Friday, May 29, 2009

Farmer death toll now 3058..

Sadly, the toll of the Silent Genocide continues to climb.

By Censorbugbear Reports


Bernie Leibbrandt, 66, shot execution-style, Mnandi smallholdings Centurion – only a cellphone missing… children live in UK and New Zealand.

Leibbrandt Bernie 66 Mnandi smallholding Centurion shot dead May 27 2009 May 29, 2009. Hilda Fourie of Beeld newspaper reports from their Pretoria office that an 80-year-old woman on Thursday found the body of her murdered stepson in front of his smallholding garage in Mnandi, Centurion.

Bernie Leibbrandt, 66, picture taken by a friend, had been shot in the head execution-style. Leibbrandt leaves two daughters and a son, all in their thirties - living in England and New Zealand. He used to be a cricketer at the Harlequins cricket team. The smallholding lies right next to an upmarket golfing estate.

"They only took his cellphone. Not his new Mercedes 4X4. Nothing, nothing. Bugger-all," said his best friend, Rudolph du Plessis, 43. "This was no robbery, it wasn't a break-in, it was just plain murder."

Leibbrandt had been visiting his neighbour Du Plessis at the smallholding on Wednesday night. Just before 21:00, Leibbrandt went back to his own smallholding.

"When he arrived at his smallholding, he was shot in the head," said Du Plessis. "He even fell on the bag of potatoes I gave him."

A friend of Leibbrandt's, Rosaly Seidler, said his Mnandi Gardener Ross Golfing Estate Centurionstepmother, Vera Leibbrandt, 80, found his body in front of the garage on Thursday morning at about 08:00. Vera lives in another house on the same smallholding. It borders on the upmarket Gardener Ross Golfing Estate pictured here

She became concerned when he didn't answer his cellphone, so she went to his house. Seidler said some of Leibbrandt's possessions were on the stoep, but nothing at all was missing except for the cellphone. "It's so sad and senseless. I have no idea what the motive could have been," she said. "I'm bitterly sad that someone has done this to my pal," Du Plessis said.

"He had a heart of gold. He was adored by each and every person he met. "I'm his closest pal. He was like a father to me." Beeld

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ALAN ROWE, 58, BLOEMENDAL ESTATE, KZN, MURDERED ASSASSINATION-STYLE, nothing robbed. One man arrested.

May 26 2009. Police say they arrested one of three men who allegedly murdered KwaZuluNatal farmer Alan Rowe in an assassination style ‘hit’. Identified as Busane Machunmahle Mchunu, 34, the suspect already was already arrested May 21 in the Mhlanga area near Greytown, but this fact was only brought the arrest to light five days later, said senior superintendent H Budhrum. “ Investigations have established that there were three suspects who attacked Rowe on the day of the murder. Two of the suspects are still at large and are being sought. The arrest was not made known earlier due to the ‘pointing out’ which has now been concluded and will be paramount in the forth coming trial. The arrested suspect identified as Busane Machunamahle Mchunu appeared in the Greytown Magistrates' Court on Monday, 25 May 2009. Budhrum writes that on Wednesday, 13 May 2009 at about 20:30, police were alerted of a shooting at Bloemendal farm in Rietvlei area. On arrival at the scene, Police found the body of a man, lying next to a cattle grazing camp fence, meters away from his vehicle. The deceased has been identified as Alan Rowe (57). He had sustained two gunshot wounds to his upper body. “ Contact info: Senior Superintendent H. BUDHRUM, tel (033) 8452570, cellphone: 0824961054 SAPS url

PICTURE: May 14 2009 -- Sandile waka-Zamisa reported from Rietvlei that KwaZulu-Natal midlands commercial farmer Alan Rowe, 58, was ambushed and killed on Wednesday night in what police claims is a land claims dispute related hit over his Bloemendal Estate farm. The family disputes that there was any land-claim dispute. Rowe was attacked in an ambush. Nothing was robbed.
On the picture left, his distraught family gathers at the murder scene: his cousins Graham and Laura Rowe, and aunt Mrs Bev Rowe. Picture: Sandile Waka-Zamisa. Also: MEC says farm killing was senseless. Source: News24



FARM-BISHOPSTOWE: ATTACKER SHOT DEAD KZN FARM 12:21

May 24 2009 - An armed man was shot dead when he allegedly attacked an unnamed farmer's wife near Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal police said on Sunday. The 22-year-old confronted the woman on the farm on the Old Wartburg Road and grabbed her by the shirt as she was closing the farm gate after returning from the city on Saturday around 23:00, said senior superintendent Henry Budhram in a statement. The 42-year-old woman screamed for help. "Moments later her husband, 47, who was inside the house, heard the screams and went to investigate." The man confronted him on the veranda. The farmer drew a gun and fired three shots at the man, killing him. Police were investigating. (We do not include the names of farm-attackers, killed in self-defence, in our name lists.)

  • Background: the last known farm murders in Bishopstowe date from February 20 2002, when farmer Guy Ian Gardner, 28, was shot dead on the farm Breeze Inn, and on 16 March 1998,, when farmer Mr D Donaldson was shot dead by three unknown gunmen and wife Flora barely escaped with her life. Farming activities are dominated by sugar cane with cattle, poultry, fruit and vegetables. Bishopstowe is not known as a ‘high-crime area’. Bishopstowe latest police stats 2007:
  • http://www.saps.gov.za/statistics/reports/crimestats/2007/april_sept2007/provinces/kzn/bishopstowe.pdf
  • Bishopstowe is situated 10km east of Pietermaritzburg. It was founded in 1910, when a total of 32 acres were bought by German farmers to erect a church and school. The flora ranges from decidious woodlands to valley mushlands in the Msunduzi Valley. The dominant trees are acacias (thorn trees) Zulu name Umkhambo. Bird life is prolific with raptors well represented. There are over 60 species of reptiles and many buck and other small wild animals. Cumberland Nature Reserve has been proclaimed a natural heritage site.

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Koos Maas, 74, Elandsfontein smallholder, Fochville, NW

Fochville North West on map May 21 2009 - Amanda Roestoff of Beeld newspaper writes that police forensic experts are still examining whether farmer Koos Maas, 74, of Elandsfontein near the gold-mining town of Fochville/Ekurhuleni in North West province, had died of a head injury when he was bashed over the head with a blunt instrument during a farm attack - or whether he’d died of heart failure from the shock. Either way, he’s become the 3,057th known victim of the armed attacks on South African commercial homesteads which have been plaguing the country since at least 1994 and which have created very dangerous working conditions for farmers, their workers and their families throughout the South African countryside. The old farmer was found dead with serious head injuries and his hands were tied were behind his back. Police forensic examinators will also try to establish whether the old Afrikaner, who ‘had been left for dead’ by his armed, young attackers, could have survived if he’d received immediate medical care. His widow Anna, 72, was able to get herself untied from the bonds with which she was tied up by a group of at least three armed men who attacked their smallholding on May 20. They had dragged the old lady to the bedroom, demanding guns and cash. After they left, she was able to alert a neighbour. The late Mr Maas was a nephew of the father of Fochville police station commander superintendent Hennie Maas. Three suspects have been arrested and are bieng questioned. Supt. Maas said the three men, in their twenties, were arrested in the neighbouring township of Kokosi. Fochville farming community’s fire- and disaster committee manager Trevor Slabbert said it’s ‘unacceptable that the government pays so little attention to the suffering of commercial farmers and their families from these armed attackers. ‘We expect someone from the government to now finally stand up after all these years and say, ‘enough is enough’, and then also do something about it, not just talk about it,’ he said. http://jv.news24.com/Beeld/Suid-Afrika/0,,3-975_2520500,00.html latest crime records from Fochville (sept 2007): http://www.saps.gov.za/statistics/reports/crimestats/2007/april_sept2007/provinces/nwest/fochville.pdf

Destruction of SA commercial agriculture continues...

May 24 2009 The Sunday Times of Johannesburg reports that a historic and once thriving dairy and citrus farm in Richmond, KwaZulu-Natal has fallen into a derelict state since its sale at auction in 2003 with a Land Bank loan. Its current co-owner isSouth African transport minister S’bu Ndebele. The transport minister, who also owns a cattle farm in Crammond outside Pietermaritzburg, bought the Byrne Valley farm with his brother Amos, in 2003, with assistance from the Land Bank, South Africa’s widest-read Sunday newspaper reports. Land Bank loan conditions stipulate that the land bought must be farmed, the newspaper points out. The dairy farm used to produce an impressive 80,000 litres of milk a day in the seventies. The award-winning farm even used to feature in Home and Garden magazines in the past... Uts former owner Ravenor Nicholson says he also farmed timber, oranges and vegetables, and employed 150 staff. Now, only a small crop of cabbages and oranges is farmed by the seven people Ndebele employs. “It’s obviously been an absolute disaster from a farming point of view,” Nicholson reportedly told the Sunday Times, “and it is sad to think that no one has lived in those beautiful homesteads, which our family loved so much over the years.” And now the current owner and former owner are blaming each other for destroying it. Ndebele, when the premier of KwaZulu-Natal, had bought this well-run farm at auction for a mere R1.9-million ($190,000) six years ago. Now, its once abundant fields are now choked with weeds, and vandals have trashed its two homesteads and its treasured library, reports the Sunday Times. The entire sad story can be read on URL http://www.thetimes.co.za/News/Article.aspx?id=1005590

View the Sunday Times' gallery of pictures of the ruined farm:

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Farm boy Adriaan Plaatjies, 17, murdered at Paarl farm wedding

Arrested FrancoisPretoriusPaarlMagistrateR500bail_fatherAndries_AdriaanPlaatjiesMurderMay 24 2009 - Rapport newspaper’s journalists Bohemia Hoffmeester & Lizané Louw write that a Bellville man appeared in court on Friday after turning himself in to police in connection with the death of a farm worker's child, Adriaan Plaatjies, 17, at a Paarl wedding on March 28. The Paarl Magistrate's Court heard that Plaatjies died from a ruptured liver and internal bleeding. There were also bruises on his neck. Eyewitnesses who spoke to Rapport newspaper claimed they had allegedly seen ‘five big men assault the boy, after which some woman had apparently said, ‘you're a star’ to one of the attackers.‘ The incident happened on March 28 at the wedding reception of Ryan and Linda Liebenberg on the farm Rusticana at Klapmuts near Paarl. The boy, who reportedly had had run-ins with the law before, was caught breaking into a car. Francois Pretorius, 23, handed himself over to police but denied in court that he took part in the assault. He admitted kicking ‘towards the boy’ after allegedly seeing "something shiny" in his hand. Pretorius said he had found the boy in a car outside the reception venue. A laptop computer and carrier bag stood outside the car. Another man then allegedly assaulted the boy. The groom came outside and at some point apparently remarked that he had blood on his shoe, which he would have to wash off. Pretorius, on the right, photographed by Rapport newspaper with his father Andries, was released on bail of R500 ($50) and ordered to appear in court on June 19 2009. Source: News24

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BELFAST POLICE SOLVE FARM ROBBERY, RECOVER GOODS. ARREST TWO

Belfast police recovered loot from farm attack 20 May 2009 Investigation officers of the Belfast SAPS with the recovered goods. Fltr: D/Insp JP Mabeloane, CIO Const TA Sepeng, D/Const N Ndimande, D/Const KD Sello and D/Const GM Monama

May 20 2009 – Belfast South Africa. SAPS Investigation officers made a breakthrough by arresting two suspects for housebreaking and theft at a farm house. It is alleged that the two suspects broke into a farm house and broke the safe with intentions of getting money but with no success. Thereafter they stole all the groceries which they could found inside the house, before stealing some machines out of the garage. The police received a tip-off from one of their informers. This information led to the arrest of the suspects and the recovery of the stolen goods. The suspects are due in the Belfast Magistrates' Court on 20 May 2009.Reported by constable K C Rankwe. Source

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Pieter Honeyborne, 50, killed at farm Goedehoop near Bethal: two of five attackers arrested by Blinkpan police, family terrorised by squatters

Bethal May 20 2009 - Story by Buks Viljoen, Beeld newspaper. A farmer with 300 workers was shot dead at his homestead on the farm Goedehoop near the towns of Blinkpan, BethalBeeld in the Eastvaal region of Mpumalanga by five attackers, described as ‘young, black males’ in the local news media. Police have now arrested two suspects. For the past four years, the family and their 300 workers are being terrorised by illegal squatters who have moved their shacks onto the private farmland. The murdered farmer’s son, also Pieter, said the family is still trying to keep the farm going, however they are being 'terrorised, victimised and intimidated'. He claims the police ‘refuses to investigate their charges’, and instead have arrested him for ‘theft ‘ when he had taken back the wood which squatters had been looting from his farm. They are also slaughtering the livestock with their dog packs, he said. After the murder of their family patriarch, the grieving relatives say, they now are too scared to remain on the farm overnight after repeated breakins since that time – and because of the ongoing intimidation against them at their homestead. And the family’s 300 farm workers, who have been working for the Honeyborne family for generations, now also face losing their livelihood. He said that after the family's repeated charges of theft, initimidation of workers and poaching of their stock ‘were being ignored by police’, he personally pleaded with the provincial head of the SAPS detectives unit director Tony Gama, for help to protect their workers and his family against the aggressive squatter community. His pleading seems to have paid off: the Beeld journalist was told on May 19 2009 by police inspector Sarel Smit of the Blinkpan police station that two suspects have now been arrested for the murder of Pieter Honeyborne senior. The police are also 'aware of the squatter problem' said Smit, and are now riding patrols across the farm every two hours.

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Wilfred Roddrick Berrington, 60, murdered at Muldersdrift Avianto rural hotel

  • Update on May 19 2009 The total number of known murders on smallholdings/farms in South Africa since 1994 now stands at 3,056. For the alphabetic listing, see

Avianto Muldersdrift wedding venues smallholdingBeeld Afrikaans newspaper reports on May 18 2009 that two accused gunmen have appeared in court in connection with the murder of 60-year-old Wilfred Roddrick Berrington, a guest who was attending a wedding at the Muldersdrift Avianto smallholding party venue on April 24 2009.The residents at all the Muldersdrift/Kameeldrift smallholdings areas near Pretoria are targetted very frequently by such armed gangs. This facility was described as a ‘secured’ area with private security guards.The two suspects, Phelelani Zuma (24) of Diepsloot squatter camp, and Phumelelo Mlilo (29) of Berea in downtown Johannesburg, were not asked to plead at the Krugersdorp magistrate’s court. They were ordered by the magistrate to remain in custody until 25 May, when they are expected to apply for bail before they will be asked to plead to any charges. The Afrikaans newspaper reports that Berrington was attacked and killed when he had briefly left the wedding party to fetch something in his nearby room, reports journalist Amanda Roestoff Beeld Such ‘safe, secure’ venues are widely recommended as ‘safe’ hotels for the many foreign visitors who are expected at the FIFA World Cup 2010 football tournaments, which are starting their first semi-finals soon in South Africa.

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Venter family survives attack at Vergenoeg farm, Petrusburg

May 19 2009 – PETRUSBURG MAGISTRATE’S COURT. Free State police report that three suspects appeared in the Petrusburg Magistrates' Court on 14 May 2009, on charges of housebreaking, theft and attempted murder of a local farmer. A fourth suspect also was in custody. The case was postponed for further investigation and for the suspects to seek legal representation. The three were arrested by Det.Insp Mpata on 12 May 2009 in Bolokanang township near Petrusburg. The three named accused, 22-year-old Jan "Toffy" Motete, 35-year-old Steven Sibongile Khuze and 25-year-old Esau "Chikoya" Lemane were ordered to appear in court again on 22 May 2009. The fourth (unnamed) suspect was arrested on 14 May 2009 at about 19:00 in Turflaagte in Bloemfontein and appeared at Petrusburg Magistrates' Court on Monday, 18 May 2009. According to the charge sheets in court, it is alleged that on 8 May 2009 at about 19:00, four suspects arrived on the Vergenoeg farm in Petrusburg, owned by the Venter family. Two suspects previously worked at the farm and were well informed about the routine of the farm owners. Allegations are that the four suspects broke a window, gained access to the house and started looting it. The farm owner upon his return noticed that the window was broken and went inside to get a torch while his wife waited outside. He found the house ransacked. He went outside to investigate and met with the four suspects who assaulted him. His wife ran and locked herself in the outside toilet from where she managed to phone their son who called the police. Realising that Mr Venter was no longer moving while being assaulted, the suspects fled with the stolen goods. Mr Venter suffered injuries to his face and was treated by a local doctor. The stolen hi-fi system was later found in the veld, indicating that the suspects dropped it as it was too heavy to carry. The stolen cellphone and some of the stolen clothes were found during the arrest of the first suspect “who confessed everything and led the police to the other suspects,’ reports sergeant N P Mbambo, tel (051) 5076472, Cellphone: 0824556030 Source

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Accused murderer of Dutch dairy farmers Johan and Cobi van den Bosch in court, also accused of robbing two cellphones

“Robbery’ and “Murder’ case postponed: only two cellphones ‘robbed’:

Bosch, Van den, Johan_Cobi Murdered April102009 Pretoria Dairy Farm May 11 2009 - Twenty-five year old Akhona Inocent Gini, in the superman t-shirt, appeared in the Cullinan magistrate’s court charged with the gruesome murders of the Dutch dairy-farming couple Johan and Cobi van den Bosch at their smallholding near Mooiplaats. Gini was arrested in a squatter camp outside Witbank, police said. Beeld journalist Hilda Fourie took his picture outside the court. Gini, according to the court records, appears on two charges of murder, and one charge of robbery with extenuating circumstances. Gini was a former employee of the Dutch-born couple. Police told the news media that one of the couple’s two stolen cellphones was found with him. He has apparently submitted a statement admitting his guilt in the case. However magistrate Petro Engelbrecht postposted the case for a week for further investigations, and to allow Gini to obtain legal aid for his bail application. His admission of guilt will not be automatically accepted in South African law courts until he has given a plea-explanation in court anyway. He remains in custody until his next court appearance. Source

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Farm couple Leguori of Ladybrand, flee in hail of bullets

May 12 2009 – This picture from Beeld newpaper shows the small homestead in which Free State farmers John and Teria Leguori were attacked, shot at and assaulted for hours. Volksblad newspaper journalist Loraine Lalp reports from Ladybrand that the couple were attacked on Sunday-night, in the second farm attack within two days in the Free State province. The couple managed to escape, fleeing in a hail of bullets fired by their attackers. Police sergant Tshifiwa Muifa, said Leguori, 52, and his wife, 51,were in their bedroom, with Mrs Leguori on the bed and he taking a shower, when three armed men broke through a bathroom window. They stabbed Mrs Leguori three times with a knife in the chest, and attacked Mr Leguori, knifing him in the head and neck. They then tied them up, dumped them in their car and kidnapped them, driving with them in the direction of the river. However as the men tried to drag them from the car, they managed to get loose and ran for their lives. The investigating officer is det.insp. Kobus Coetzee at telephone 083 258 5350 Source

Jan van Wyk, 82, and Basie Venter, 65, mutilated and killed on Viljoenskroon farms for ‘traditional medicine’

Witchcraft_Shop_in_Johannesburg_South_Africa

2009-04-01 Bloemfontein - The brutal ‘muti-related murders’ of two Free State farmers at Vierfontein in Viljoenskroon were deplored by the commercial farmers body Free State Agriculture president Louw Steytler, who ‘strongly condemned the cowardly and gross manner of the murders. I urge farmers to get involved in Free State Agriculture's rural safety plan," he said in a statement.

Picture: South Africa has about 200,000 registered ‘traditiional healers’ who legally have the identical status of Western-trained medical practitioners. This ‘muti-shop’ is located in downtown Johannesburg’s Diagonal Street. The vast majority of black South Africans go to traditional healers instead of Western doctors for their ailments.

This follows the arrest of a Lesotho man who described himself as a ‘traditional healer’ in his first court appearance. he was arrested on the farm of murdered Jan van Wyk, 82. It was reported that the man was found sweeping the veranda and making food, when discovered by Johan Engelbrecht and other members of Free State Agriculture's rural safety organisation. The man ran inside the homestead and threatened the security detail with gardening shears. They were able to apprehend him, however, reported Tom de Wet and Marisa Phillips of Beeld newspaper. see

Van Wyk's mutilated body – his genitals had been cut off -- was found in the dining room of the house. One of the suspected murder weapons and beads covered in blood were found buried in the fields next to a lion camp near a neighbouring farmer Basie Venter’s homestead, who was found murdered in exactly the same way just hours earlier.

Van Wyk, a retired policeman who only alone stayed on his farm over the weekends, was allegedly lured outside where he was bashed over the head with a shovel, dragged inside the homestead while still alive -- and then mutilated.

This is a clear indication that this was a 'murder to harvest body parts for ‘traditional medicine’, as this is inevitably done while the poor victims are still alive. The claim by the arrested man that he was a ‘traditional healer’ further reinforces this believe, expressed by local police. The same arrested man was identified by Basie Venter’s widow Mary, 68, who had witnessed the attack around 21:15 through a window in the house. Venter was attacked with an iron rod, police said. Steytler conveyed the organisation's sympathy to the victim's families. “We regret these brutal attacks and murders on the farmers." Steytler said the murders seemed muti-related and were ‘barbaric and had no place in a modern world’. Kroonstad police spokesman Maselela Langa confirmed the murders. He said the 25-year-old man, a Lesotho citizen, appeared in the Viljoenskroon Magistrate's Court . see

Father of three Keith Ward, 58, gunned down in Randburg, fighting attackers with bare hands

May 12 Beeld journalists André Damons and Amanda Roestoff report that Keith Ward, a 58-year-old salesman and father of three children, was gunned down while he was trying to protect his family, fighting gunmen with his bare hands. The murder took place on May 10 2009 at the driveway of his house in Sundowner, Johannesburg after he’d just returned from his job at around 19:36 at his home in Puttick Avenue. The group of armed robbers were waiting for him. Ward’s wife and three children, aged two, 13 and 19, had locked themselves in the master bedroom of the house and pushed the emergency button to the citizen security system used in the neighbourhood. Police insp. Karen Jacobs said the family became aware of the presence of the gunmen on their property when their dog started barking. “Although Mr Ward wasn’t armed, he tried to protect his family and a fight erupted. He was shot three times.’ His horrified family watched while Mr Ward was shot. Nick Dollman, spokesman of Necare 911 emergency services, said one of the bullets struck Ward in the side of the head. “He died on the scene, and his family is very badly traumatised’. They are still too frightened to leave their home. The investigating police officer is insp. Jan de Bruyn, telephone 079 694 6843 Beeld

Edward Vieira, Welkom, murdered while saving family from armed killers.

May 14 2009 Tom de Wet of Volksblad newspaper reports from the gold-mining town of Welkom that 40-year-old Edwdard Vieira was shot dead while waging a fierce fight to try and lead them away from his family, who were hiding from a group of armed attacks in the master bedroom. Mrs Stella Vieira also was injured: she cut her arm when she broke a bedroom window, escaping while her husband was fighting for his life. A trail of blood inside their home showed the fierce fight which had been put up by Vieira. The two armed attackers ran away without stealing anything. The couple has three children, Natalee (13), Chantel (9) and Nicolas (5). Ironically, they had moved from the Western Cape about a year earlier after they were attacked and robbed at gunpoint. The investigating officer is Capt. Piet van Eck at 083-790-8964 Beeld/Volksblad: News24 IOL

Johanna Retief van Aarde, 79, ‘was very frail’ when bludgeoned to death'

May 13 2009 - The UK-based son in law of Mrs Johanna Retief van Aarde, 79, bludgeoned to death on Gordon’s Bay on May 21 2006, testified in the Western Cape High Court at the trial of nine men accused of murdering her, that ‘she had been so frail and weak that she was unable to walk far’. This is how Gerrit Skitter described his last visit with his mother-in-law, Johanna Retief van Aarde, 79, about three months before she was bludgeoned to death in her Gordon's Bay home on May 21 three years ago.

Skitter on Monday testified in the Western Cape High Court in the trial of nine men accused of breaking into Van Aarde's home, murdering her and then breaking into a neighbouring home. There, they allegedly held four people at gunpoint, including a five months' pregnant woman, who was raped. Charged are Luyanda Zaza, Simon Lolo, Mzamu Ncwana, Thembile Ngxowe, Siyathemba Tshanyela, Lungile Mayo, Thomas Baraza, Vuyile Msaseni and Siyabonga Zanzele. Zanzele also faces a rape charge.

Skitter, who had arrived from Britain for the trial, testified as a state witness, saying that about three months before Mrs Van Aarde's murder, he and his wife had emigrated to Britain. When prosecutor Lenro Badenhorst questioned him about Van Aarde's physical strength, he said she had been frail. "She could walk but she couldn't walk for very long distances. She was weak," he said. He said his mother-in-law had lived alone and, before he and his wife had emigrated, they had visited her nearly every day. Skitter identified her home using photographs and pointed out the windows where he had installed burglar bars. journalist email: caryn.dolley@inl.co.za This article was originally published on page 4 of Cape Times on May 13, 2009 IOL

Farmer Marc Pohlman’s murderers found guilty in Pietermaritzburg

May 13 2009- Sherlissa Peters reports from the Pietermaritzburg High Court in KwaZulu-Natal that two men were found guilty of murdering KwaZulu-Natal farmer Marc Pohlman. Judge Herbert Msimang convicted Msiko Malinga, 27, and Felakuphi Zondi, 22, on Tuesday of murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances. The men pleaded not guilty despite overwhelming evidence against them which included ballistic evidence that matched spent cartridge casings at the scene of the murder with the firearm found in Malinga's possession on his arrest, as well as fingerprint evidence that linked the men to the crime scene.

Msimang said: "The evidence submitted by both accused men is clearly false beyond all reasonable doubt. There can be no question as to the guilt of the accused." He said they were two of the worst witnesses he had ever had the misfortune to come across. In mitigation of sentence, defence counsel for Malinga and Zondi conceded that ‘there were no substantial and compelling circumstances present to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence of life imprisonment on the murder charge’. Msimang agreed with this submission, adding that the duo had showed no mercy to the Pohlman family. "They could have simply taken what they wanted and left the family intact. However, they decided to attack this young family and leave them without a husband and father," he said.

Prosecutor Dalene Barnard labelled the murder a "senseless" killing. "The family were vulnerable targets that posed no threat to their assailants." Barnard said it was shocking that in the face of incriminating evidence against them, the men had still pleaded not guilty and had shown no remorse for their actions. Pohlman, 31, was shot dead on his smallholding on February 22, 2008. He was shot twice in the chest. His killers got away with three cellphones, cash and a bottle of brandy.

Pohlman is survived by his wife, Caroline, and two children. In her testimony, his wife said that on the day of the attack she had been sitting on the veranda at about 7pm and her husband had been sanding the stairs with a machine. She said their children, aged three and four, were with them. "We noticed two men enter our front gate and approach us. It initially looked as though they were having an argument and were no danger to us, but then we saw that one of the men had a gun," she said. She said her husband had tried to calm the situation before telling her to get out with the children. "I turned to grab my kids and that's when I heard the first gunshot. I rushed the children into the bathroom and because it does not have a lock I physically barricaded the door with my body."

Pohlman said the assailant had then tried to break down the bathroom door. That was when she had heard the second gunshot. "He kicked and pushed and eventually got his head and arm around the door. He slapped me and managed to get in and then dragged me back to the veranda." She said the man had demanded cellphones from her. "At that point the gunman came toward us and told his accomplice that they needed to go. My assailant let go of me. That's when I ran back to the bathroom to my children and barricaded us in again." Several minutes had passed before she opened the door to shout to her husband. "I got no response. I came out of the bathroom and did a quick check of the house to make sure the attackers were gone. I took my children and put them into the car. That's when I saw my husband lying close to the fence." This article was originally published on page 3 of Daily News on May 13, 2009 IOL

Van der Westhuizen couple of Kleinmond ‘s murderers sentenced to 30 years effective prison

VDWesthuizen_Schalk Marie stabbedToDeath Kleinmond_SCape_Aug52008[3] May 14 2009, Fatima Schroeder of Burger newspaper reports from the Cape High Court that two Kleinmond men have been sentenced to an effective 30 years in jailafter pleading guilty to the August 2008 murder of elderly relatives of Cape Town model Minki van der Westhuizen. The murderers, Lindikhaya Sigidi and Siyabonga Cosa were sentenced by Acting Deputy Judge President Dennis van Reenen after they had entered into a plea bargain admitting to the murders. Schalk van der Westhuizen, 78, and his wife Marie were killed shortly after hosting a party to celebrate her 71st birthday. Mrs Van der Westhuizen had been saying goodbye to the last guests and, when she went back into the house, she witnessed the men bludgeoning her husband with a hammer. They then attacked her before fleeing with several valuables, including two cellphones, a DVD player, jewellery, a laptop computer, camera, video camera and an MP3 player. A neighbour discovered their bodies next morning. A post-mortem showed they had died from blows to the head. IOL

2 Opinion(s):

WHITEADDER said...

The blood letting and destruction continues. There can be no living side by side with this savages.

Anonymous said...

I can not participate now in discussion - there is no free time. But I will return - I will necessarily write that I think on this question.