Date Posted: Monday 23-Jul-2007
Submitted by Adriana Stuijt:
How long did the SA regime know about the gold/uranium veins beneath Koesterfontein smallholdings in the Magaliesburg -- where an Afrikaner couple was lynched?
Why did the SA authorities ignore all those pleas for help from Richard Theron and Estelle van Dyk before they were lynched at Koesterfontein smallholdings, supposedly by a group of squatters? Who were these squatters really?
See the African Crisis posting on this lynching at:
firstname.lastname@example.org of Beeld newspaper described how a huge pile of documents, retrieved from a murdered Afrikaner's computer, revealed how coldly and consistently police and local politicians had all ignored countless pleas for help and protection from an Afrikaner couple who were living with constant death threats from 'illegal squatters' on their Magaliesburg smallholding at Koesterfontein - and how Richard Theron and Estelle van Dyk then had been lynched -- hacked and shot -- supposedly by a mob in June 2004.
Nothing was ever robbed and nobody has ever been arrested for this deeply mysterious lynching.
New information has recently come to light about valuable gold and uranium-deposits beneath the soil of Koesterfontein -- a fact which might shed some light on this mysterious lynching three years later.
The question might even be asked: was this lynching of this leading, top-educated Afrikaner couple on the Koesterfontein smallholdings actually a cover-up for secret prospectors on these smallholdings? In other words, was this lynching even more sinister than a supposed 'struggle over land occupation'?
Earlier this year, alarmed residents of Koesterfontein all had to hurriedly form an action group to protest against the government's secret plans to allow uranium and gold-mining on their land. It usually takes several years of prospecting before such licences are even granted.
SA government officials earn millions by granting such licences and often get jobs at mining companies in return for such licenses. It would therefore, have been very much to the officials' advantage to just keep on ignoring the pleas for help from this murdered couple.
In South Africa, landowners do not ever own any mineral rights -- these rights are always held by the SA government and once licences for prospecting have been issued by the regime, private landowners cannot refuse mining companies access to the land - even if they totally destroy it in the process.
Exactly how long had the SA government already known about the uranium/gold deposits beneath the pristine landscape of the Magaliesburg, and so close to Maropeng -- the "Cradle of Humankind Heritage site"?
On 13 February 2007 the local residents all had unexpectedly pitched up at a very poorly-advertised 'information meeting' at the local Swallows Inn, called by Koesterfontein Mining Consultants, who had apparently applied for licences from the SA government to prospect for uranium and gold in the area without anybody knowing about it.
The only advertising for the meeting had been on a sign board, well-hidden in the long grass on the corner of the Koesterfontein & Carletonville Roads, and placed there just a week before the meeting. It was only at this meeting that the landowners actually found out that the government had already granted two other mining companies prospecting licenses a year earlier. One landowner was shocked to discover that one licence was already issued for prospecting on his own land.
Koesterfontein residents were outraged by these unethical methods -- none had ever been personally approached norreceived any written notifications of any intent to apply for prospecting licenses at all - ever. At the meeting, residents were told that two other licenses had already issued to other mining companies. One of the landowners at the meeting was shocked to discover that one prospecting license had already been granted for his land.
Mining is planned to cover a substantial area of the Magaliesburg. Some licenses already issued are within 15 kilometres of Maropeng - the Cradle of Humankind Heritage Site - and within 3.6 kilometres of Magaliesburg town. But business owners in Magaliesburg seem to be largely unaware of this.
Magaliesburg is immensely valuable in terms of its biodiversity and historical significance. This will be destroyed if the government pursues its search for uranium to power the many nuclear reactors planned around South Africa.
IT-specialist Ben Oosthuizen of Randburg retrieved documents from the murdered Richard Theron's personal computer. The 59-year old Theron, a forensic auditor, was murdered on June 5, 2004, together with his partner Estelle van Dyk, 58 - a dedicated 'horse whisperer' -- an animal psychologist who rehabiliated abused horses. The wounds on their mutilated bodies revealed that the Afrikaner couple was hacked with machetes and also shot.
Bert Oosthuizen, an IT-specialist from Randburg who had done work for Theron, said the documents, dating from November 5 last year to January 30 this year, sketched a picture of two increasingly desperate, frightened Afrikaners whose urgent pleas for protection to the police and their local political representatives, had all fallen on deaf ears. Oosthuizen said the retrieved computer documents were addressed to the Magaliesburg police, the police commissioner and the Democratic Alliance MP, as well as other politicians.
In one letter, Van Dyk wrote that she and her black worker had received death threats from illegal squatters on the smallholding. "The illegal occupants have threatened that they will kill me, my horses and my dogs. They also threatened to kill Tshepo, who works for me," it reads. The letter claims the police were notified of the threats, but "they cannot do anything before anything really happens"...
Police inspector Pikkie Fourie of the West Rand unit against serious violent crime, asked to comment by Beeld newspaper, said that he 'was aware of past problems with squatters on the farm, but these have been sorted out..We are following up on a good number of clues," he said. Nobody has ever been arrested or charged for this lynching.
LINKS TO LYNCHING OF AFRIKANER COUPLE: