescuers, who airlifted the couple to hospital. "They saved us," said Janet of the Jouberts.
Martin Stern said they agreed to be interviewed "because I don't want anyone else to be killed." Originally from South Africa, the Sterns moved to Canada more than 20 years ago. Born in Cape Town, Martin Stern is a vice-president and financial adviser at CIBC Wood Gundy. The couple had been returning to the Cape Town area annually since 1994. One of the couple's three daughters told the Globe and Mail that her parents had no plans to change their travel arrangements in South Africa despite the attack. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/12/24/south-africa-stern-martin-janet-attack.html
Italian couple two months ago:
Grant Forbes, reserve manager at Fernkloof, said that in the first attack two months ago, an Italian couple were approached from behind and held up at knifepoint: "They didn't see the guys' faces." The other two attacks were similar. In the second, a woman was slapped in the face, and in the most recent attack, three weeks ago, eight hikers were mugged by two men who beat them with their own walking sticks.
In each incident the attackers were two men, although police Inspector David Payne still insists – despite the identical modus operandi that there ‘was no evidence linking the attacks’. They occurred on the same trail, in the same area. Zybrandts said two men were apprehended by baboon monitors after the third attack, but they were released due to a lack of evidence. "Their excuse was that they were looking for jobs," he said.http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=79&art_id=vn20091224053146203C608060&newslett=1&em=205034a6a20091224ah
Unknown man also found dead on rock-ledge:
Police have also not yet identified the partially decomposed body found on Sunday away from a mountain about a kilometre above Voelklip beach. The circumstances surrounding his death remain murky. Contact information Overstrand municipality security officer: Director: Protection Services Contact Person: Neville Michaels Contact Number: 028 313 8914
Dr Francois Steenkamp, 72, murdered in Newlands retirement village, Pretoria, Feb 1 2010
Two security guards were arrested by the SAPS Sunnyside task force for the murder of Dr Francois Steenkamp, 71 on Feb 1 2010. The guards both worked for the same security company which was contracted to protect the residents of the Newlands Park retirement community in Pretoria, where the murdered cardiologist had lived for the past five years.
Police captain Colette Weilbach, told Beeld newspaper that the police did not want to reveal the company’s name ‘because the investigation is in a sensitive stage’. The guards, aged 32 and 33, are expected to appear in the Pretoria magistrate’s court on Friday on charges of murder and house-robbery. The murder occurred shortly after the previous security company had been fired because of its ‘weak’ security controls, writes Beeld. http://www.beeld.com/Content/Suid-Afrika/Nuus/1928/1e85e8b979a24a649b4a02dc9911fb4c/04-02-2010-11-56/Moord_op_hartdokter_2_vas
Picture: The retired cardiologist was found murdered by his domestic servant Mrs Willemina Habile, 60, left. Dr Steenkamp was gruesomely assaulted, his head was bashed in, and his hands were tied behind his back, writes Beeld. Dr Steenkamp was a long-time heart-specialist at the Heart Hospital in Pretoria. Picture Theana Calitz
Virginia Keppler also quotes Captain Weilbach as saying that it looked as if Steenkamp had fought back against his attackers. The entire house was in a shambles, with drawers and cupboards’ contents strewn across the floor. The murderers fled with Steenkamp’s white Toyota Tazz, said the police. Habile said normally she worked on Mondays for Mr Steenkamp; she had opened the door, walked in and called for him – and when she got to his room she saw feet sticking out from beneath the bed. Habile rushed to alert the nurses at the retirement centre and they called Steenkamp’s children and the police.
Security company fired:
A neighbour, John Corbitt, 72, said ‘this man was one of the best heart specialists in Pretoria, and now he’s dead’.
Corbitt said he had seen something unusual two weeks earlier, he told Beeld: he had noticed two unknown men simply strolling past the security guards at the gate and stealing a woman’s handbag, cellphone and jewellery from her home.
“We then decided to get rid of this security company because they weren’t doing their jobs. The company will only remain until the end of this month and then somebody else will take over,’ said Corbitt. http://www.beeld.com/Content/Suid-Afrika/Nuus/1928/955a5ed56cd64263bcb478e962fb4eb5/04-02-2010-02-02/Hartdokter_vermoor