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.
Crime Syndicates intimidate, lie to and terrorise residents: 1,200 buildings and 1,500 houses have already been ‘hijacked’ by these gangs in greater Johannesburg alone… and now this urban-blight army is heading south… looking for more private properties to target…
The socalled ‘hijacking of buildings’ – in essence very similar to illegal land-invasions of privately-owned properties -- are increasingly pushing out legal (white) property-owners in greater Johannesburg – and the squatter-army now is spreading its ugly urban-blight tentacles into Rosettenville over the past few months..
The problem was described by journalist Lucky Thusi on 23 May 2011. Since the Star newspaper reported in November 2010 that some 1,200 high-rise buildings and some 1,500 private dwellers in greater Johannesburg’s ‘inner-city suburbs’ were ‘hijacked’, the squatter army is heading South. Rosettenville was given specific mention by the SAPS and the National Prosecuting Authority, noting that now the central business district’s building hijackers now are targetting buildings in the southern suburbs.
These crime-syndicates target a property inhabited by paying tenants and ‘convince’ them to stop paying rent to the rightful owner and start paying (lower) rent to them… and the buildings quickly fall into wrack and ruin…’
Building hijackers operate in the South in various ways, noted Thusi. “The more prevalent is that they target a property inhabited by tenants, and ‘convince those tenants either through charm or coercion to stop paying rent to the rightful owner and to start paying (lower) rent to them’. Sometimes an organisation pretending to help tenants to fight landlords gets tenants to join them for a monthly fee. They make promises but have no intention of delivering on their promises. At first these schemes may seem attractive to tenants, but what they fail to realise is that while the owner was using a portion of their rent to pay for water, electricity and maintenance on the property, the hijacker is simply pocketing their money.
“It doesn't take long before the services are cut off and that property becomes unfit for human habitation.”
There are about twenty organised crime-syndicates hijacking buildings: and on their payroll are staffers from the Deeds’ Registry Office, the SA Revenue Service, police officers and ANC-council officials, noted Thusi. “ Through these networks they can obtain false clearance certificates and even have their name transferred onto the title deed of the targeted property. They'll often target properties where the owner is overseas, non-resident or otherwise not very involved in the daily management of their property.
Many hijacked houses belong to (white) old-age pensioners, who are often in arrears… and are forced from their homes at night, claiming their houses have been attached…’
Many of the houses that are being hijacked belong to older people living alone, who are often in arrears. The hijackers visit these people at night and force them out of their homes, claiming that because they are in arrears, their houses have been attached. For all intents of purposes, the hijacker then simply becomes the new owner. It's not only property owners who are affected by this crime.
As the state of residential properties in our area deteriorates, families and law-abiding citizens move out and criminals move in to fill that vacuum.
These properties become drug dens, criminal hideouts, brothels…
These properties become drug dens, criminal hide-outs, stores for stolen goods, brothels, and contribute to all sorts of other crimes in the area. Part of the challenge in prosecuting these crimes has been that the law has not allowed for the definition of theft to include objects that you can't pick up and walk away with, such as buildings. Prosecutors therefore have to look for other infractions such as fraud, corruption, intimidation etc. to put these hijackers behind bars. It's a laborious process, but one in which we're starting to see progress, noted Thusi: “ In 2010 in S v Thusi and others, a hijacker was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. His assistants, who collected rent, were sentenced to five years imprisonment. They were denied bail and spent two years awaiting trial.”
If you are a property owner whose property has been hijacked, sms “Safer South” with any actionable information to 33250. (Each sms costs R2). Safer South will ensure that your identity is kept confidential. Furthermore with your permission we'll ensure that you are connected directly to investigators who specialise in putting these hijackers behind bars. "If you are aware of any property that has been taken over by hijackers, sms the address to 33250 and any other information you can provide. Your identity will be kept confidential. "If you are a tenant and are approached by someone offering you lower rent than you're currently paying, be very suspicious. SMS any information to 33250.” http://www.looklocal.co.za/looklocal/content/en/joburg-south/joburg-south-news-general?oid=4441402&sn=Detail&pid=1171163&Hijacking-of-buildings-an-increasing-problem-in-the-South
Mrs ellen randall, admitted in severe pain to edenvale hospital may 5, spent 8 days ‘without much care of attention from medical staff’. she died may 12 within two hours of being discharged…
22 May 2011 -- Mrs Ellen Randall, a hearing-impatient woman who was taken to Edenvale Hospital in severe pain on May 5, spent eight days there with little or no attention from doctors and nursing staff, although colon-cancer and liver-cancer was diagnosed. She died on May 12 within two hours of being discharged.
Relatives of Mrs Randall (left) accompanied her to the hospital and told nursing staff that she was hearing impaired and that she needed nappies because she could not move much. The adult diapers were provided by the relatives along with her pyjamas. These items were placed in the bedside cabinet next to Mrs Randall’s bed.
On May 7 her niece Mrs Shamaine Rademeyer arrived at the hospital at 3pm to visit her aunt: and noticed a large bruise on the right side of her aunt’s face. Mrs Rademeyer asked a few nurses what had happened to her aunt. “They could not tell me what happened,” said Mrs Rademeyer. She also noticed that Mrs Randall’s diapers had not been changed. On Sunday morning another relative went to visit Mrs Randall. The relative noticed that again, the patient’s diapers had not been changed. “She was wet and so was her bedding,” said Mrs Rademeyer. The relative then requested dry bedding which was brought by a nurse, but left for the relative to change.
Mrs Randall was taken to the sonamed “Charlotte Maxeke” Hospital on May 9 for tests at the hospital’s gastro enterology unit – where it was discovered that she suffered from colon- and liver cancer – and possibly also brain cancer. More tests would have to determine the extent of her cancer on May 12. After the tests, Mrs Randall was returned to Edenvale Hospital.
‘All the doctors had left…’ they claimed…
“On Wednesday when I went to visit her, I could see that something was wrong with her,” said Mrs Rademeyer. “I asked to see a doctor, and was told that there was no doctor as they had all left,” she said. Mrs Rademeyer then took her aunt down to the casualty unit in a wheelchair. There she asked for the doctor at the casualty unit to attend to her aunt. “A male nurse came out and screamed at me, telling me to take the patient back to the ward,” said Mrs Rademeyer. This male nurse The nurse told Mrs Rademeyer to ‘ask the nurses in ward seven to call a doctor’ – yet the nurses at ward seven again told Mrs Rademeyer that ‘there was no doctor on duty.” “I told them that if I do not see a doctor, I am taking my aunt home with me,” said Mrs Rademeyer
. “Five minutes later, a female doctor appeared and asked what was wrong,” said Mrs Rademeyer. She told the doctor that something was wrong with her aunt and that she urgently needed medical attention. Mrs Randall usually had high blood pressure and was on blood pressure medication. “Her blood pressure dropped from 146 the previous day to 86 on Wednesday, which was abnormal,” said Mrs Rademeyer. On May 12 Mrs Randall was again due to go to the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital for further tests, but could not go due to her poor state of health.
Mrs Rademeyer’s mother was meanwhile waiting for Mrs Randall at the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital, and called her daughter when Mrs Randall didn’t arrive when she was supposed to. Mrs Rademeyer then contacted the Edenvale Hospital to find out where her aunt was. The hospital told Mrs Rademeyer that Mrs Randall ‘could not be transported using a wheelchair and that special transport would be needed which had not arrived yet.’ Mrs Rademeyer immediately went to the Edenvale Hospital with her family. She also contacted her aunt’s case manager, Mrs Thandi Sithole, telling her that Mrs Randall would be taken to Edenvale Hospice (Edenvale Care Centre) that day.
… and she died within two hours after discharge from Edenvale
Mrs Rademeyer said that there was no doctor to discharge her aunt and that she (Mrs Rademeyer) had to sign a release form. She accused nursing staff of refusing to provide any form of assistance to transport Mrs Randall to the car after Mrs Rademeyer asked for a wheelchair. “When I arrived at Edenvale Hospice, Sister Leigh confirmed that my aunt was in a very bad state,” said Mrs Rademeyer.
Mrs Randall died about two hours after arriving at Edenvale Care Centre.
Official comment was of course also obtained from clinical manager D Maluleke who , “categorically” (whatever that means) denied allegations of poor service at the hospital stating; “We have a complaints system in the entire hospital with locked complaint boxes in each and every ward.” Dr Maluleke added that nursing staff wear name tags to aid in identification. When asked about the patient’s condition and her treatment at the hospital, Dr Maluleke said; “Edenvale Hospital is bound by doctor and patient confidentially, thus we will not comment further.”
Mrs Ellen Randall was admitted to Edenvale hospital in severe pain on May 5. After colon-cancer was diagnosed, she was given ‘little or no attention’ by medical staff. She was discharged on 12 May and died two hours later said her niece Charmaine Rademeyer, pictured, with her daughter.
Regorogile, Thabazimbi township residents claim they were duped by ANC-councillors into invading land in return for votes… and after the election, they were warned to vacate the land again…
During the runup to the elections ANC-ward councillors ‘encouraged them to invade municipal land in return for votes’.
Resident Joseph Muleya was quoted by Seleka as saying that ‘two weeks ago, when the ANC ward councillors informed us at a meeting that we could invade municipal land, (we) jumpeda at that opportunity.’
Yet on Thursday – right after the ANC retained its dominance at Thabazimbi municipality -- the municipal officials ‘came out and warned them not to invade the land’… Some residents who erected shacks on municipal land now vow that they were not going anywhere. Entire article on: http://www.sowetanlive.co.za/news/2011/05/23/anc-duped-us-to-get-votes-say-residents
- Some 3,500 cops have already been killed since 1994 under ANC - but where are the rest of all those cops on the policing-payroll?
On Jul 30 2009, Beeld Afrikaans daily journalist Hilda Fourie reported an an amazing admission -- which was inadvertently made by the head of the police’s community services, Director Riaan van Staden:
Speaking at a sector-policing meeting in Centurion, Van Staden said that ‘of the 153,000 South African police officers, only 70,000 are operational’.
It is known than an average 200 cops are gunned down in warfare with criminal gangs in South Africa each year – i.e. since 1994 under the ANC-regime, some 3,000 police officers have fallen in the line of duty… That still doesn’t explain the absence of those other 83,000 cops however…
This comment by Director van Staden raises an immediate question: where is the SA Police Minister going to get all the police officers he needs to ‘sweep the streets clean of criminal gangs,’ as he announced in his Operation Washa Tsotsi campaign this month – the blue line is already stretched beyond breaking point, controlling township rioting and trying to stay on top of the ‘regular crimes”: SAPS statistics
Police deaths reported on Aug 1 2009:
Aug 1 2009 – Only three hours before he was support to report for duty at the Vereeniging police station, a constable was gunned down and killed as a ‘cash-transit robber’ with a shot through the head, reports Beeld newspaper. Sonja van Buul, who also took the picture of paramedics giving first-aid to one of the two shot robbers, writes that four armed men had stormed a cash-in-transit security van in the middle of a crowd of terrified students at the Vaal Technical University (VUT) in Vanderbijlpark, which was holding its annual open day. One matriculant from a local high school was also injured by a flying bullet – he’s in hospital with a crushed right arm. The firefight started immediately upon the arrival of security guards of SBC Services shortly before 13:00 with their van to replenish the cash supply in a cash-withdrawal machine when four men approached and a firefight erupted amidst the student crowd. Police inspector Kinnie Steyn said nothing was robbed – after the security guards gunned down two of the four attackers, the other two disappeared into the crowd of hysterical students. When the local ER24-emergency services showed up, one robber was dead with a shot through the head, 40 metres away from him, his critically injured comrade, said Erner Vermaak of ER24. The comrade was rushed with their medicopter to a Johannesburg Hospital. Police confirmed that the dead robber was a constable at the Vereeniging police station, but couldn’t release his name until his kin had been notified. http://jv.news24.com/Beeld/Suid-Afrika/0,,3-975_2544120,00.html
20090801 Apartheid-era police inspector Bachipile Andrew Rapeta goes missing: wife Sarah tortured... by cops she claims31 July 2009 Sowetan journalists Alfred Moselakgomo and Mckeed Kotlolo report charges by Mrs Sarah Rapeta, wife of missing police inspector Bachipile Andrew Rapeta, an apartheid-era police officer who is presumably dead, that she was tortured at Rustenburg police station – even given electric shocks -- by police officers who are investigating her husband’s disappearance on June 2 this year.
He’s presumed dead: his locked car was found two days after he went missing enroute home from work in GaRankuwa, north of Pretoria. Nothing was stolen.The (former GaRankuwa homeland) police inspector joined the apartheid-era police force as a constable in 1986 and has since then progressed steadily up the ranks.
Apartheid-era cops have a hard time:The historical record also shows that such apartheid-era police officers of all races are frequently investigated, and often also are treated with great mistrust by junior officers hired after 1994. Despite their testimony at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, such apartheid-era police still are targetted for murder investigations in which many also have been acquitted of a large variety of false charges lodged against them since 1994. The two Sowetan journalists report that Mrs Sarah Rapeta, wife of a police inspector who vanished eight weeks ago, says that police ‘tied her hands and subjected her to intensive interrogation in efforts to find her husband.”
“They tied both my hands and covered my face with a thick plastic as I gasped for air. They held me and strangled me for three to five minutes while my jacket was pulled over my head,” Rapeta told Sowetan this week. “Right now, I am heartbroken. I feel powerless. I mean, how could they even think that I killed him?
- “I am in love with my husband. I have loved him since the first day we met. I will not harm him. He is the champion of my children .”
Sarah Rapeta – this is a picture from the family album with her husband - said two officers, a Constable Tshagane and an Inspector Mothinyane, picked her up at home in Mabopane two weeks earlier: she said Superintendent Israel Mdluli had instructed them to bring her to GaRankuwa police station. “I was surprised when I saw the car heading towards Rustenburg instead of GaRankuwa police station,” she said. “In Rustenburg, the two officers took me to a room with shaded windows. There were three other black officers and an Indian. They then started questioning me about the whereabouts of my husband. I insisted I knew nothing about his whereabouts. ” She said the officers repeated the same questions over and over again. The police applied electric shocks to her body when she did not provide the information they wanted, she told Sowetan in a hard-hitting interview.
- “You can see the scars on my hands. I was tortured and stripped of my human rights. They must know that if I am a suspect in my husband’s murder, I am still innocent until the law proves me guilty. They sent me back home the same evening. I do not understand the police’s double standards. First they sent their counsellor to come and comfort us, and a chaplain to pray for us, but afterwards they come and torture the family.”
Denies any knowledge of torture:
Inspector Matthews Nkoadi of the GaRankuwa police said Superintendent Mdluli who had according to Sarah, instructed officers to pick her up in Mabopane two weeks ago for her torture ordeal, “was not based at the station”.
He denied any knowledge of the alleged torture. As the search continued yesterday, Rapeta professed her love and anxiety for her missing husband. “Wherever my husband is, he should know that I love him – and our children love him too. The house seems empty without him, and all I am asking for is his safe return. We feel very lonely without him. “If he is still alive, please come back so that we can continue with the good life we enjoyed. If he is dead, let us have his remains so that we can give him a dignified send-off,” she said.
’WE MISS HIM SO MUCH’
Sarah -- pictured left by Sowetan photographer Peggy Nkomo -- and Andrew met in 1986. She lived at Bapong village near Brits in North West and he was a young cop at Mothutlong, between Brits and GaRankuwa. “We dated for five years and the love between us kept growing all the time. In 1990 he paid ilobola. We had our children – Thato, now 25, and Ofentse, now 21 – before our white wedding in 1991. “I miss him every minute. We miss him as a family because we planned everything together. Wherever we went, we were together. “What we miss most is his presence, his jokes and the tasty meals he used to prepare for us.” ‘Tell me if my hubby is dead’ - Cop’s wife’s desperate plea
Jul 31 2009 Marietie Louw-Carstens, Beeld, reports from Polokwane/Pietersburg – A well-known local police officer, Inspector Willem Jacobs, 38, was shot dead in a farm homestead he rented with his girlfriend Dorothea Hermina du Toit, 56, near Alldays. He was reportedly stationed at the Mara-police station. Apparently the couple used to live on the police station premises but were kicked out of the police quarters because of their loud fights especially over weekends, Louw-Carstens writes. And neighbouring farmers also reported that the couple had a ‘fiery’ relationship. Mrs Du Toit was released on R5,000 bail at the Louis Trichardt magistrate’s court on Thursday and has to appear there again on Sept 17 2009. It was revealed during her bail application that Inspector Jacobs was shot dead because he wanted to use her cellphone-reloader. Du Toit now lives with relatives in Marble Hall. http://jv.news24.com/Beeld/Suid-Afrika/0,,3-975_2544122,00.html
South African police are in ‘a war zone’
One can surmise from these reports therefore that this severe shortage of tens of thousands of operative police officers has been a problem at least since the year 2001…
Policing changed from preventative to defensive war-zone fighting within a decade:
Whereas criminals used to flee the police, many were now staying around to fight, or deliberately drawing law enforcement units into places where they can be killed, the crime research report noted in 2001.
“But the cops are fighting back, improving awareness and training in special weapons and tactics, including anti-ambush drills developed in counter-insurgency conflicts.”
This hard-hitting report was written by Anthony Minnaar, a senior researcher at the Institute for Human Rights and Criminal Justice Studies at Technikon South Africa. He found that direct attacks on police officials account for no fewer than 31% of all murders. in 2000. In ambushes, motives ranged from attempting to release prisoners, to the stealing of a police officer's service pistol.
- "A disquieting fact is that a high proportion of gunshot murders were multiple gunshots, to the head and side of the head, or the back," he says. Minnaar's study also showed that most criminals murdered policemen to avoid arrest. This accounted for 42% of attacks. "In 35% of police killings, the official's firearm was also stolen or taken in the attack," says Minnaar.
One cop in 12 ambushes within seven years:
An ex-policeman who in his seven years in the police service experienced 12 ambush situations, said:
- "When you go into a township, you never arrive quietly - they know that you are coming. I have had situations just before an ambush where they have started whistling. That was a tactic used in the apartheid era to warn that police were coming and to prepare for an ambush."
- "What we are trying to do is make the police more safety conscious. We have found that a lot of policemen were killed because of over-dedication. For example they didn't call for back-up or they patrolled alone."
“Community must be called in to help end the killings”:The directorate's plan -- announced in this 2001 report – also was to also get the “community to help end the killings”, said Minnaar at the time…
- “What we want are community support structures to assist the police - like religious leaders condemning attacks on police, or various communities supporting the families of the policemen that were killed," says Van Staden.
- Van Staden believed back in June 2001 that they were beginning to see positive results from this tactic: In the year 2000, a total of 185 policemen were murdered in South Africa – down from 200 the previous year. ..http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?sf=68&set_id=1&click_id=13&art_id=ct20010622212504759C124631
SA Police Service Roll of Honour for fallen comrades for 2007/8:
- Previous years: http://www.saps.gov.za/saps_profile/honour/roll_honour.htm