Monday, 16 August 2004

Hijackers execute young father

13/08/2004 07:52 - (SA)Lieze du Preez

Potchefstroom - Hijackers, who placed stones on a road outside Potchefstroom, executed a young father from North West in cold blood after they withdrew all his money from an autobank.

The murderers first drove around with Corne van Zyl, 29, from Klerksdorp in the boot of his own car before they crossed over the Vaal River and shot him in the head at close range amongst some trees along the Vermaasdrift road in the Free State.

The murderers overpowered Van Zyl on Saturday night after they packed stones on a road in the New Machavie/Mooibank area outside Potchefstroom and he drove over the stones.

When he stopped to check whether his vehicle had been damaged, the attackers overpowered him.

Van Zyl's body was found in a clump of trees on Wednesday after police received a tip-off and arrested two suspects in the Khuma township outside Stilfontein.

Van Zyl's family reported him missing on Sunday after he did not return home on Saturday night. He had been visiting friends in Potchefstroom and left for home shortly before midnight.

The murderers allegedly held Van Zyl at gunpoint at the place where he drove over the stones and drove him to Stilfontein in his Toyota Corolla.

Here they filled up the car with petrol and apparently drew R1 000 from his bank account. After midnight they allegedly returned to the autobank to withdraw a further R540.

Van Zyl apparently tried to escape at the filling station, but the boot was slammed down on him.

Superintendent Louis Jacobs, police spokesperson, said the suspects crossed over the Vaal River into the Free State early on Sunday morning. This is where they shot and killed Van Zyl.

Shot him in the back of his head

The murderers apparently forced him to lie on his stomach and shot him in the back of his head at short range. They left with his money, cellphone and gun in his car.

Police started their search immediately after Van Zyl was reported missing. The two suspects were in possession of Van Zyl's cellphone and car when police arrested them. They took police to the body.

Although Van Zyl's gun is still missing, another gun that was earlier stolen in the Ikageng township outside Potchefstroom was found in their possession.

Van Zyl's father, JP van Zyl from Polokwane, is devastated.

"One wants to speak to people, but one does not know what to say. The incident makes one feel rebellious and angry. At least we now know where he is."

Van Zyl, a diesel mechanic at Transem milk distributors in Klerksdorp, turned 29 on August 1.

He is survived by is wife, Zelda, son Wesley, 11, and daughter, Micaylin, 6.

The suspects will probably appear in the Stilfontein magistrate's court on Friday on charges of murder and armed robbery.

Police warned that people should be on the lookout for objects stacked in the road. Motorists should not stop immediately after driving over such obstacles. Two police officers were stranded on the R42 route in the same area when they drove over stones wrapped in black plastic bags.

Edited by Jannie Momberg


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