Saturday, 26 February 2005

Gauteng family tells of robbery ordeal

Jonathan Ancer

February 25 2005 at 07:31AM

'I can't stay any longer.

I must go."

These were 36-year-old Coenie Pretorius's dying words to his wife Petro as he lay in her arms. "It's okay," she responded.

Petro, 35, told Magda, Coenie's sister - who was at her bedside in hospital on Thursday - that Coenie looked peaceful as he died.

The tragedy that befell the Pretorius family this week is every family's worst nightmare.

Coenie, Petro and their children - 12-year-old Coenie and eight-year-old Estleen - had just returned to their home in Muldersdrift after a church service.

Coenie, who owned his own construction business, was the under-deacon at the Old Apostolic Church of Africa in Muldersdrift.

And, just like every Wednesday evening, about 15 members of the church had gathered for a bread-breaking service to discuss the weekly Scriptures.

After the service, the Pretorius family stopped off at a café to buy bread, milk and soft drinks before turning into their driveway.

Unknown to them, armed robbers were already inside the home they shared with Coenie's parents, Coenie Snr and Hannah, and his brother Jurie, 29, terrorising the rest of their family.

An employee rushed out to warn them there was trouble, but the warning came too late.

Coenie tried to reverse as a man in a balaclava emerged and fired two shots at the windscreen.

Coenie tried to drive away. As the bakkie lurched forward, the gunman ran alongside, firing three more shots. Coenie, who was shot in the chest, lost control and smashed into a tree. Petro was shot in the abdomen.

Twenty-five minutes earlier, Jurie - who lives on his own with a separate entrance at the back of the house - had made the same 5km journey. But he had left the church with a pistol pointed at his head.

On Thursday, Jurie, Magda and Coenie Snr were at the plot, reliving Wednesday's horrible events.

The three talked about the ordeal that started when Jurie closed the church after the service.

With him at the church gate were fellow parishioners Eugene and Elsie Pienaar. Watching them from a field across the road were four armed men.

"I closed the gate, and when I turned around, there was a gun in my face. Someone was pointing a gun at Eugene's head," Jurie explained.

The attacker ordered him to lie on his abdomen. "They demanded that we give them our wallets and jewellery."

The attackers ordered Eugene and Elsie to climb into Jurie's car. Eugene was loaded into the boot and Jurie was told to drive home.

"If you've got a gun at your head you'll drive to hell and back. I took them to my place at the back, hoping they would take what they wanted and leave. But they wanted to go into the main house."

Jurie and Elsie were marched to the main house, while Eugene was left in the boot.

The men wanted Coenie Snr's jewellery. The 56-year-old father on Thursday pointed to his fingers, where rings had been pulled off.

"I'm like Liberace, that's my way. They pulled off my rings, my Krugerrand medallion and my arm chains. They pulled off more than R30 000 in jewellery."

They took Coenie Snr's ties and shoelaces, bound the four hostages and began ransacking the house.

"I heard five gunshots. I didn't know what was happening. Then I heard a car race off and a big bang. I looked at my watch - it was 9.20. I decided to wait five more minutes to make sure it was safe to go out," Jurie said. During this time, the children began screaming.

Jurie rushed out and found his sister-in-law cradling his brother.

"It was the worst. My big brother lying on the ground. I checked for vital signs but I couldn't feel anything. We decided to rush him and Petro to hospital. The children were praying aloud."

"The paramedic examined Coenie and said: 'Sorry, sir, there's nothing to revive.' I went back to the bakkie and took Petro's hand. She looked at me and said: 'I know'."

When they arrived at Olivedale Clinic, Jurie took the children aside and broke the bad news to them.

Yesterday he flicked through family photos of his brother and Petro with his children. "Lots of people looked up to him. I did. He was a wonderful person."

The gunmen had fled in Jurie's car with Eugene still in the boot, later abandoning the car in Lanseria.

Eugene bashed the boot with the car's jack and wheel spanner to free himself.

Police Superintendent Milica Bezuidenhout said that after an extensive search of the area, a suspect was arrested about midnight.

"After questioning the suspect and following leads, six other suspects were arrested before daybreak. A 9mm pistol was seizedand jewellery was found in their possession."

"There is to be an ID parade, but if they are not identified in the parade, it doesn't matter. We found stolen goods in their possession," said Bezuidenhout.

The seven suspects were due to appear in the Krugersdorp magistrate's court on Friday on charges of armed robbery, murder, attempted murder and kidnapping.

Petro was in a stable condition in hospital on Thursday night.

This article was originally published on page 1 of The Star on February 25, 2005


Monday, 21 February 2005

300 students trash Tuks campus

18/02/2005 06:52 - (SA)

Hilda Fourie and Delia du Toit

Pretoria - The notorious slogan, "One farmer, one bullet!", was chanted by demonstrating students on Pretoria University main campus on Thursday afternoon.

The demonstrators were from the Pan-Africanist Students Movement of Azania (Pasma).

The group was demanding lower class fees and financial support to underprivileged students.

The demonstrators also demanded that buses be provided to transport students from Atteridgeville, Soshanguve and Pretoria Central.

The group of about 300 was taken to the main campus by bus from Mamelodi campus.

They left a trail of overturned refuse bins on the campus.

A female student was allegedly hit with a branch from a tree when she tried to stop demonstrators from overturning a rubbish bin.

She was taken to hospital for treatment.

'Started pushing us around'

The demonstrators also threw a brick through the window of a lecture hall.

A security guard, who was inside the building, was slightly injured.

Rudolf Bredell, a students who was in a lecture, said: "They swore at us and we were told to get up and get out.

"When we refused, they started pushing us around. We felt threatened."

Tensions ran high at a later stage when other students formed a barricade around the demonstrators in an effort to force them off the campus.

Pasma last week handed a memorandum containing "observations and demands" to the university management and asked that they get a report-back by Thursday.

The uproar started because the students were unhappy about the reaction by the university authorities to their memorandum.

The university said in a statement that, among other things, financial support was being given to needy students and that its admission policy did not discriminate on a racial basis.

Professor Chris de Beer, deputy rector, said: "The insinuation that the university is using financial exclusion for racial purposes is rejected with the contempt it deserves."

Edited by Iaine Harper


Sunday, 20 February 2005

We will kill the whites, all of them

Graeme Hosken

February 19 2005 at 10:41AM

Police have promised to take "appropriate action" to ensure that any planned protest by the radical Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania (Pasma) takes place in a peaceful and lawful manner.

In reacting to threats by Pasma to bring violent protests to the main campus of the University of Pretoria after burning tyres and barricading gates at the university's Mamelodi campus on Friday, Captain Piletji Sebola said police were concerned with the manner in which the protests were being conducted.

"We will not just fold our arms and watch. Where there is lawlessness we will react and arrest those responsible.

"We are prepared for any pending protest march and we hope this protest will be conducted within the parameters of the law," he said.

Sebola said they would not underestimate the possible threat and are warning protesters that if they become a law unto themselves then they must expect drastic action to be taken.

"We will kill the whites, all of them; Afrikaans and English," rioting Pasma students and their leaders at the university's Mamelodi campus chanted on Friday.

Students barricaded gates with burning tyres in an effort to prevent police from gaining access and dispersing the crowds.

Screaming "revolution is the only solution" and "kill the police, burn their cars", more than 200 students charged around the campus tearing up the university's flag, burning tyres and damaging trees.

Intimidating journalists and threatening to kill them if they covered next week's planned riots in a "biased manner", Pasma leaders tried to prevent the Pretoria News from speaking to the campus's Student Representative Council (SRC) and South African Students Congress members, grabbing notebooks and cellphones in attempts to stop interviews with the "pro-white organisation".

"We know that you white journalists are biased. "You do not report properly on our cause and only cover white students' complaints. On Monday we will give you enough white students' complaints to cover," vowed Vusi Mahlangu.

Mahlangu, deputy secretary of the Gauteng Pasma regional office, promised that blood would flow at the university's main campus in Hatfield.

"We have had enough of racist students and their lecturers who profess to have our interests at heart. We are tired of being discriminated against because we cannot pay the fees and because we are not passing.

"We feel that this discrimination, which is leading us to fail our courses, must be stopped - with violence if needs be," he said.

Mahlangu said they had tried negotiating with the university's authorities but this had failed, leaving violence as their only recourse.

"If we cannot study because of these limitations, then nobody else should be allowed to," he said.

He also threatened that they would disrupt all classes at the university.

Mahlangu said the demonstrations would be carried over to all the other universities in the country until "all racists had been removed from the institutions".

Pasma spokeperson Mametlwe Sebei said they had tried to remain peaceful in their protests but this had proved fruitless.

"We will become violent with the rightwing student groups and will fight the Afrikaner groups with fire and blood.

"We will take violence to all the white students and their lecturers and to any other bodies which do not support our movement and its demands," he said.

Sebei said the protests had to be continued until everybody had an opportunity for an education "aseducation is not exclusive".

An SRC leader, who asked not to be named for fear of being attacked, said they did not support Pasma's actions.

"We are all in the same boat with the fee hikes, but this is not the way to solve the dispute," he said.

This article was originally published on page 1 of Pretoria News on February 19, 2005

Source: IOL

Friday, 18 February 2005

Leigh's final moments

Nalisha Kalideen

February 18 2005 at 09:17AM

At last, if the police are correct, we know how Leigh Matthews died - naked and shot in the back of the head.

And we know when she died - soon after her father had handed over a R50 000 ransom on the night of her kidnapping.

And we know where she died - in the cold, in a lonely stretch of veld far from her home.

This is the scenario presented by the prosecution in their indictment against the man accused of murdering Leigh.

Donovan Moodley is accused of kidnapping, extortion, robbery with aggravating circumstances and murder.

His appearance in the Wynberg magistrate's court in Johannesburg on Thursday was overshadowed by the document which outlined Leigh's final moments.

Moodley's story, if the police are correct, begins on July 6, 2004 - a Tuesday - when he booked himself into the Formula 1 hotel in Bramley Park, Sandton. The budget hotel was the base from which the then 23-year-old man planned to "kidnap and murder for ransom".

Every day, for three days, he drove from the hotel to the Bond University campus in Sandton.

On the third morning, Friday July 9, at about 10am, somehow he came across Leigh. She had been in classes and, according to her mother Sharon, was on her way to meet with her to finalise purchases for her 21st birthday party that Saturday. The theme for the party was "Pirates of the Caribbean".

It is still unknown why Moodley chose Leigh as his victim.

According to the indictment, he pretended to be a student and asked her for a lift.

Described by her father Rob as a "gentle soul" and by her classmates as "an angel", Leigh didn't refuse.

No sooner had she left campus, according to the indictment, when Moodley held her at gunpoint.

He forcibly took the wheel and drove Leigh to an unidentified park in Randburg. It was there that he tied her hands and feet with masking tape and blindfolded her by pulling a balaclava over her head. He then shoved her into the back of her Toyota Tazz and drove back to the university.

Moodley, police claim, had parked his own Tazz at the back of the university earlier that day.

He made Leigh get into the back of his car and took her to the veld somewhere near Walkerville, south of Johannesburg.

No one knows how long Leigh waited, bound, until her mother Sharon called her. Moodley, the indictment says, answered the phone and told Sharon he had kidnapped her daughter.

Sharon's first response was disbelief. She thought it was a joke. But she became hysterical when she realised what had happened.

Rob then called Leigh's cellphone and spoke to Moodley. According to the indictment, Moodley demanded a ransom of R300 000, threatening to kill Leigh if he did not comply.

Rob immediately raised the money and late that evening Moodley called him back.

"It was agreed that Mr Matthews would pay a ransom of R50 000" to secure Leigh's release.

He drove, as instructed by Moodley, down the N1 towards Bloemfontein. He was supposed to meet Moodley at 8pm at a split in the road, but in his anxiety, drove too far.

He drove past the Grasmere toll plaza. Moodley called him and instructed him to turn around and drive back. Rob stopped at a bridge close to an Engen filling station on the road and "had to flash the headlights of his vehicle thrice".

He waited a while, oblivious to the fact that his daughter was nearby, bound and gagged, hidden in the back of a car very similar to her own.

Finally there was a tap on the back window and Moodley instructed Rob to drop the ransom from his car window, which he did.

Moodley took the money and instructed Rob to leave. Moodley then drove Leigh to the veld near Walkerville, not far from where her body was finally found.

He told her to undress completely. When she had done so, according to the indictment, he handed her a blanket and told her to "turn her back to him and to cover herself".

According to the indictment, "he shot her at point-blank range in the back of her head, behind her left ear". Leigh fell to the ground. Police believe Moodley dragged her into some bushes. He fired three more shots, one into her neck and two into her chest - all at point-blank range.

He left her body with the blanket, but took the jeans and jersey that Leigh had been wearing, as well as her underwear.

He also took her handbag and its contents, as well as her 21st birthday ring and cellphone back to the Formula 1 hotel, where he slept for the night.

He booked out the next day and took Leigh's possessions and his clothes and set them alight in the veld near his home in Brakenhurst, Alberton.

A few days later, Moodley returned to the veld to retrieve Leigh's tanzanite ring.

It was that Saturday when the desperate Matthews family called the police for help. They went to the media and made a desperate appeal to the kidnapper to return their "little girl".

"Please, please give her back," Rob pleaded.

The family refused to give up hope and continued their vigil, but their worst nightmare came true when a municipal worker found Leigh's body 13 days after her kidnapping.

Moodley was arrested on suspicion of abducting and murdering Leigh, 87 days after she disappeared on October 4 last year.

Moodley will be tried in the Johannesburg High Court on July 25.

This article was originally published on page 1 of The Star on February 18, 2005

Source: IOL

Tuesday, 15 February 2005

Three jailed for Zululand hammer slaying

Chris Jenkins

February 14 2005 at 01:08PM

It was a murder that shocked and outraged the close-knit community of Mtunzini. Nearly two years later, two young men - both first offenders - were sent to prison for life.

A third accused, a juvenile who also had a clean record, was jailed for an effective 17 years by the Circuit High Court sitting in the Zululand coastal village on Friday.

Sikhumbuzo Mthethwa, Sicelo Mpungose and a 17-year-old youth sat in the dock with their heads bowed as Judge Leona Theron found them guilty of the murder of Allan Howarth, 47, and the attempted murder of his wife, Linda, during a robbery.

The couple had fallen asleep watching television in their Siyayi Drive simplex on the night of April 11 2003 when they were attacked.

Howarth was brutally bludgeoned with a hammer and died in hospital six days later. His wife was stabbed in the chest with a long knife and suffered other injuries.

The intruders, who had gained entry through an open patio door, made off with cellphones, sound equipment and a gold chain.

Deterrence, retribution and prevention were paramount in the case, Prosecutor Dorian Paver said when asking the court to hand down life sentences to Mthethwa and Mpungose, who were 18 when the offences were committed.

Theron said it was a sad reflection on South African society that the most violent, heinous and brutal of offences were committed by young people.

In the Howarths' case, the inescapable inference was that the three accused, who lived with their parents near Mtunzini, must have prowled the streets of the village that night looking for easy targets.

As a result of their actions a person's life had been taken. And the wounds and scars inflicted on Linda Howarth were not just skin deep. It was clear from her testimony, during which she broke down a number of times, that she was still battling to come to terms with the attack, the judge said.

Dressed in black, Howarth, who had flown out from the United Kingdom, where she now lives, sat in the public gallery throughout the week-long trial.

Although there was a strong suspicion of his involvement, a fourth accused, Khulekhani Mbatha, 22, was acquitted because of insufficient evidence.

This article was originally published on page 5 of The Mercury on February 14, 2005


Swazi king buys 10 luxury cars for his wives

February 13 2005 at 04:09PM

Mbabane - Swazi King Mswati III has purchased 10 new BMWs for the royal household - two months after buying a super-expensive sedan for himself while his subjects continue living in abject poverty, a newspaper reported on Sunday.

Africa's last absolute monarch spent some five million emalangeni (R5-million) on BMWs for his wives, the Mbabane-based Times Sunday reported.

"It is true that new cars have been purchased for emakhosikati (queens) to his majesty... This is basically an upgrade of the ones they have been using," the chief executive officer of the king's office, Roy Fanourakis, told the newspaper.

This comes after it emerged in December that Mswati had bought himself a $500 000 (about R3-million) Daimler Chrysler flagship Maybach 62 as his debt-ridden country continues battling Aids and crippling poverty.

The car features a television receiver, dvd player, 21-speaker surround sound system, refrigerator, cordless telephone, heated steering wheel, interior pollen and dust filter, golf bag and sterling silver champagne flutes.

The 36-year-old King Mswati is no stranger to controversy and frequently hits the headlines with stories of the lavish lifestyle he leads with his 11 wives and two teenage fiancees.

On his birthday in April last year, he bought 10 BMW seven series vehicles for himself and some of his wives. This year he is expected to spend some six million emalangeni (about R6-million) on his birthday party on April 25.

He is also building 10 new palaces for his wives at a cost of 100 million emalangeni.

Swaziland's government owes its suppliers more than 150 million emalangeni which dates back to 2002 and the country's budget deficit stands at 800 million emalangeni.

Swaziland, a small country wedged between South African and Mozambique with a population of one million, has the highest Aids rate in the world at 38,8 percent and about a third of the impoverished nation relies on food aid for survival. - Sapa-AFP

Source: IOL

Monday, 14 February 2005

Adapt and die - South Africa's new motto

By Dan Roodt.

During the time of National Party reforms in the seventies and eighties, the cliché "adapt or die" used to do the rounds. Nowadays, given the highest murder rate in the world, this should be modified slightly to read, "adapt and die". For the endemic social violence in South Africa is probably incurable.

Optimists think that violent crime can be solved through better policing, more efficient courts and more secure prisons. Even assuming that such improvements were possible under conditions of hard-core affirmative action, it must be admitted that criminal justice treats the symptom and not the cause of social violence. The Department of Correctional Services, for one, has lost 496 out of 500 former Deputy Directors since 1994, representing most of the intellectual capital in the department. Newcomers may learn their job properly, or they may not, but they have to be flown to overseas countries to find out how prisons work as most of those previously involved in managing our prisons are no longer there.

South Africa used to have a problem of political violence. It was not as bad as elsewhere in Africa, but for some reason elicited hysterical international condemnation. However, actors in political violence are mostly driven by some sort of creed or belief system. Whether such a person is a communist, an anarchist, a neo-Nazi or an ethnic or religious guerilla fighter, he is usually amenable to persuasion or compromise. Even a group of Muslim suicide bombers might declare peace if they were given a territory in which to set up an Islamic theocracy, governed only by themselves and not subject to any outside influence.

In the same way, South Africa's so-called liberation movements who were at one time fanatically convinced of the need for violent and bloody revolution, laid down arms and bombs upon being told that F.W. de Klerk would surrender power unconditionally. Solving political violence is often intractable, but not impossible.

Not so social violence. Endemic crime, the breakdown of the social fabric, a sense of drift regarding norms of good conduct, point to a far deeper problem. The freedom fighter or urban terrorist is ultimately rational, despite a value system that normal society might find idiosyncratic.

But what is "normal society"? It is only the sum-total of behaviours prevalent in any given society at any given time. The Aztecs, infamously, practised daily human sacrifice to appease their sun god. It might revolt many of us today, but to them it was entirely normal. South Africa currently sacrifices about 87 humans per day to violent crime, or 32 000 per year. Those are only the ones who actually die. Scores of others are injured, maimed, traumatised, robbed, raped, burgled and so on.

In any suburb today an entire history of murders, hijackings, and other violent events can be written, if only the locals were narcissistic enough to consider their own history worth recording for posterity. On the other hand, social violence lacks the charm and grandeur of political violence as it is usually not committed in the interest of some glamorous cause like national liberation or world revolution but simply to acquire some hapless person's BMW or rape his wife because she happened to be inside.

However, some time ago a Johannesburg newspaper engaged in chronicling some local history in the suburbs of Westdene and Lakefield in Benoni. Nearly every resident had a story to tell, an entire litany of mayhem. Mr. John Gee miraculously survived a shot through the eye, but now feels traumatised. His wife says, "One lives in fear in one's own home. One does not sleep. One prays for protection, yet only more fears come."

But who are the authors of South Africa's social violence? Even asking this question presents one with a sense of discomfort, because most violent criminals in South Africa are young black men between the ages of 16 and 36. As one surgeon who had stitched together at least three child rape victims, two of whom were infants, said recently, "Probably white men commit such acts too; it is just that no-one in South Africa has come across such a case."

Of course, it would be preposterous to say that all young black men are prone to violence. Judging from our daily experiences in crime-torn South Africa, however, a sub-section of that population, large enough to cause more havoc than even a well-equipped guerilla army of a few thousand men, has taken up practices such as heists, hold-ups, murders, sexual violence exacted upon women and children, and so on.

Explanations for such deviancy are manifold. The ubiquitous answer of it being due to apartheid might have been satisfying if other African societies never subject to group areas and a homeland system did not display similar traits. The Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone come to mind. There is a whole nature/nurture debate around black violence, except that no adherent of the "nature" side would publicly admit to being one, for fear of being branded a racist. Even though mainstream American cancer research has conclusively shown that black men have higher levels of testosterone than their white counterparts, few would hazard the notion that this might be linked to their greater propensity for violent crime.

America has a gargantuan prison population of two million, over half of which consists of African-Americans. This is despite their minority status in the USA, comprising only 12% of an overall population amounting to 290 million. South Africa could neither afford nor succeed, given the dire state of our criminal justice system, in jailing a similar number of black male offenders. Currently, only 10% of murderers in South Africa get arrested and only 6% are convicted. Any murderer therefore has a 94% chance of getting away with it.

If by some miracle all serious criminals in the country had to be caught and imprisoned, the prison population would surely treble or quadruple from the present 200 000, which is already high by world standards. Not only is such an improvement inconceivable under current conditions, but it would also be politically unpopular with the ruling ANC who would be incarcerating large numbers of young black males who are mostly its own supporters at the polls. Few whites, if any, commit violent crime and there are only 3 900 of them in prison, mostly for white-collar offences such as fraud or insider trading on the stock exchange.

All that remains in the world's most violent society, is precisely to adapt and die. Twice as many South Africans of all races now die of murder than of road accidents - even though the road accident rate is also the highest in the world, surpassing that of Turkey. Crime extends to trade in driver's licences, so that a large number of drivers use so-called "bought licences", hardly a contribution to road safety.

There are some people naive enough to think that "something can be done about crime" in South Africa, mostly opposition politicians who dream about diverting funds from arms procurement to policing, but this would be futile. There are already three times as many private security personnel as state-employed policemen, and even they do not succeed in containing what has become Africa's only peacetime killing field.

"I killed them because they were white." These famous words were spoken last year by William Kekana, who participated in one of the most horrendous incidents in which the entire family of Mr. Clifford Rawstorne was wiped out, consisting of his fiancée, baby, as well as his own mother. Even this massacre of an entire family would not have made headlines, were it not for the fact that one year-old Kayla was executed on her very first birthday with a shot in the head. Needless to say, the two adult women were first raped before being killed. Both William Kekana and his accomplice, Charles Fido Baloyi, fell into the high-risk group of young black (and Coloured) males who commit almost all violent crime in the country.

South Africa actually has a Minister of Safety and Security, which to some might seem like an example of absurd humour. His Excellency Mr. Charles Nqakula, whose official résumé proudly states that he was once "a waiter and wine steward", has immortalised himself by euphemistically stating that there was no real crime problem in South Africa, except that it was "a little on the high side".

All in all, South Africa has got remarkably used to its new-found status as the crime capital of the world. The high-rise districts of Hillbrow and Berea in Johannesburg have been officially designated by Interpol as having the highest murder rate in the world, that is, 600 people per 100 000 population members per annum. Consider for a moment that such a figure represents 12 times the rate found in inner-city ghettoes in the United States, often seen as no-go zones by many Americans.

One British immigrant to South Africa who has survived three car hijackings, refuses to emigrate, stating that he is now accustomed to having Kalachnikovs pointed at him from point-blank range. Everyone knows a relative or friend who has been killed or at least subjected to some form of violent crime, and no South African can remotely imagine a society where people do not live behind razor wire, electrified fences, high walls, burglar bars and similar decorative props.

Outsiders might find our lifestyle bizarre, but many pundits in South Africa consider our society to be much more "normal" now than at any time in the past, which was tarnished by ethnic separation albeit without the present large-scale violence. At the height of segregation and apartheid under Hendrik Verwoerd, South Africa was almost as peaceful as Switzerland but she was immoral. Today we are the apotheosis of racial morality and political correctness, yet as violent as the Congo or Liberia. Surprisingly, however, our economy continues to function amid the carnage. No economist has ever studied this as far as I know, but not only is crime our biggest industry - bigger than gold-mining or manufacturing - it also stimulates consumption as stolen goods are replaced; it is a boon to the insurance and security industries and ultimately makes surgeons and undertakers rich. The government earns billions of rands in Value-Added Tax on stolent goods being replaced with new ones. So crime pays.

News about killings or shoot-outs no longer elicits the slightest surprise. It is part of our daily existence, and one assumes the lethal risks attending to something as simple as going shopping or driving to work. My wife, for example, has twice been to the local shopping centre where in the one instance a shoot-out was taking place in the parking area so that she had to hide between the cars with our 18 month-old son in her arms; in the second case an armed robbery had just taken place with the robbers casually strolling by with their guns and their loot.

Everyone knows someone who has been killed, raped or maimed. Just this week, the wife of a friend and former literary editor of Die Burger, François Smith, was stabbed to death with a screwdriver in their home in Wellington, near Cape Town. Her murderer was a 16-year-old squatter camp resident whose race was omitted by the press but presumably few, if any whites, reside in his particular squatter camp which is dedicated to black Africans. Lisbé Smuts-Smith was a well-known academic and head of the Afrikaans literature department at the University of Cape Town. Just two weeks ago, another UCT academic, mathematician Brian Hahn, was attacked by a former student, dr. Maleafisha Steve Tladi (35). Hahn died in hospital a week later, while Tladi was released on bail of R500 (about $80).

Two years ago Louw Rabie, a brilliant albeit reclusive geologist and brother of author Jan Rabie, was beaten to death with a fence pole by two Coloured men to whom he had lent some money a week earlier. Police in the small Cape town of Montagu readily caught his murderers because they happened to have drinking money during the week, taken from his home. He was 80 years old, but in good health. He is reputed to have been one of the most brilliant geologists and intellectuals this country has ever produced, writing copiously throughout his life but disdaining publication and public esteem. Africans with their oral tradition are fond of saying that "when an old person dies, a library burns down". What strikes me about the relentless killings of educated whites, is that the criminals are indeed "burning down the libraries" of this country and physically exterminating the intellectual class, much like Pol Pot did in Cambodia. The media are celebrating youth, dance, colour, being black and exuberant - as opposed tothe quiet studiousness of middle-aged and elderly whites, the bearers of knowledge and understanding. Are these learned whites who are being killed in exuberant, paradisiacal outbreaks of violence simply the remnants of a civilisation that is being eradicated in the name of decolonisation? No government spokesman has ever condemned such killings; so we may assume that the present regime is completely indifferent to them, where such killings do not enjoy their tacit support.

Around our local school in the past week there have been two car hijackings, as well as one murder. It is not really considered to be an exceptionally violent area. Most of this is not even reported in the press, because there really is not enough space and ordinary crime is no longer newsworthy. It needs some further sadistic element to make the front page, such as babies getting killed or raped, or elderly farmers being tortured to death. Farming in South Africa is now arguably the most dangerous profession in the world with more than 1600 farmers murdered since 1994, often in macabre and dehumanising ways.

To the outside world, white South Africans are congenitally evil. If our murderers and rapists had been white and their victims black, Europe or the United States would long ago have sent an expeditionary force to put a stop to it. At present, news of white suffering in South Africa inspires the occasional yawn in Western capitals. This is why a recent article in The Despatch, detailing the rape of a dog by three black men, gave me some hope that a chord will be struck somewhere in the coolly indifferent breasts of our fellow-Westerners. Even if the lives of Louw Rabie, Brian Hahn, Lisbé Smuts-Smith, Kayla Rawstorne and tens of thousands of others are of no value to them, perhaps they will take pity on the mongrel bitch in Grahamstown that was recently raped by three black men. Or perhaps two black men, as the third one protested his innocence upon being dragged out of the shack by screaming, "I came here to relieve myself. These two were raping the dog when I arrived!" Cruelty to humans, especially white humans, is today a normal feature of our society, just like human sacrifice used to be in the culture of the Aztecs. Cruelty to animals, or non-consensual sex with dogs, may still evoke some sympathy, not only locally, but also internationally. I therefore feel sorry for Masganda - the name of the dog concerned - who was rescued with a bleeding vagina and in need of veterinary attention, but perhaps this lowly creature of uncertain lineage could become a martyr for our cause in alerting opinion-makers and political leaders of our plight.

Cycling has become a popular sport in South Africa. However, its practitioners regularly get shot at by gangs of black youths in the street, so that many of them carry guns and knives for self-defence on their bicycles. Members of the Johannesburg mountain-bike club were outraged a while ago when two cyclists, Scott and Lloyd Griffith, were charged with murder after an armed battle with their four black assailants, one of whom succumbed to his wounds.

Most of the time, however, whites are helpless victims of crime. The government has recently passed a new gun law which makes it difficult, if not impossible, to own a fire-arm. They have also abolished rural commandos of military reservists entrusted with crime-prevention in the country, without any police units replacing them. Occasionally the newspapers carry stories of crime victims successfully defending themselves against attacks, offering armed resistance. As a result of the new gun law, this will soon end and we shall simply be able to hide or flee from our assailants. Defending oneself against a marauding robber or rapist might be a manifestation of racism, and is therefore frowned upon as being a kind of "right-wing" response.

Being robbed of one's vehicle or household belongings is now considered quite normal, and often people ascribe escaping with their lives to their own astuteness, such as being friendly to the robber, helping him load the effects into a vehicle, not looking him in the face so as not to recognise him afterwards, et cetera. A friend of mine in Kempton Park kept up a reasonable conversation with the thieves emptying his house, tied up as he was with a gun pointed at him. He survived, although his elderly mother was badly roughed up and had to be hospitalised. In other instances, of course, people are not so lucky and they become just another murder statistic. Then they simply adapt and die.

The first draft of this article was submitted to the British Spectator, who turned it down about a year ago. I have now updated it with references to more recent incidents. Probably no mainstream newspaper in South Africa will publish it, because it refers to the race and gender of violent criminals, which is taboo here as elsewhere in the Western world. As George Orwell said, however, "during times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act".

In the interest of drawing attention to the anarchy that exists in South Africa, the author qualifies his copyright on this article and invites everyone to post it on his or her website, copy it and mail it to friends and mailing lists, translate it into other languages and to distribute it far and wide. The only condition is that no element must be changed or censored.

A PDF-version of the article which can be printed out, photocopied and distributed otherwise than on the internet, is available for download on the home page of

Dan Roodt is an Afrikaner author and activist.


Friday, 11 February 2005

Man made to watch gang rape

10/02/2005 21:44 - (SA)

Nkosana ka Makaula

Nelspruit - A husband was forced to watch as four men raped his wife just two weeks after she miscarried a baby.

Only one of the suspects was arrested and he pleaded not guilty to rape and armed robbery in Nelspruit regional court in Mpumalanga on Thursday.

Sifiso Mubi, 34, said he was nowhere near the scene of the crime, but forensic evidence submitted to the court matched his DNA with semen found on the woman.

The couple was walking past the Why Not Tavern in Tonga, south of Malelane, on their way to a night vigil on August 14 last year when they were attacked.

They claim Mubi had a gun on him and that they were taken to a secluded area where the husband was robbed of his hat, R60 and wallet, while his wife was robbed of her jewellery and R80.

She was stripped naked and raped on the ground while her husband was forced to watch.

Wife pleaded for mercy

Her husband calmly told the court how his wife pleaded for mercy as she had not recovered from the miscarriage.

He said that when he tried to struggle free, he was stabbed in the ear with a sharp object.

He said Mubi convinced one of the rapists not to steal his shoes and the four men then fled.

Mubi was arrested two weeks later and has been in custody.

The case has been postponed to April 28 for more witnesses to be called.

Edited by Iaine Harper,,2-7-1442_1660634,00.html

Saturday, 5 February 2005

Gunmen attack farmer

05/02/2005 13:37 - (SA)

Johannesburg - A Marble Hall farmer was shot at and robbed of his car and an undisclosed amount of money while driving into his farm's yard, Limpopo police said on Saturday.

Two gunmen, who it seems were waiting for the farmer to arrive, tried to stop him as he was driving into the property on Friday around 15:00, Captain Malesela Ledwaba said.

He said the two men started shooting at the farmer when he did not stop, hitting him in the leg.

He eventually stopped.

The two gunmen took the farmer's white 2.5 Isuzu bakkie and an undisclosed amount of money.

The vehicle's registration number is DCN 783 N.

The farmer is in a stable condition at a local hospital, Ledwaba said.

The incident happened in the Elandskraal policing area.