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.
Retired wrestler Eric Rowan, 76, was hung up by his neck inside a locked cupboard with a thick plastic band around his neck, his mouth and nose taped shut… and rescued himself.
Eric Rowan, 76, survives hanging after brutal assault, Eastleigh Ridge Edenvale
EDENVALE. Mr Eric Rowan, 76, an Eastleigh Ridge resident and retired wrestler -- and also the son of a reknown South African cricketer -- was severely assaulted and left for dead on March 30. The information only came to light on April 8 2011. (source: journalist Dylan Slater).
One of his two black assailants now being sought by the police was the trusted family gardener, who had lived for free on the premises for a long time. Mr Rowan was attacked at around 1:15pm just after his wife had left to go shopping, leaving her husband alone with the gardener, who was working on the property. Shortly after his wife left, Mr Rowan was alerted that someone else was moving around his property because three of the four security beams had been set off. When the 76-year-old opened the security door for the gardener when the latter asked him to let him inside the house to turn off a water-pump, the old white man was overpowered. A length of plastic cable casing was immediately put around his neck by one of the suspects to restrain him. Another black man pointed a knife at Mr Rowan at the same time. However, the former wrestler, trained in unarmed combat, was able to grab away the knife from the assailant and then managed to throw his much younger male assailant to the ground. Mr Rowan was apparently then clubbed over the head from behind – as at that point he fell down unconscious. The old man then was dragged to a cupboard: and bound up with cables and ropes.
Hung up by his neck with a thick elastic band:
The suspects then tied a thick elastic band around his neck -- and hung up the unconscious man inside the cupboard. His mouth and nose were taped up. He was then left hanging, locked up inside the cupboard - with the key left in the lock. Mr Rowan regained consciousness just after he was dragged into the cupboard. During the struggle to get him inside, a first aid kit had fallen from a shelf inside the cupboard. This saved his life as moments later, when Mr Rowan regained consciousness, he managed to remove the tape on his nose and mouth and the elastic band from around his neck – because he could cut himself free with a pair of scissors he’d managed to get from the first-aid kit. He also noticed that the knife he had wrested from one of the suspects was still in his hand. Mr Rowan used the scissors to cut through the cables and ropes, and freed himself within half an hour from the locked cupboard. An ambulance arrived shortly after Mr Rowan had contacted relatives and he was taken to Linksfield Netcare where he got seven stitches on a finger which was bleeding profusely. The two suspects had by then fled the scene with cash and jewellery.
Mr Rowan was able to identify one of the suspects as the trusted family gardener, a black man in his mid twenties. The family had been employing this gardener for a long time and thought they knew him well. The man was even given free accommodation some time back on the premises. “We are too scared to employ anyone else to work in our home now. Who can we trust if this man just turned on us after all these years?” asked Mr Rowan’s daughter. The family reported the incident to the Edenvale SAPS.
Edenvale teens turn to hunting rabbits in Hurleyvale municipal park
A group of four teenagers in the Hurlyvale, Edenvale area sent this apparent death-threat to resident Mrs Judy Sheehan who objected to their hunting and killing feral rabbits in the local municipal park. (source: journalist Charmaine Slater)
Hurlyvale resident Mrs Judy Sheehan is in shock after receiving an apparent death-threat in her post box from a group of teens in the area. The threat follows after a confrontation between Mrs Sheehan on April 12 and four teenagers, three boys and one girl, in Hurlyvale Park. She stopped her car when she spotted the teenagers hunting down several of the rabbits which have moved into the guard house at Hurlyvale Park. "I stopped my car and asked the children what they were doing,” Mrs Sheehan said. “The girl in the group was very cheeky with me and said that there were plenty of bunnies and they only wanted one of them,” she added. Mrs Sheehan said that when she tried to explain to the children the importance of letting nature be, they simply walked away. She then drove home. “The children walked past my house and saw where I lived. This morning, (April 13) I found this drawing in my post box addressed to ‘the lady who cares for bunnies’” Mrs Sheehan said.
Picture: The drawing which the NEWS has a copy of depicts two bunnies being hung and a third being shot at by a boy.
In bold writing at the top of the drawing reads ‘save the bunnies’ while at the bottom of the drawing it reads, ‘if you need a bunny killer, sacrificer, food and fur coats' with a telephone number.The NEWS contacted the number on the picture but it was later determined that neither the woman who answered nor her children where in Edenvale at the time. “I am shocked by this,” Mrs Sheehan told the NEWS – which newspaper did not however say whether the youngsters are hunting the rabbits to supplement the family meals nor what their personal circumstances might be.
Court is informed Malema threatened mass killing if AfriForum held protest rally
Tuesday, April 12, 2011 The South Gauteng High Court (sitting as the Equality Court) was informed yesterday that the ruling party’s youth league leader Julius Malema had threatened mass killings (of Afrikaner protestors) if the civil rights initiative AfriForu members had gone ahead with planned peaceful protest rally to the ANC Head Office in Johannesburg on March 18 2010.
Ernst Roets, Deputy General Secretary of AfriForum, testified about the incident to Advocate Martin Brassey SC, AfriForum’s advocate. Roets said Malema made the threat during a meeting which AfriForum Youth had with the ANC Youth League on 18 March 2010.
The ANC Youth League called the meeting, which took place at Luthuli House in the Johannesburg City Centre, after Roets wanted to get a letter of confirmation from them for a protest rally which was to be held the next day. A letter of confirmation is required by law when a memorandum is delivered to another party during a protest rally.
In the meeting, Malema also demanded that the hate speech case against him be dismissed. Roets answered that AfriForum will dismiss the case if Malema apologises for singing the song, and also to not sing any songs which incite racial hatred between South Africans. Malema said he would never do that.
Roets also said later that, should Malema not provide such a letter of confirmation, they would nonetheless protest outside the ANC Head Office, without delivering a memorandum. Malema answered, should AfriForum go ahead, there would be a repeat of what happened in 1994 with the IFP when they protested outside the ANC Head Office without the consent of the ANC.
During this incident, widely known as the Shell House massacre, 19 IFP members were shot and killed.
One of the dignitaries who attended the proceedings was Winni Madikizela Mandela. She sat next to Malema in the packed court.
With this trial, AfriForum attempts to declare the “shoot the Boer” song and other songs which contain similar words, as hate speech. If AfriForum wins this court case, Malema could be ordered to pay the legal fees of AfriForum and other interested parties.
The case is expected to continue for two weeks. E.tv’s news channel and Solidarity Radio broadcast the case daily.
Zandspruit residents driven from their shacks by men with sjamboks - forced to participate in the riots on March 30…
Maureen Scheenman, the ANC councillor-elect for the forthcoming municipal elections in the 50,000-voter Zandspruit ward north of Randburg, said the vicious rioting on 30 March which had turned the northern areas ungovernable that day, was 'instigated by a third force'.
Scheenman said this in an exclusive interview with local journalist Madisebo Botsane. Scheenman told Botsane that a 'group of individuals’ , she identified as being 'involved in acquiring land illegally’, were “pushing for the riot to take place even after we had a meeting with the residents the night before."
The SAPS crushed the rioting with a heavy hand after a police officer was injured and local shops were looted. Sowetan newspaper published a video which included a shocking scene of a black police officer firing at one Zandspruit resident at very close range with a rubber-bullet – injuring him.
‘ Only card-holding ANC-members can elect candidates for an ANC-ward: ‘
She accused this mysterious third force of intimidating residents into participating in the rioting. "I started receiving calls from as early as 4am from residents, telling me that they are being forced to leave their shacks by people with sjamboks," said Scheenman. The ANC leadership had warned her beforehand 'not to address the disgruntled residents, as the party is looking for amicable solutions to all their grievances. The problem is that I don’t think residents understand the ANC’s candidate nomination process," said Scheenman. "The community cannot just elect anyone to be a candidate for an ANC ward. Only the card-holding members of the ANC are the ones who elect a candidate.
She said the other candidate which was put forward by the Zandspruit residents 'was disqualified by the party”. She denied that she ‘bought votes’. "That is why, when I am accused of corruption, it does not make sense. I am aware that there are residents who have acquired land illegally, and that there is a lot of corruption taking place. I have reported the matter to the police," said Scheenman.
"For as long as the ANC has voted me as the candidate for Ward 114, I will be running," she added.
Lydenburg municipal manager Billy Ralebipi paid R1,3million for 8-month contract… it could have paid for a new fire-tender instead
Two Afrikaans children burn to death in Lydenburg: the only municipal firetender had “broken down” …
2011-04-13 Empoverished platinum mineworker Jan van Niekerk and his wife Belinda have lost their two small children Angelique, 3 and Nico, 2 in a fire in Lydenburg because the only working municipal firetender broke down enroute. The Afrikaans children’s scorched bodies were found embracing each other, hiding behind their bed. Their mother, who suffers from leukemia, sustained burn-wounds trying frantically to rescue them. The municipality has offered neither assistance, nor apologies or any condolances to the grieving, homeless and now totally destitute Van Niekerk family.
Lydenburg taxpayers are up in arms about the tragedy: they have been complaining for years about the increasingly poor service from the local so-named "Thaba Cheweu” municipality’s fire-department. The fire broke out on Saturday around 07:45 in the children's bedroom: the terrified children were trapped behind the barred security-windows one finds in every South African home because it’s such a dangerous society. Mrs Van Niekerk frantically tried to get in to rescue her babies, but sustained burns while waiting for the only working municipal fire-engine to arrive. It never did: it broke down enroute. The raging fire was finally doused by the private security company Medi-Response's fire-tender, which is owned by local resident Mr Bart de Beer. The Lydenburg community has been relying for years on this free service from local private security companies, residents said. Deon Broekman of Rapid Response and paramedic Craig Schutte rushed into the burning house to try and save the children but found them dead in each other’s arms, hiding behind their bed.
The Van Niekerk couple and her daughter Rolanda Bain, 15, now live with family in Sabie and are totally destitute: they survived with only the clothes they were wearing.
Miner too poor to get his car fixed:
Mr Van Niekerk says his job is also in danger: since his car broke several months earlier, he's been struggling to reach his job at the Everest Platinum Mine: he didn't have enough money to fix it and was still buying the needed parts as he got paid each month. And these precious, carefully-hoarded spare parts also were destroyed in the fire.
Lydenburg residents have launched an emergency fund through the Lydenburg Outreach charity. And a reader of Beeld newspaper, Marius de Beer, was one of the first to donate to it. People can help by donating to Lydenburg Outreach account, First National Bank branch code 270251; account number 62307453960. Mark the donation to the attention of the Van Niekerk family. Deposit-slip copies must be forwarded to Mrs E Sutherland, firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone 0828288511 to help her keep track of the donations to the family.
Politically-incorrect details censored out by Beeld newspaper:
The local Lowvelder newspaper reported that a neighbour in Steyn Street, Hans Meyer, said he heard terrible screaming just after 8am from a woman, shouting for help. He noticed the house was on fire and contacted private security company Crime Combat Security - who sent emergency service personnel while the neighbours rushed in to try and douse the fire with garden-hoses.
The house burnt down. Broekman and Schutte who found the children’s charred bodies, said it appeared as if a heater may have caused a (smouldering) fire in the children's room, and when the mother opened the door to try and get the children out, the fire flared up as the windows were shattered outwards.
The neighbours and bystanders also were constantly calling the fire-department - but its one and only firetender never did arrive. The children's older sister Rolanda - a grade 9 pupil at the local High School, said she she heard the youngsters yelling, but that she thought the lively toddlers were just playing. She didn't smell any smoke however she did head towards their bedroom to check up on them – and that’s when she saw flames coming from underneath the door and called her mom. Mrs Van Niekerk is a leukemia-sufferer and not well at all, she said. Mrs Van Niekerk was treated for her burn-woundsat the local hospital.
The father Jan, 41, heard the terrible news while at work at the Everest Platinum Mine about 46km outside Rustenburg. A friend rushed him home: his own car broke down several months earlier and he could not afford to have it fixed. Neighbour Mrs Spokie Grobler said they have known Mr van Niekerk for the past 17 years. The couple married about ten years ago and moved to the house in Lydenburg from Gravelotte about 4 months earlier.
Municipal spokesman: ‘not aware’… ‘so sorry’… but also: no help for this family
When the local newspaper contacted municipal spokesman Puleng Mapheto he said at first that he 'was not aware of the incident' at first - but later explained that their one and only fire-tender had broken down enroute to douse the fire. He was ‘ sorry ’ he said. He thanked the private emergency services for dousing the fire. He offered no words of condolance to the family whatsoever - and the municipal social-services department also made no effort to even try and help the destitute, homeless Afrikaner family. The children’s funeral takes place on Friday April 15 2011.
Freedom Front Plus councillor Frik Rousseau and Democratic alliance city councillor Sonja Boshoff were both horrified about the avoidable tragedy. Mrs Boshoff also was livid about the fact that emergency-services chief Mkhonto could not even be reached on his cellphone and that the fire-tender vehicle did not even reach the scene. "The municipality has also made no attempt to try and assist the Van Niekerk family in any other way. This is gross neglect,' she said.
Municipal manager paid R1,3million for 8-month contract… but there’s no money for a new fire-tender?
The poor emergency-services of the municipality have been raised by taxpayers and councillors repeatedly and for years – and without any kind of improvement.
"How many more residents have to pay with their lives before the council fixes this? This ANC-ruled council always tells us that 'there are insufficient funds' for the purchase of emergency-equipment.
At the same time they appointed Billy Ralebipi as municipal manager at the astronomical salary of R1,3million for an 8-month contract.
Would it not have been much more appropriate to buy this much-needed equipment instead?" she fumed. Rousseau said the FF also will "once again demand an investigation into the problems with the municipal emergency services.'