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.
Marius Du Plooy, a dedicated minibus taxi driver, is aggrieved after he was thrown out of the Mamelodi Taxi Rank by management and other drivers. He got his licence in 1984 and has never had an accident nor committed any crime. Officials at the taxi rank refused a place to his employer Dumisani Majola, who owns the taxi driven by Du Plooy: ‘because I have a white driver’, he told Sowetan journalist Pertunia Ratsatsi. Sowetan:
Du Plooy, 45, started ferrying passengers from Mamelodi to Jane Furse in Limpopo last month. But other drivers were not happy with this."I do not deserve to be treated like this," Du Plooy said.
- "I miss my job and customers who always thank me when they reach their destination safely." Du Plooy said he got his driver's licence in 1984 and has never been involved in an accident nor committed any crime.
They refuse to allow me in the line because I have a white driver…
The Mamelodi Local and Long Distance Taxi Association served a letter of suspension to Du Plooy's boss, Dumisani Majola, because they had queries over the ownership of his taxi. Majola said: "I clarified the misunderstanding with them and I expected to be reinstated. But the officials at the taxi rank refused to allow me on the line because I have a white driver."
- Majola said about Du Plooy: "He takes care of my car like his own. He is very patient with the passengers and he treats them well. My car has been off the line for more than a week now and I am losing R2,400 a day. I paid my driver R1,400 a week and he was able to take care of his children."
Majola said Du Plooy was not the only white driver he employed. There is another in Transkei who has been working for him since 2003.
The association denies any racism. MALLDA deputy chairperson Kosabo Mahlangu said: "We do not have a problem with this man or the colour of his driver's skin. All we wanted was clarity on the ownership of his car. After we resolved it we wrote a letter to reinstate him. As far as we are concerned Du Plooy should be back and working at the rank."
Du Plooy said: "I pray and believe that something will come my way. I am willing to work with anyone, anywhere and anytime. All I ask is for black people to accept white people in jobs traditionally done by them."
South African National Taxi Council spokesman Thabiso Molelekwa said: "We view the allegations in a serious light. We will task the chair of the Mamelodi region to investigate the matter."
Sowetan journalist’s did an on-site vox-pop and found that ‘white people in the streets of Pretoria were shocked that Du Plooy allegedly lost his job because of the colour of his skin.”
Officials at the taxi rank declined to comment. http://www.sowetanlive.co.za/news/2010/12/17/white-taxi-driver-thrown-out-of-taxi-rank
Schoeman was tied up and suffocated with his pyjama pants. The gang then kidnapped Mrs Schoeman in the couple’s own car: they wanted to drive her to Carolina to withdraw cash from the couple’s bank-account. Beeld journalist Buks Viljoen reports that the murderers had crashed the car and then fled from the wreckage, leaving the injured Mrs Schoeman inside. There is no report that anything was actually stolen from the homestead. She told the police that she suspected her husband was murdered in farm attack. The police went to the farm and found Mr Schoeman’s body. She was treated in Ermelo and discharged. http://www.beeld.com/Suid-Afrika/Nuus/Boer-vermoor-en-vrou-ontvoer-20101217
Dec 16 2010 - On the same day in neighbouring Namibia, 85-year-old Afrikaner farmer Izak Dreyer was also murdered with a very similar modus operandus. Widower Mr Dreyer was asleep in his bed on his farm Newlands near Ühlenhorst near Rehoboth when five black males unscrewed the locks to his backdoor and attacked him. They tied the old man up, and gagged him so tightly that he suffocated – or died of a heart attack. The gang also was well-organised and was dropped off about 5km from the farm by a sedan-vehicle which had stopped on the N4 freeway, the Namibian police said. The gang looted Mr Dreyer’s guns before fleeing.
86-year-old Afrikaner farmer Tolstoi Schoeman and wife Güdryn were asleep in their beds when a group of black males invaded their homestead Vygeboom near Badplaas, Mpumalanga. Schoeman was tied up and suffocated with his pyjama pants. The gang then kidnapped Mrs Schoeman in the couple’s own car: they wanted to drive her to Carolina to withdraw cash from the couple’s bank-account. Beeld journalist Buks Viljoen reports that the murderers had crashed the car and then fled from the wreckage, leaving the injured Mrs Schoeman inside. There is no report that anything was actually stolen from the homestead. She told the police that she suspected her husband was murdered in farm attack. The police went to the farm and found Mr Schoeman’s body. She was treated in Ermelo and discharged. http://www.beeld.com/Suid-Afrika/Nuus/Boer-vermoor-en-vrou-ontvoer-20101217
Namibian farmer Izak Dreyer, 85, tortured, tied up, murdered near Ühlenhorst, five black men flee with stolen weapons - Dec 16 2010
ÜHLENHORST, NAMIBIA – 85-year-old Afrikaner farmer Izak Dreyer was attacked in his bed in the early-morning hours of December 16, 2010, tied up and gagged so that he either suffocated or suffered aheart attack. It was an extremely well-organised attack, the Namibian police said. The five males fled with the farmer’s bakkie and his weapons. The armed gang unscrewed the door to the kitchen to get into the homestead. Journalists © Dirk Heinrich and Ellanie Smit reported details in the Namibian news media.
DEC 16 2010 ÜHLENHORST, NAMIBIA near Rehoboth - Namibian police commissioner Kobus Meyer surveys the bedroom of the murdered Afrikaner farmer Izak Dreyer, 85; the scene where the old Afrikaner farmer was attacked in bed, tied up, tortured and gagged in such a way that he either had a heart-attack or suffocated. The five black males fled in his bakkie, taking his guns with them. http://www.az.com.na/polizei-und-gericht/farmer-bei-uhlenhorst-ermordet.118971.php http://www.sun.com.na/story/gang-slays-85-year-old-farmer
FARMERS in the Uhlenhorst area were deeply shocked and angered by the brutal killing of 85-year-old Izak Dreyer on Wednesday night on the farm Newlands.
A group of five men gained access to the farmhouse, and after tying both his legs and hands together they gagged him in such a way that he either suffocated or had a heart attack. The Derm Police Support Initiative yesterday posted a reward of N$50,000 for anyone with information that leads to an arrest. Police suspect that the whole robbery was planned and that the burglars definitely knew the area very well. Commissioner Kobus Meyer of the Hardap Region said that they are looking for five suspects in connection with the murder and already have two names to follow up on after they questioned the workers on the farm. One of the men they are looking for was a previous employee of Dreyer. He added that they will also be looking into the cellphone records of all the employees to see if they can find further clues.
The gang were probably dropped off at the main gate of the farm on Wednesday night by a sedan car after which they walked more than 5 km to the farm house. There they broke into the house through the kitchen door by using what the police think were screwdrivers. The gang then probably headed straight for Dreyer’s bedroom, said Commissioner Meyer.
“The deceased was probably asleep, but even if he heard the suspects enter, an 85-year-old man who was not that mobile anymore, could hardly have put up a fight against five men” said one of his family members. Using a belt, cloth and even a telephone cord that the suspects found in the bedroom, they tied his hands and legs together and then gagged him with a big blue cloth.
This cloth around his mouth may have caused his death by suffocation or heart attack. Neighbours also said that Dreyer was beaten and that his face was badly injured, but he did not go out without a fight because his attempts to get loose caused chafing marks from his bonds.
The gang then trashed the room and the rest of the house and eventually took the safe that was in Dreyer’s bedroom. Police suspect that they were looking for a key for the safe or for money. They did not steal anything else of value from the house leaving behind TV’s, cameras and other valuables.
They then loaded the safe onto a Nissan bakkie which was parked outside and drove back to the main gate where they met up with the sedan car again. From there they drove about 40km along the Rehoboth road until they pulled off and broke open the safe. They then loaded everything into another car. As far as can be determined they stole a .38 Special revolver and the coin collection in the safe, while they left behind four hunting rifles.
The farmworkers first suspected that something was wrong early on Thursday morning when the cattle were in the wrong camps. Some time later a farmer from the area, Francois van Rensburg, found the abandoned bakkie in the veld. A post mortem will be held on Wednesday to determine the cause of death. Dreyer was born on the Newlands farm and has been farming there since about 1940.
He has been living alone for the past two years after his wife died. For any information about the murder readers can call Apie van Niekerk at 081 277 0257 or ‘Hoekus’ van Niekerk at 063 265 336. Author: Ellanie Smit at Uhlenhorst. Commissioner Kobus Meyer of the Hardap Region was photographed at the murder scene. © Photo: Ellanie Smit http://www.az.com.na/polizei-und-gericht/farmer-bei-uhlenhorst-ermordet.118971.php
June 16 2010 - The owner of Wentscher Poultry Farm near Okahandja (north of Windhoek, Namibia), Gerd Wentscher, was brutally murdered on Tuesday night on his farm.Unidentified assailants attacked the 47-year-old Wentscher and his wife while they were locking up their premises. Wentscher was shot in the chest while his wife ran inside the house to get a gun for self-defence but by the time she came out, her husband was already shot.Wentscher was dead when the police arrived at the scene. Chief Inspector Amulungu said the suspects did not steal anything and ran away after committing the crime. On the same night, 75-year-old Mrs Walfrant Volkmann was also killed at the farm Jackal Omuramba, in the north of Namibia. The widower, who stayed alone, was hacked to death with a panga (machete). She was found by her workers, still alive but died on her way to hospital. Nothing was robbed there either. Police are offering a reward of N$40,000 (€ 3,500) for information on each of the murder case. http://www.meattradenewsdaily.co.uk/news/160609/namibia___poultry_farmer_murdered.aspx
WELKOM. In the same week when the country’s police commissioner expressed ‘shock’ about the growing number of police officers who were involved in violent crimes such as armed robberies, even more bent cops were arrested.
Tom de Wet reports in Volksblad that on Wednesday, a 32-year-old constable of Thabong was arrested by colleagues for alleged involvement in a theft of R780,000 while he and his comrades were driving in a marked SAPS vehicle. On Monday a deputy police officer of Virginia was arrested and charged with involvement in two cash-point explosions and robberies: one on Sunday in Welkom, and in Virginia on Monday.
Police commissioner Bheki Cele said on Wednesday that he was ‘shocked’ when hearing that suspected armed robbers of shopping centres were on-duty police officers.
Cele denies crony-cop appointments:
He meanwhile has also denied a newspaper claim that he was making appointments ‘in violation of standing police service regulations’. An article, headlined “Cele’s crony cops”, October 10 2010’ – which he had tried to stop from being published -- claimed that the SAPS was not allowed to fill any post without first advertising it. Cele denied this – citing SAPS Employment Regulation of 2008 – which he said authorises the minister of police to ‘approve a deviation’ if it is justified. He said the SAPS had ‘headhunted’ one such appointment, mentioned in the article, from the UK. Brigadier Thulani Mathonsi was recruited back to South Africa from his job as performance manager at the West Mercia Police Force in Birmingham. The Zululand-born Mathonsi now works as Cele’s “performance and monitoring manager”. Cele pointed out that Mathonsi holds a bachelors degree in policing as well as an MBA and that it was ‘irrelevant that he was born and bred in KwaZulu-Natal”. The Sunday Independent, which published the original story, has since then published an apology -- about making some minor errors in the report. http://www.saps.gov.za/_dynamicModules/internetSite/HPnewsBuild.asp?myURL=250
Who hires these crooked cops?
Earlier in the week, four police officers were also arrested in Brandvlei, North Cape for their involvement with armed robberies. And three constables appeared on Monday in Jan Kempdorp magistrate’s court after they were caught carrying out armed robberies in Kuruman and Jan Kempdorp.
In the latest arrest, said spokesman Captain Stephen Thakeng, three men had shown up at a house in Thabong near Welkom and introduced themselves as police officers. The owner of the house had seen a marked police vehicle outside his house and thus decided to open the door to them. The three men demanded money from the man – and were not satisfied with the R500 cash he gave them. They must have had inside-information because they then searched the house and found R87,300 hidden inside his mattress. The three men then ‘arrested’ the resident – but he fled as they opened the door to the police vehicle. He went to the Thabong police station and provided enough information about the police vehicle to help police trace it down and arrested the constable inside it that same day. The man will be charged with theft and the misuse of an official vehicle. http://www.volksblad.com/Suid-Afrika/Nuus/Nog-polisielede-vasgetrek-20101216
A small sampling of other recent crimes carried out by uniformed police-members:
Malherbe, Okkie, cattle farmer Potgietersrust, attacked by police with cattleprods, tortured Jan 28 2010
Heavily armed men in police uniforms who showed up in police vehicles tortured an Afrikaner farm family in Mokopane/Potgietersrust on January 28 2010 … http://www.farmitracker.com/reports/view/39
20100516 Suna Steenberg, May 7 2010 – The owner of a building supply company, in Leeufontein, Mrs Suna Steenberg was attacked by men in police uniforms at her smallholding. They shot her execution style with headshots: she ended up in hospital in a coma. (story headlined: “Bloodbath ends bid to save mom-in-law” ... http://www.farmitracker.com/reports/view/42
Brink, Francina, 85, beaten up, robbed, Bon Accord smallholdings, 4 men in police uniforms Sept 17 2010
Uniformed attackers beat up Francina Brink, 85, Bon Accord smallholdings, Pretoria Sept 17 2010 - 85-year-old Afrikaner great-grandmother Mrs Francina Brink (85) was brutally beaten up and robbed . http://www.farmitracker.com/reports/view/568
- A police constable and a "paid hitman" (27) were arrested for the assassination of the Asian-South African Police officer Lt-Col Francis Pillay, at his Lotus Park home outside Isipingo ... http://www.farmitracker.com/reports/view/148
Policeman, 3 others arrested for plot to rob Welkom goldmine .................. Four men - including a cop and an ex-provincial rugby player - appeared in court a plot to rob a Welkom goldmine ‘s pay office.
Unnamed 16 Yr Old, allegedly Raped by Police Officer Father over period of 3 years (06/13/2003, Makhado)
MAKHADO – The local Magistrate's court denied bail to a police officer who was arrested for allegedly raping his own daughter. The man is attached to Levubu Police Station ... http://www.farmitracker.com/reports/view/156
Police have attacked a member of parliament's husband, Denise Robertson, in Durbanville, Cape Town, in yet another case of police brutality and corruption http://www.farmitracker.com/reports/view/241
Anderson Colleen, 65; Venter, Jack, 74 assaulted, peppersprayed by police captain for no apparent reason Durban February 26 2009
An elderly couple who supervise a block of flats near Durban's beachfront, were assaulted, thrown around and had pepper sprayed at them by a police captain for no apparent reason .http://www.farmitracker.com/reports/view/329
Six KZN Technical Response Unit cops arrested for armed robbery, theft, extortion 28 July 2010 http://www.farmitracker.com/reports/view/391
SAPS informer describes a 2009 plot to recruit soldiers from Burundi to destabilise KZN province by burning down schools and hospitals… during his bail application in Pinetown ...http://www.farmitracker.com/reports/view/435
Baby Abbegail snatched by two black female police officers at Johannesburg Airport
Her mom and grandmother grabbed the baby back just in time. The female police officers told the white women that they ‘wanted to teach them a lesson’… http://www.news24.com/News24/South_Africa/News/0,,2-7-1442_2410513,,00.html
And that’s just a small sampling: there are 20 more pages about bent cop-activities on http://www.farmitracker.com
Dec 16 2010 - KRUGERSDORP. A local Afrikaner man, Piet Desfountain, 53, was bludgeoned to death in his Gerhard Maritz Avenue home in Krugersdorp by four black men who had torn down the security gates at around 03:30 in the night and stormed in with hammers and shovels.
Lizel Desfountain, 49, also was brutally assaulted after her husband was bludgeoned to death. She however saved her life by managing to flee and now is in hospital. Her condition is unknown. Beeld journalist Jacques Steenkamp reports that the couple were married about three months ago. It was Mr Desfountain’s second marriage.
It took the police more than an hour to respond to a neighbour's emergency call – but SAPS spokesman captain Jacob Raboroko said the long waiting period was “irrelevant…’… that they did show up eventually…’ By that time of course the attackers were long-gone…
The SAPS had earlier also denied to family-friends that any murder had even taken place.
Madelaine, the grief-stricken daughter of murder-victim Piet Desfountain, was supported by friend Lorraine Geyer outside the Krugersdorp murder-house after hearing the news from the Beeld journalists at the Dec 16 2010 murder scene. Picture by Beeld photographer Lauren Mulligan.
The couple were asleep when their home was invaded. Family member Dr Tommy Jooste said when hearing the home-invaders tear down his security gate and destroy the flood-lights Mr Desfountain had stormed from the bedroom and started struggling and fighting with the four black men. "He fought fiercely for his life and after he had collapsed to the floor they assaulted Lizel. He was on the floor next to his wife before she passed out from the pain' she said.”
The attackers were rummaging through the house and Mrs Desfountain woke up and and immediately fled from the house.
She jumped into her car and drove off at high speed. Neighbour Piet Madonsela who lives about 300 metres from the house, woke up from her screams at around 4am."I heard her screaming hysterically at the gate. When I opened it she was covered in blood and her clothes were shredded. She said: 'they are busy killing him.'
Mr Madonsela said he was unable to call for help from his cellphone because he'd run out of airtime. And her phone was stolen. So the bloodied, traumatised woman and Mr Madonsela started knocking on the doors of neighbours for help - but they were all too terrified to open the door to them."I look like a crook I suppose...' he said.
Mrs Desfountain was eventually able to locate her sister Ms Lavonne van Wyk – and she and her friend Dave Haasbroek then called the SAPS and the emergency services. The injured woman now is in hospital. Beeld’s article does not say anything about her current condition.
The blood-smeared floor in the Desfountain couple’s home in Krugersdorp and a broken hairclip tell a story of senseless, excessive violence… Picture by Beeld photographer Lauren Mulligan.
Haasbroek and Madonsella then jumped in his car to drive to the Desfountain house. The two men were greeted by a scene of carnage: “The house was coated in blood. The attackers had covered Piet with a duvet so that only his face was showing. I looked to see if he was still alive but he seemed dead. We waited for over an hour for the police to show up. It was the most pathetic police reaction ever,' said Mr Haasbroek. He told Beeld that the murder-victim’s face was disfigured with deep gaping wounds.
- There was no mention whether anything else was actually robbed except Mrs Desfountain’s cellphone.
SAPS Krugersdorp denied that a murder even took place:
Beeld writes that his ex-wife Wilma - enroute to her new home in Richard's Bay – was phoned about her ex-husband’s death and asked her Krugersdorp friends David and Lorraine Geyer to confirm it with the SAPS. However, the Geyers ran into a wall of silence: "At the Krugersdorp police station we were told that 'nobody was murdered and that they knew nothing about it,' said Mr Geyer.The couple then went to the murder-scene and confirmed that Mr Desfountain had been murdered with Beeld's journalist. His daughter from his first marriage, Madelaine, 29, showed up shortly thereafter and burst into tears.He also leaves a son, Etienne, 32.
SAPS captain Jacob Raboroko – asked to comment -- told Beeld that it was 'irrelevant how long it took before the police showed up. They were probably busy elsewhere.They did show up eventually...'
- By that time however the murderers were long-gone and it was pointless to mount a neighbourhood search. Nobody has thus far been arrested.