Thursday, 28 July 2005

Zim land reform 'waited for SA'

28/07/2005 19:00 - (SA)

Johannesburg - The Zimbabwe government delayed its land-reform programme so that negotiations for South Africa's liberation succeeded, said President Thabo Mbeki on Thursday.

"They slowed down to get the negotiations in this country to succeed," said Mbeki as he arrived at the land summit without prior notification.

He said that when South Africa was negotiating its transition to democracy, around the time which Zimbabwe had started its land reform programme, the Organisation of African Unity had asked Zimbabwe to stop the programme as it would "frighten the apartheid government in South Africa".

To suggest that Zimbabwe's land-reform programme was marred by corruption was actually wrong, Mbeki said to loud applause from delegates.

Mbeki surprised delegates when he arrived at the land summit at Johannesburg's Nasrec Expo Centre without a hint that he would attend.

"Welcome comrade president," said Blade Nzimande, the general secretary of the South African Communist Party, who was chairing a session when Mbeki arrived.

"You are really welcome to join the summit. It's a very pleasant surprise," Nzimande said as photographers jostled to take Mbeki's picture.

As Mbeki entered the conference hall just after 17:00 delegates burst into song.


Tuesday, 26 July 2005

'Miracle escape' for farmer

26/07/2005 22:33 - (SA)

Bela-Bela - A farm worker and his accomplices were arrested after they tried to kill the man's former employer, police said on Tuesday.

Spokesperson Gabashane Moseki said Casper Jermia Oukamp of Lekker Breek farm had been at home on Monday evening when he heard his dogs barking outside.

On investigation, he was confronted by three men, one of them armed with an AK-47.

The man shot at the farmer, but the firing mechanism jammed.

The 50-year-old Oukamp was able to overpower the man and kept him at the farm until police arrived.

The two other men were arrested shortly afterwards when police searched the area.


Friday, 15 July 2005

'McGyver' boy outwits attackers

'McGyver' boy outwits attackers

15/07/2005 08:46 - (SA)

Marietie Louw, Beeld

Makhado - As brave as TV-series hero McGyver - that's how Limpopo police have described a teenager who narrowly escaped death in a farm attack on Thursday.

Superintendent Ailwei Mushavhanamadi of Vhembe police said the boy had been "very brave".

"He reminds one of McGyver on TV."

On Thursday morning, 15-year-old Frits du Toit freed himself from the ropes that bound him, seconds before the fuel with which he had been doused ignited.

He then jumped through the window to flee his attackers and sped to town on a motorbike.

Frits, of Brakspruit farm near the air force base about 20km outside Makhado, had been apparently alone on the farm on Thursday morning.

Inspector Daniel Ndlovu of Makhado police said three men overpowered Frits about 08:00.

They had been wearing balaclavas and it was not known how they gained access to the farm.

Doused him with petrol

Ndlovu said the attackers took the teenager to a storeroom where they tied him to a chair. They tied ropes around his hands, feet and head.

"Then they doused him with petrol and also poured petrol in the room."

Then the men apparently struck a match and threw it on the petrol before taking off.

Quick-thinking Frits used the knife he had on him to cut the rope around his hands and then his feet.

Ndlovu said the youth jumped through a window in the storeroom.

He ran to a motorbike on the farm and raced to town to his grandmother, Lampies du Toit, who worked at a spares dealer.

Ndlovu said the attackers fled the farm without taking anything. The police are investigating a case of attempted murder.

On Thursday, the Du Toit family did not want to discuss the incident with Beeld.

Gideon Meiring of the Soutpansberg district agricultural union said Frits's escape had been incredible.

"The terrible cruelty used in farm attacks is astounding. The people want to instil fear."

According to him, the attack could not be regarded as a normal robbery because nothing had been stolen.

Murdered on his farm near town

Since last year, people living on farms in the Makhado area had been victimised by attacks.

In October, Martin Armitage, 66, was murdered on his farm near town.

A week later, attackers targeted Gillie Fick and his wife, Sophia, in the Vivo area. A firearm and a vehicle were stolen in this attack.

More recently, in May, a German couple, Werner Viedeck, 65, and his wife, Brigitte, 59, had been cruelly attacked on their farm outside Makhado.

Viedeck's ear had been split with a whip in this attack.


Sunday, 10 July 2005

Mom tells of rape 'raid' by 4

15/06/2005 21:58 - (SA)

Carina van Wyk

Germiston - "Everyone in the house is shattered," said a shocked 44-year-old woman after two of her daughters had been raped on Wednesday morning on the East Rand.

"Now, I must be the strong one. It will probably hit me tonight, and then I am going to cry my eyes out.

"But, now I must remain calm and let some sanity prevail in this totally insane world."

According to inspector Thomlyn Jacobs of East Rand police, four men in their early twenties gained access to a garden flat in Koedoe Street, Primrose, about 03:00 by lifting the sliding door out of its frame.

The armed robbers - three had firearms and one a knife - tied up the eldest daughter, aged 24, and her 25-year-old boyfriend, and then took them through the back door into the house.

The daughter's father, aged 55, her two sisters, aged 19 and 17, and one of their boyfriends were all pulled from their beds.

Everyone had to lie on the floor while the robbers searched the house for valuables.

The mother said: "They tied everyone up in the bedroom at the back of the house.

"One of the men took my eldest daughter to the bathroom and another took my middle daughter to a bedroom where they were both raped.

"And, that was after they had promised they wouldn't hurt anyone."

About 05:00 the four men left with two hi-fi sets, six cellphones and a laptop - worth about R50 000 in all.

The daughters' parents are divorced. A neighbour phoned their mother about 05:30 and she raced to the house when she heard what had happened.

Police have arrested a 22-year-old man.

The daughters are on antiretroviral medication.

The mother said: "It's bullshit that such things should happen. How would you feel if you had been raped?"

Source: News24,,2-7-1442_1722082,00.html