Sunday, May 31, 2009

Free Congo land deal delayed

The problem with these types of agreements is that new governments renege on commitments from previous regimes so you never know where you stand. I fear this is simply the white man's history with Africa repeating itself. Already there are murmurs of a "land grab" and "defending local rights". Where have we heard this before?

Brazzaville - The Republic of Congo will delay finalising a multi-million hectare land deal with South African farmers until after a planned July presidential election, Congo Republic's minister of agriculture said.


Related:

Is It a Trap?: South African farmers in high demand across Africa
White South African farmers in demand across Africa

'Free' Congo Farm Land Seduction for White 'Neocolonial Land Grabbers'
Congo lures SA farmer
s with free land

AgriSA, South Africa's main farmers union, has said it had been given tax breaks and rent-free access to arable, poultry and dairy farming on 10 million hectares of Congolese land for 99 years in what would be one of the largest such deals in Africa.

Congo Republic's President Denis Sassou-Nguesso is likely to win re-election for another seven years at the head of the central African nation that, apart from a bloody five-year period of conflict in the 1990s, he has dominated since 1979.

"At this stage, we have not sold a single square metre to the South Africans," Rigobert Maboundou, Congo Republic's minister of agriculture said over the weekend.

Maboundou said the agreement his government had signed with AgriSA was not legally binding but it was "simply a declaration of intention".

The minister also put the amount of available land at just over eight million hectares, not 10 million hectares, and said the South Africans had been joined by farmers from Italy, France, Turkey, China and Israel in the hunt for farming deals.

"The date of the signing (of the final agreement) has been delayed and we have proposed that the signing ceremony should take place after the presidential election that is due in July," he added.

Promised a tax holiday

South Africa has one of the most developed agriculture sectors on the continent and is Africa's top maize grower and No. 3 wheat grower. South African farmers are also looking to farm in numerous other countries across the continent.

Congo Republic has long exported oil from its shores on the Gulf of Guinea but, like most other sectors in the country, agriculture remains chronically under-developed and large amounts of foodstuffs are imported, making them expensive.

Despite grinding poverty Sassou-Nguesso has a tight hold on the country and, analysts say, there is little chance of him being dislodged during the elections, which are due in July.

As well as free land, AgriSA said last month that it had been promised a tax holiday for the first five years and agricultural inputs and equipment would not be taxed on import.

For its part, the government aimed to become self-sufficient in food production within five years, the company said.

The Congo Republic land deal is part of a trend that international agricultural organisations estimated last week had seen 2.5 million hectares of farmland in five sub-Saharan countries bought or leased over the last five years.

Advocates of the deals say they can be motors for development at a time of rising fears over food security. Critics, however, warn of a "land grab" and have called on African countries to defend local people's rights.

Time to walk the talk

Ray Hartley from The Times blog says: On Wednesday, Jacob Zuma will deliver his state of the nation address to Parliament.

His speeches have to date struck a tone of reconciliation and healing. He has signalled that his government will be “caring” and people-centered.

But he needs to use this speech to go further and map out the mechanics of his plan to revive South Africa.

Platitudes about caring are no longer sufficient.

South Africa is in the third quarter of a recession and there are many signs that things are going to get worse before they get better.

The public service which the Zuma government has inherited from the Mbeki years is in tatters.
Hospitals and public schools are taking a lot of strain. They do not need more funding. They need better management of their existing budgets.

More than that, our leading public institutions need to be properly managed so that they once again become centers of excellence.

The state of Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital, situated as it is in the heart of Soweto is a national scandal. Surely it was not the intention of the government to transform this world class institution into a place of fear and loathing? It along with other key public hospitals needs serious attention.

The list of schools in the townships and the suburbs where standards are way below par is also a national embarrassment. Tinkering with funding models and appointing poor quality principals has taken a massive toll.

Zuma must forget about the rhetoric and explain how he intends to make our hospitals, schools and other public institutions effective providers of services to those without the money for private institutions.

SA's 10th province Zimbabwe to adopt the Rand

What could possibly go wrong? All we need really for this plan to work is for Mad Bob to concede power to Tsvangirai or to the South African government fully, fire the fool Gono who's in control of the treasury, responsible for the Zim dollar's demise and for stealing money from private and public bank accounts, get the Zanu-PF thugs including the army and police hierarchy and war vets to relinquish their stolen farms (the economy needs to run on something) and for everyone to finally appreciate the constitution, recognise the rule of law and so forth. This is only the first part. 'Tis easy. Stop chuckling.

Right then, hell having frozen over, the South African guvmunt then needs to shore up the Zim economy which means us paying for their civil servants, army, police, etc however long it takes, probably years - including settling Zim's debts (do I hear you say "pay our doctors first dammit!?" and "what about OUR recession?"). What's that? Can't hear you.. Yes, the ANC's quiet diplomacy has come home to roost with a hefty price tag to you and I but the 'experts' say, never fear. You know what they say about experts...

Related:
Zim unity govt beginning to unravel?


Nothing to fear in plan, say SA economists

Zimbabwe could start using the rand as its currency this year. The country’s finance minister, Tendai Biti, said his ministry was exploring three options and a “decision would be made by the end of the year”.

“One of the options is to join the rand monetary union. We will also consider continuing with the [current] regime of multiple currencies or bring back the Zimbabwean dollar and redenominate it either with the rand or the US dollar,” he said.

Economist Dawie Roodt said South Africans should not be concerned if Zimbabwe adopted the rand.

“I’m very much in favour of such a move. People assume that the rand could go the same way as the Zimbabwean dollar, but that simply won’t be the case.”

Biti’s comments come after ex-President Kgalema Motlanthe suggested in February that it would be a “practical” move for Zimbabwe as part of their economic recovery plan under its coalition government.

The idea was hailed at the time by economists. However, such a move would take away Zimbabwe’s powers over its monetary policies. It also means Zimbabwe’s interest rates and inflation levels will be the same as South Africa’s.

Biti said: “Any such decision depends on the performance of the economy — that would be the ultimate deciding issue.”

He said there were signs of “stability” with the country expecting a growth rate for the year of 6 percent. Zimbabwe recorded a -1.1 percent inflation rate in April.

Just last month Biti announced that Zimbabwe would be receiving 400-million in credit lines from several African countries.

Chris Hart, an economist at Investment Solutions, said adopting the rand was “an important step in terms of Zimbabwe’s recovery”.

“It effectively imposes a fiscal and monetary discipline with the Zimbabwean economy functioning on a basis where it does business that is more competitive on an international basis.”

He said it could be “painful initially because, among other things, our interest rates will be linked to theirs and they will have to cut back expenditure”.

However, it would “put their economy on a stronger footing” in the long term.
Roodt said the only downside would be that, in the short term, South Africa would probably have to lend Zimbabwe rands to kick-start any switch-over.

“We can either provide them a loan or they can earn it. The latter is probably best as then we don’t have to run any major risk.”

Last week the African Development Bank announced a short-term emergency recovery programme in Zimbabwe. The bank called for greater “foreign assistance” and an injection of private capital to resuscitate the economy.

Announcing the strategy that would cover the next 19 months to December 2010, the bank said it had “eliminated the quasi-fiscal activities of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and introduced cash budgeting, spending only what it receives in revenue”.

Men vs Women

Alleged South African paedophile hiding out in Australia?

Something about the infamous Advocate Barbie saga.

From the Australia Bodybuilder.com blo
g

E
xcuse this melodramatic post, but we would rather be safe then sorry. News.com.au is reporting that Dirk Prinsloo, a South African national wanted for various crimes including sexual assault on children, may be hiding in Australia and that “he is likely to be active in bodybuilding wherever he is in Australia“.

They describe him as “a narcissistic body-building fanatic, Prinsloo previously has visited Australia and maintains links here.” Although we are aware that the general public, and press is particular, is prone to describe anyone who visits a gym regularly, and who *gasp* may have once drank a protein shake as a “bodybuilder” - differing greatly from our concept of what a bodybuilder is - we still thought we would mention it.

Below is a few pictures of the suspected paedophile, George Diederik “Dirk” Prinsloo who is 39 years old and skipped bail in South Africa two years ago while on trial for 15 counts of drugging and sexually assaulting children, child pornography, soliciting minors and fraud.


In a case of stating the obvious, if you see this person please contact the police:

The relevant text from the news article:


“Crime Stoppers International, which has launched a global campaign to find the criminals, says “a mix” of information has led them to believe the fugitives are here.

South African lawyer, turned suspected paedophile, George Diederik “Dirk” Prinsloo heads the 16 thought to be in Australia.

Cool-talking and with “the boy next door” looks, Prinsloo, 39, skipped bail in South Africa two years ago while on trial for 15 counts of drugging and sexually assaulting children, child pornography, soliciting minors and fraud. His alleged accomplice, girlfriend and former lawyer, Cozanne Visser, dubbed the Advocate Barbie because of her good looks, is being prosecuted over the allegations.

The pair was charged with raping the girls, including two aged 11 and 15, whom allegedly Prinsloo and Visser picked up from an orphanage after convincing authorities they would take them for day trips and recreation activities.

A narcissistic body-building fanatic, Prinsloo previously has visited Australia and maintains links here.

He is likely to be active in body-building wherever he is in Australia.

“He looks like a normal guy, but it couldn’t be further from the truth,” CSI boss Peter Price said.

“We’d like to light him up like a Christmas tree. He’s wanted around the world for sexual offences and paedophile offences.”

U.S. Abortion Provider Shot And Killed At Church

There aren't that many things that really piss me off, but religion and it's irrational behaviour is one of them. The amount of bloodshed in the name of one religion or other, is without equal. Moreover, the number of people that believe that "God" told them personally to do something, is astonishing. Anybody else hearing voices would be certifiably insane, but not if it is in the name of religion. Any bets the perpetrator of this dastardly deed will claim "God" spoke to him personally, and this was his life's purpose?

Related:

At Free Republic, they’re celebrating the murder of Dr. George Tiller. From the following threads:
Report: George Tiller Shot To Death [Child Murderer Killed At Wichita Church]

George Tiller (Child Murderer) shot to death at Wichita church

KWCH website: Police: Tiller Died of Single Gunshot Wound
KWCH in Kansas reports that the suspected murderer of abortion doctor George Tiller has been arrested near the town of Gardner.

Fox News affiliate website

A disgusting statement from Operation Rescue’s Randall Terry: George Tiller was a Mass-Murderer, says Randall Terry — We Grieve That he Did Not Have Time to Properly Prepare his Soul to Face God.

- - -

WICHITA, Kansas.

A controversial provider of late-term abortions was shot to death Sunday as he walked into services at his Kansas church, local media reports.

A lightning rod in the bitter culture war over abortion, George Tiller has been picketed, bombed and shot in the arms.

He was shot to death just after 10 a.m. local time as he walked into Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita, Kan., the Wichita Eagle reported.

Police contacted by AFP could not immediately confirm the report but said details of an incident at the church would be released later in the day.

Tiller, 67, one of the few doctors who still performs late-term abortions in the U.S., has been demonized by abortion opponents who regularly protest outside his clinic, located just off a busy highway that runs through Wichita.

In 1986, someone placed a bomb on the roof of the clinic, seriously damaging the building.

In 1993, Tiller was shot in both arms outside the clinic. Tiller recovered, and his assailant received an 11-year prison term.

Some 2,000 protesters were also arrested outside the clinic during summer-long demonstrations in 1991.

He was acquitted in March on charges that he performed 19 illegal abortions in 2003.

Dad kills men after rape

I have often wondered how I would react if my daughter was raped and I can honestly not tell you but it probably wouldn't be very different from this father's reaction. The man went absolutely postal. I don't understand why he would want to shoot his police colleagues, probably frustration at the lack of progress, but he did nail the alleged rapist.

Related:

9-year-old raped, killed
Child-rape epidemic in South Africa - fuelled by widespread belief that sex with virgin cures AIDS
Baby rapes shock South Africa
The 'virgin myth' and child rape in South Africa
Rape Statistics - South Africa & Worldwide

Child Rape in South Africa

***

A Kwazulu-Natal father, whose three year old had been raped, went on a killing spree on Friday when he allegedly shot three fellow police officers at a children’s rights function.

One of them died on the scene in Ulundi, the second victim died in hospital and the third was in a serious condition at Nkonjeni hospital.

After allegedly shooting his colleagues, Constable Judia Ntuli, 30, then drove to Gqokamandla High School where he allegedly shot dead Busani Vilikazi, 13. Vilakazi was standing trial for Ntuli’s daughter’s rape.

After this killing, Ntuli went home and shot himself in the head. He is in a serious but stable condition.

Tycoon offered Mbeki R1 billion to fight crime

The South African government under Thabo Mbeki rejected an offer of R1 billion from a leading South African businessman to help fight serious crime.

The same offer, to pour money into helicopters, computers and hi-tech equipment, is to be made to President Jacob Zuma, who has spoken out strongly on the need to fight crime.

The extraordinary offer to Mbeki and now to Zuma comes from one of South Africa's most successful entrepreneurs, Douw Steyn.

He has revealed to the Sunday Tribune that he wrote a lengthy dossier, now printed in book form, detailing how he believed South Africa should go about purging the scourge of crime.

He had been motivated in part by two bad experiences that led to his sister emigrating.


"I told him (Mbeki) I would sponsor a whole new approach to fighting crime. The first phase of a three-part programme would cost R1 billion and I would pay it."

All this was documented in Steyn's proposal.

"Mbeki told me I got it wrong. He said we didn't have a problem with crime in this country - the problem was that we had a perception of crime."

Steyn intends to repeat his offer to Zuma, who he has not met.

"Crime is a major problem in this country. I am still prepared to help the government, but please don't misread my motives. I don't want glory. The plan is to do all this in collaboration with the police."

Steyn said R1 billion would buy proper equipment to tackle the problem. "We are talking about buying satellite equipment, computers and helicopters for regular patrols - they would be available to police all over this country.

"The intention is to give them hi-tech facilities, which they don't really have now, to combat crime.

"They need to fight crime with special equipment, the best available. I propose to help fund a major assault on crime so that much of it can be eradicated.

"To do that, we would also need a specially created crime squad. And security guards should be given the right to shoot back.

"When criminals are caught, they should be locked away for a long time.

"My sister left this country because she had a few bad experiences of crime. Never mind letting criminals chase tourists away - they are chasing us away.

"It is a desperate situation and the government doesn't realise the damage it's doing."

Government spokesperson Themba Maseko did not know of any meeting between Steyn and Mbeki, and referred comments to Mukoni Ratshitanga, the spokesman for the former president.

Ratshitanga said that if Mbeki had pronounced on the matter, it would have been in his capacity as leader of the country. He could not comment on the content of material he had not seen.

Graham Wright, deputy chief executive of Business Against Crime, said the organisation could not comment on information to which it had not been privy.

"As far as we know, the government has made the fight against crime one of its top five priorities."

Steyn's warning to Mbeki was clear: "Crime is South Africa's main problem.

"It will be the end of this country as we know it unless it is tackled rigorously.

"If we do that, the rest will follow, and benefits such as investment, tourism and jobs, will flow from that. It is the most pressing issue facing us and we need to get it right. If we get this solved, tourists will flock to this country. It is a beautiful place and the whole world wants to come here.

"If all those visitors come, imagine the money they will bring in, the jobs they will create.

"Then there is the business investment which would increase vastly. We wouldn't have to create anything to achieve all this; it is here and waiting.

"We have a sunny, beautiful climate with low costs involved in flying to and around the country. People would come to have the most wonderful holidays.

"All that is preventing this from happening right now is a small group of hard-core criminals.

"They are not sophisticated, like the Mafia. And please don't tell me it's all because of social deprivation. A lot of people are starving in South Africa, but they don't go out and rob and murder."

Steyn said: "Of course, I knew Thabo from years ago. But by the time he got to be president, he seemed to have lost touch with reality."

Saturday, May 30, 2009

No man's land

From The Times

Hundreds of South Africans have joined the British army in the last decade. Firdose Moonda investigates why so many are fighting for a country that is not their own.

‘Boss, please don’t leave me,” he pleaded through his radio. Bullets buzzed past his ear, rocket-propelled grenades landed in front of him, behind him, next to him, almost on him.

The other soldiers in his platoon could barely make out his silhouette through the clouds of phosphorus, and then he disappeared.

The ferocity of the Taliban attack had caught Company A of the second battalion, Mercian regiment, unawares, especially as this was their last night in south Afghanistan’s Helmand province. As they zigzagged their way through unexpected gunfire, they lost three of their party.

The platoon’s commander, 25- year-old Lieutenant Simon Cupples, or “ Boss”, was out looking for them, but the risk of wandering through no man’s land became too great.

Sergeant Michael Lockett, 27, ordered Cupples to return to the group after he had found two of the three. Cupples had to stop searching for the missing man, even as he heard his voice, begging not to be left behind.

Air supply had been asked to drop a 227kg bomb on the suspected Taliban positions. The platoon waited for the air strike to end and returned to their base. They went back for their man in the morning. They found him, 20m from the trench, in the firing position, dead. He was one of approximately 150 British soldiers who has died in the war in Afghanistan since 2001. The only difference is that he was not British. He was South African. Johan Botha was 35 when he died.

What might a young South African be doing fighting a war in Afghanistan for a country that he couldn’t call his own? He wasn’t the only one, though. Botha was one of about 1000 South Africans who has joined the British army in the past decade. While most South Africans have been largely unaffected by the American- and British-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the route from Bloemfontein to Basra is a lot shorter than we think, with as many as 40 South Africans reported dead in the conflicts.

Unlike many emigrants, South Africans who join the British army are not just looking to earn a quick buck. Military ambition ranks high among their reasons for doing so.


Kieran Burke, a 28-year-old South African who has since returned from a stint in the British army, joined with a view to chasing a far nobler cause. “I eventually wanted to work for the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces to prevent another Rwanda, so I signed up and hoped to be fast- tracked to an officer’s position.”

Burke can’t help puffing out his chest in pride when he speaks of the British army. “It’s a place of prestige and is widely regarded as the pinnacle of global forces.”

Young men with military ambitions view the Sandhurst Military Academy as a shrine to their calling, in the same way Muslims gaze towards Mecca as the ultimate destination of the devout follower. Becoming a part of the British army is the first step to eventually joining one such reputed academy.

For others, like Lukas Bester, who joined the British army in 2001, the sense of adventure and fulfilment of a childhood hope drives them to follow this path. “I lost my job in South Africa and went to the UK in 2001. I had a job in a stir-fry factory, but the work was boring. I was only 23 at the time, and had always dreamt of joining the army as a kid, so I decided to seek a bit of adventure.”

As in simple economics, the supply of South Africans flowing into British barracks is matched by demand. South Africa’s apartheid army gained global respect for its rigidity and strictness. Perhaps those are not the most desirable traits in most professions but, in an ordered environment like the army, such qualities equate discipline. South Africans are perceived as able-bodied, healthy and, most importantly, well organised. As a result, they are highly sought-after by the British army. “South Africans are really appreciated because of their robustness and extreme fitness levels,” says Bester, 31. Burke agrees, saying that it’s easy to distinguish the South Africans during gruelling basic training, because of their often superior physical capability to endure.

South Africans are not the only foreigners who have found a home among British troops. Bester, who is not currently deployed and living in London, says large numbers of Fijians and Ghanaians, along with soldiers from other Commonwealth countries, have become part of the British army. “It’s easy for other nationalities to get in: the troop numbers are fairly low due to the two wars the UK are involved in.”

Besides being in high demand, South Africans applying to get into the army used to be put through a relatively simple process. Burke explains that one simply had “to go over on a Commonwealth visa and sign up. You needed some basic level of fitness, but an average schoolboy who played sport would be more than adequate”. Easy enough to say for Burke, who comfortably towers above the average man and is built to rival a bulldozer.

While many may think of the army as a last resort for employment, this is not the case for South Africans. “To get to the UK in the first place, you must have a bit of money, so the South Africans there are not down-and-outers. It’s also not just a whites-only club. I knew a lot South Africans of colour who were part of the army and it was just as easy for them to fit in as it was for the rest of us,” says Burke. That’s not to say the South Africans form a private club of sorts. Burke was part of a largely Welsh regiment and says he formed lifelong friendships there, as do many South Africans who often slip seamlessly into the British barracks, mingling with the locals as easily as they do with each other.

South Africans who join the British army have to commit to a four-year contract. Most rarely leave before their contracts end and the British forces become accustomed to a constant stream of robust Saffers to add to their numbers.

The South African government, however, was not going to allow potential candidates for its own military to pack up their testosterone and sail across the sea. In November 2007, the “Prohibition of Mercenary Activities and Regulation of Certain Activities in Country of Armed Conflict Act” was passed, which made it unlawful for South Africans to enlist with any armed force other than the South African National Defence Force without authorisation. Britain came up with an ingenious way to counteract the law and dangled a much-desired carrot in front of many of the existing soldiers. “We have been given the option to either leave or get citizenship before the five-year mandatory period (to qualify for UK residency),” says Bester.

Those who have accepted British passports have made a career-conscious decision, but how do these men actually feel about fighting in a war that has nothing to do with them? “Most people I work with disagree with the job they are doing and the fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq but, as a soldier, you have orders to follow and that’s what we do,” Bester says. Burke echoes this and explains that the politics behind the war don’t often seep through to the frontline: “When you’re out there in a combat situation, the ideologies don’t even cross most people’s minds. All you’re concerned about is the man next to you and making sure he doesn’t die.”

While the idea of conflict conjures up images from movies like Saving Private Ryan, Bester is quick to point out that being part of the armed forces carries more responsibility than simply brandishing a gun. “It’s not just a full-out war out there. There is a lot of rebuilding going on as well. I think that’s what makes the job worthwhile — to see a lot of the local people appreciating us being there and what we do.”

Even though being part of what he considers the humanitarian cause of rebuilding a broken country, Bester says the crux of his work is still “not pretty”. He was told by a veteran officer in the army that the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq have been the most challenging the British army has been part of since World War II.

“Everyone thinks the Afghan and Iraqi fighters are just a bunch of amateurs, but they are really good soldiers. Guerrilla warfare and ambush are their specialties. One thing I will never forget was the ‘suicide donkeys’. I can tell you that no one expects a donkey to blow up. So when it happens it surprises everyone. We were always dodging landmines and my regiment was attack-ed twice with improvised explosive devices. So, we were quite close to death, but we were lucky,” says Bester. He becomes sombre when he reminisces about the man he considered his best mate. “Johan Botha was not so lucky. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

The lingering shock of Botha’s death is evident in the sudden disappearance of the smile in Bester’s voice. Bester believes the friend he made in the army was a hero. The two were drawn to each other because of their shared nationality, as is the case with many South Africans who fight under the Union Jack. “There is a massive brotherhood between us. Whenever we are on an exercise and there is another South African about, you can hear their accent from miles away. When you meet another South African, it’s like seeing a long-lost friend. Just like a band of brothers.”

Burke is now working as a television producer in Johannesburg. Bester is still serving in the 2nd battalion of the Mercian regiment, but is not currently deployed. He lives in London.

Zim unity govt beginning to unravel?

Zimbabwean PM says country still lives in fear.

Related:

White non-farmers evicted from their own stolen land in Zimbabwe


HARARE, Zimbabwe — Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said Saturday that his efforts to restore democratic freedoms and the rule of law to Zimbabwe have so far failed.


The former opposition leader took his Movement for Democratic Change into a coalition government with longtime autocratic President Robert Mugabe in February to end the country’s political deadlock and economic collapse.


But Tsvangirai gave his party’s annual convention a bleak assessment of Zimbabwe’s situation and said that hard-liners backing Mugabe were frustrating progress.

“We have not yet succeeded in restoring the rule of law … our people do not live free from fear, hunger and poverty,” he said.

The official state media remained biased and there was only limited freedom of movement and expression, he said.

“Our members continue to be the victims of political persecution,” Tsvangirai said. “That society for which we are striving bears little resemblance to the reality in which all of us live today,” he said.

His comments reflected the tensions wracking the so-called unity government. But despite the unhappiness, Tsvangirai has so far shown no sign that he will pull his party out of the coalition in protest. Tsvangirai had been frozen out of office, despite election victories, until Zimbabwe’s neighbors forced Mugabe to enter the unity government in February.

Tsvangirai and more than 1,000 delegates to the two-day convention wore red T-shirts emblazoned with a new party slogan: “Together to the end. Marching to a New Zimbabwe.”

Despite agreeing to the coalition government, 85-year-old Mugabe still seems reluctant to cede real power to Tsvangirai, his former foe.

Last week, for example, Tsvangirai announced an end to restrictions on foreign journalists entering Zimbabwe and to tough licensing rules for local media. Mugabe’s spokesman this week said the restrictions would remain.

The two men are also locked in dispute over the key appointments of the central bank governor Gideon Gono and the attorney general Johannes Tomana.

Mugabe reappointed Gono to a second five-year term as governor of the Reserve Bank in November and also unilaterally chose Tomana. Tsvangirai says the appointments violate the power-sharing deal and wants regional mediators to intervene.

Gono is blamed for printing Zimbabwe dollars until they were worthless and accused of taking hundreds of millions of dollars from foreign currency accounts belonging to aid groups and private businesses. Tomana also is accused of being behind detentions of pro-democracy activists.

Tendai Biti, Tsvangirai’s finance minister, has appealed for $8 billion to rebuild the shattered economy. But most donors and investors have insisted more reforms and the rule of law be in place before they commit funds.

Tsvangirai told his party loyalists Saturday the adoption of hard currency as the country’s legal tender halted world-record inflation of 500 billion percent in the now abandoned local currency.

More humanitarian aid was also being received to restore health services and collapsed utilities.

His party’s role in the coalition was “instrumental in stabilizing our economy and bringing it back from the brink of a truly national disaster,” he said.

Mugabe’s program to seize thousands of white-owned commercial farms is blamed for disrupting the agriculture-based economy since 2000 and leaving more than half the population in need of food handouts earlier this year.

Farmers groups have reported a new wave of seizures of white-run farms in recent weeks.

“Land reform must empower the majority of Zimbabwean without victimizing any of our citizens … It cannot be based on racist persecution that leaves productive land fallow and our people hungry,” Tsvangirai told the party convention that ends Sunday.

South Africa clinches Sevens World Series

A good day for South African rugby. We are now the 15-man World Champs, Sevens World Champs and Super 14 Champs. The first and only country to do so. If we could add the Tri-Nations to our tally, it will be even more impressive.

South Africa clinch sevens rugby world series with win over New Zealand

Scotland — South Africa clinched its first sevens rugby world series as it swept its pool with a win over defending champion New Zealand at the Edinburgh Sevens on Saturday.

South Africa needed only one more point to secure an unassailable lead in the overall standings from England, the only other series contender at Murrayfield.

But the Africans clinched the series title by defeating France 33-10 and the United States 34-5 and reaching the quarter-finals. They then met unbeaten New Zealand for the top of Pool A. New Zealand, the eight-time winner in the series' 10-year history, knocked out South Africa in last week's London Sevens semifinals, helping to delay the Africans' crowning, but missed a conversion on Saturday as South Africa prevailed 14-12.

"It's an unimaginable feeling for me, I can only imagine how the players are feeling," said Paul Treu, the South Africa coach and former captain.

"I don't think the guys even realize what they've achieved. Maybe when they're sitting at home when they're old and looking back on their careers, this is going to be one of the highlights."

South Africa won the first two legs in Dubai and at home, but was tied with England after four events. The Africans broke clear with a runner-up finish in Hong Kong then won in Adelaide to be all but certain of series success.

England, winner of its home tournament last weekend, failed to advance from its pool, losing to host Scotland 33-17 for only the second time, and Kenya 21-14. Kenya edged Scotland 22-17 to top Pool C unbeaten and line up a quarter-final against Wales on Sunday.

Scotland will meet Samoa, after the latter swept Georgia, Wales and Argentina to top Pool D. Wales routed Georgia 50-7 to edge Argentina for the second quarter-final berth on points difference.

Osea Kolinisau's late try helped Fiji squeeze past Australia 26-19 and win Pool B undefeated. Fiji will meet New Zealand in the quarter-finals for the second straight event, while Australia, after wins over London quarter-finalist Portugal and Spain, will play South Africa.

Bulls gore Chiefs 61-17

The Bulls trampled the Chiefs in embarrassing fashion in Pretoria, ruthlessly charging to their second Super 14 title in record fashion this morning (NZ time).

Related:
Eddie Jones: They don't come any bigger or harder than in Springbok country"

Some deadly finishing and the booming boot of Morne Steyn saw off an error-prone Chiefs side 61-17 at Loftus Versfeld.

Their eight tries to two win produced the highest winning score and margin in a final and added to their 2007 title, signalling that they are indeed the Super force at the moment, particularly at home where they haven't been beaten this year.

The air of inevitability that engulfed the city in the leadup to the title match turned into reality. And sadly it all happened very quickly for the Chiefs.

The game was effectively snatched from them in the first 17 minutes despite scoring first. The Bulls capitalised on three errors to score three tries and stun Mils Muliaina's side.

When Bryan Habana produced a trademark intercept try right on halftime for a 34-7 lead with the Chiefs drowning in a sea of blue.

To their credit the brave Chiefs were more effective in the second half but a final isn't the place to play catchup as they discovered in their first appearance in the title match.

The Bulls never wavered from the game plan that got them to the final, content to kick when they were in their own half and wait for counter-attacking chances off mistakes at the other end. They got more than enough to get by.

The Chiefs had an early setback when powerful hooker Aled de Malmanche was taken out of the game with a whiplash tackle and they really struggled for go-forward ball. But it was a night when little went right.

When they did get something going their attackers were often isolated

They were also guilty of putting their high kicks too deep for their chasers to pressure the Bulls and it was a constant struggle to try to get the field position needed to get back into the match.

The Chiefs' scrum held but their lineout was under constant pressure.

Big prop Sona Taumalolo had an energetic game, Mils Muliaina popped up everywhere trying to save his side and Lelia Masaga ran hard at every opportunity in a night to forget for the Chiefs.

This was the Bull's moment and didn't the 50,000 in attendance know it - and show it.

Steyn and fullback Zane Kirchner look likely to have played their way into the Boks on the back of their finals form and it wouldn't surprise to see young loose forwards Dewald Potgieter and Deon Stegmann pushing hard for inclusion too.

But it was an old hand in halfback Fourie du Preez who was at the heart of this effort, featuring in the first three tries, including scoring two of them himself.

The Bulls defence was impressive, both the patterned variety and some desperate moments too as they killed off a couple of Chiefs attacks in the middle of the first spell.

Referee Jonathan Kaplan was ruthless on the Chiefs in the tackle areas and subsequent rucks but they were their own worst enemies in more areas than that.

The Chiefs got the start they wanted with Stephen Donald counterattacking off a high ball, getting past Kirchner on the blindside at halfway and setting up Masaga for the dash to the posts.

But the Bulls hit back immediately, attacking strongly to the goalposts where the Chiefs were penalised in a desperate ruck. du Preez took a quick tap and powered over from five metres.

Disaster struck the Chiefs when they were counterattacking and Wynanad Olivier scragged de Malmanche heavily to the ground, the ball spilled loose and du Preez was set free to run to the corner for his second try within three minutes. Steyn's conversion gave the Bulls a 14-7 lead after 13 minutes in a frenzied start to the match.

The Chiefs paid for a mistake soon after when Tanerau Latimer was isolated on attack and from the turnover the ball went all the way left du Preez to slip a chip kick through for Bryan Habana to collect and score in the other corner.

The Chiefs had two chances to get back into the match off Richard Kahui breaks but the desperate Bulls snuffed them out.

Back the Bulls went to the other end and Steyn slammed over the inevitable dropped goal.

Sione Lauaki rode his luck with a cynical foul on du Preez right in front of the Chiefs' posts and Steyn happily turned it into three more points.

The Chiefs managed to put their best period together then but were killed off right on halftime when another attack went haywire, Kahui pooping up a pass 40m out and Habana intercepting to streak away unopposed. With Steyn's conversion the Bulls were out to 34-7 at the break.

The Chiefs had to hit back immediately after the restart to have any chance and their determination showed. The tight forwards got a bit of grunt into their work around the rucks and when they got into the right area of the park Donald attacked the Bulls' defensive line and his half break was enough to feed a flying Muliaina for the try.

James McGougan's ill-discipline stalled the momentum when he conceded an unnecessary penalty and Steyn's unerring boot stamped its mark again.

Donald cancelled that out soon after as the Chiefs re-energised game paid dividends.

But Bulls skipper Victor Matfield summed up the effort of his side when he dived right over the top of a ruck to score in the corner at the end of the third quarter.

Bulls centre Jaco Pretorius dropped the ball trying to place it for the a try soon after as a party atmosphere engulfed the stadium.

Oliver made no mistake as he crossed in the same place.

It wasn't over though - Pierre Spies intercepted 70m out and he showed the same speed he displayed in the semifinal to sprint away for the try that took the score past 50.

Replacement forward Dannie Rossouw completed the embarrassment for the Chiefs one minute from the end.

Bulls 61: Fourie du Preez 2, Bryan Habana 2, Victor Matfield, Wynand Olivier, Pierre Spies, Dannie Rossouw tries; Morne Steyn 5 con, 2 pen, dg; Burton Francis con.

Chiefs 17: Lelia Masaga, Mils Muliaina tries; Stephen Donald 2 con, pen.


Zimbabwe's destitute Britons repatriated

Doberman wrote earlier about the eviction of white non-farmers from their land in Zimbabwe.  Following on from this is the news that up to 500 destitute Britons living in Zimbabwe are to be repatriated after their savings and pensions were wiped out by President Robert Mugabe's economic policies.

By Peta Thornycroft in Harare
Last Updated: 5:08PM BST 27 May 2009

The first five will return this weekend after the British embassy in Harare arranged for them to be flown home.

The group, which includes former colonial administrators, wives and civil servants, have seen their assets destroyed by hyperinflation.

Their air fares are being paid by the British taxpayer and officials said each person would be given permanent accommodation in Britain and the same entitlement to state benefits as any other pensioner.

Fred Noble, a 78-year-old Scot, will return to Fife this weekend, 51 years after he and his wife departed with £100 for what was then Britain’s Crown Colony of Southern Rhodesia. He worked for Rhodesian Railways, retiring on a pension with medical aid 13 years ago.

“I helped more people than helped me and I deserve a Christian burial. I don’t want to get ill in Zimbabwe,” said Mr Noble, who lost his wife four years ago and was the second pensioner to apply for “repatriation” at the British Embassy.

Mr Mugabe’s bankrupt regime stopped paying his pension five years ago, leaving Mr Noble dependent on his investments.

When Zimbabwe’s inflation reached more than 230 million per cent, the value of his portfolio plunged to less than a penny.

“We didn’t do anything wrong, we paid taxes, invested for our old age. My wife used to say, 'All this place has is sunshine, we are wasting our lives here’. My sister, Gwen in UK, sent me £1,600 and it’s gone now,” said Mr Noble. “I was second to apply to go and we had two weeks to prepare to leave.”

To fund his new life in Britain, he will sell his 1967 car and a television for about £250. But some prized possessions will stay behind. “I have an elephant-skin waistcoat - I was a dandy you know - and two pairs of handmade shoes, the best Rhodesia produced,” said Mr Noble. “I’ll give them away. I will take photos, the Bible my wife gave me and my Robbie Burns.”

Anne Budden, 83, is leaving the land of her birth because she can no longer bear to be “a burden on my daughters in Zimbabwe”. She added: “Their husbands are nearing retirement age. They keep on saying I should change my mind, but I must go. My hip operation took my last money. Our three pensions, on which we lived well, disappeared about five years ago.”

Mrs Budden, who was widowed two years ago, lives in a rented flat in Harare, paid for by another daughter in Britain. “I have a lovely life, shielded from what is going on outside, with space, nice people, and my own garden, and I will miss that and especially my two daughters in Zimbabwe who protect me from hardship.”

Although she has spent a lifetime in Africa, Mrs Budden has always cherished her attachment to Britain. “I am leaving the country of my birth but going to the land of my ancestors,” she said. “I love the Queen and I have a daughter in the UK.”

She will move to Farnborough, near another friend from Harare who will also leave this weekend. “We need to support each other as we start new lives,” said Mrs Budden.

British diplomats in Harare have quietly identified pensioners with British citizenship and no means of support. But the Embassy declined to comment on the official repatriation scheme.

About 1,500 other Zimbabwean pensioners have no foreign citizenship, no family and no means of escape. As each penniless Briton departs, a new charity will be able to give more help to those who are left behind. The charity, Zimbabwe: A National Emergency (ZANE), will be their only lifeline.

'Judges must know their place'

In other words, never pass unfavourable judgments against, say or act in any way that threatens the ANC elite. Slowly but surely, the corrupt rubbish thugocracy that is the ANC is turning the screws on the independent bodies in the country (remember the fate of the NPA and the Scorpions?) - and still the media and sheeple do and say nothing.


When they came for the investigators, I remained silent for I was not an investigator,


Then they came for the prosecutors and I remained silent for I was not an prosecutor,

Then they came for the judges and I remained silent for I was not a judge,

Then they came for the reporters and I remained silent for I was not a reporter,

When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.


Judges should know their place and watch their mouths if they want a good relationship with the ruling party, says the new chairperson of Parliament's justice committee.


Speaking to the Mail & Guardian, Ngoako Ramatlhodi admitted that the ANC's difficult relationship with the judiciary is not sustainable and needs fixing. "We are interested in working with the judiciary, but we insist they must operate in terms of the Constitution and we will give the judiciary the space to do this."

Ramatlhodi was recently appointed to the Judicial Service Commission, the body set up to appoint judges.

In straightening the ruffled feathers in the judiciary because of the public spats between judges and the ruling party, Ramatlhodi says the ANC hopes to emulate a model adopted when the ANC was working with judges in the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and during the elections.

"There was a spirit of camaraderie that we hope to continue. We have to be candid with one another. What is not helpful are public spats. We are dealing with adult views and it would be more useful if conveyed in a particular way. It doesn't help for us to run to the newspapers. We want to move forward and will make special efforts to do so."

KwaZulu-Natal Judge Herbert Msimang, who serves as a commissioner of the IEC, previously struck Zuma's corruption case from the roll of the Pietermaritzburg High Court. In September 2006 he became the hero of Zuma supporters in the ANC when he said the case was "limping from one disaster to another" and decided that it should be scrapped.

On the subject of how the ANC will deal with the issue of judicial independence Ramatlhodi said that if judges stick to their corners, the ANC will do the same and not threaten their independence in any way.

"There is no misunderstanding when it comes to judicial independence. All we would ask is that judges exercise their mandate. If you go to a social club and make pronouncements, that is not helpful," Ramatlhodi said, referring to comments made by Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke at his birthday party shortly before the ANC's elective conference in Polokwane.

Moseneke was quoted saying that the future of the country did not lie with the delegates at Polokwane, but with the electorate at large.


Tensions between the ruling party and the judiciary were fuelled by the prolonged saga involving charges against Zuma on 16 counts of fraud, corruption, racketeering and money-laundering. The charges were dropped eventually by the acting national director of public prosecutions (NDPP), Mokotedi Mpshe.

"Some individuals in the judiciary elicited negative responses [from the ANC] when [they made] comments about the president taking the legal route," Ramatlhodi said. "We felt there was an irritation on the part of the presiding officers of the courts about [the delays in the court case], they were calling it delaying tactics."

Zuma "had a feeling that there were some who felt that he was abusing the court processes while he was exercising his rights. We must understand that none of us is above the law, regardless of the position that we occupy, including the judicial officers."

Ramatlhodi said Zuma's punctual appearance at all his court appointments should be seen as a sign of respect for the law and the judiciary. He expressed surprise at the view that "the ANC is a threat to the rule of law".

"What amazes me about that is that the South African population has accepted that the ANC is anti-constitutional, while at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission some presidents were called to account, but they simply refused. Yet when Jacob Zuma had to go to court, every time he was told he should be there, he was there."

Ramatlhodi admitted the tensions between the party and the judges left a mark on both. "We went through a very special, but very painful period where we all wanted to hurt each other. That must change now."

The first test of this new relationship will be the appointment of new Constitutional Court judges and the chief justice. The incumbent, Pius Langa, and three other judges are due to step down later this year when their terms end.

The chief characteristic the ANC would look for to replace Langa is independence, Ramatlhodi said. "The chief justice must be a person who respects the law and the Constitution and who will apply it without fear or favour."

The [Former] SADF

Remember this? You fu*ked with this awesome military machine at your peril. We will never forget.

Friday, May 29, 2009

White non-farmers evicted from their own stolen land in Zimbabwe

Mad Bob and his new bum chums in the MDC have changed tact and are now also targeting any whites still living on property stolen by the regime no matter how small. Indeed, the next stop will probably be ALL property in the hands of whites. The MDC promised to stop land invasions and guarantee the tenure of all landowners but it seems they too have been overcome by the trappings of power. The unity government is a sham as we predicted and the West is right to remain sceptical. Not so our baboons in the ANC regime who keep throwing money at that circus. And yes, I'm still expecting the obligatory outrageous outrage at this egregious example of rampant racism from the world's professional anti-racism activists any time soon. Any time. Bono, Geldof, Al Sharpton... yep..a-n-y minute now...

Related:
The Forgotten Victims of Black Racism
Eating rats in Zimbabwe
Counting the cost of Zimbabwe's land invasions


Ian Campbell-Morrison, 46, lives in the Vumba Mountains in eastern Zimbabwe, next to a tourist hotel where he is the green keeper for its golf course. He and his wife live in a cottage on a plot not much bigger than a suburban garden, where she tends flowers.

The Campbell-Morrisons used to farm tobacco and coffee there, but the government seized their land and the farmhouse and gave it to a government official, leaving the couple their cottage and the garden around it, said Hendrik Olivier, director of the Commercial Farmers’ Union, made up mostly of Zimbabwe’s remaining 350 white farmers.

A magistrate in the nearby city of Mutare nevertheless sentenced Campbell-Morrison to a fine of 800 US dollars for "illegally occupying state land" and ordered the couple to be off the property by Saturday.

The Campbell-Morrisons are one of 140 white farming families facing eviction from their land in the latest tactic regime in Mugabe’s violent, lawless campaign to force white landowners - numbering about 5,000 when it started in 2000 - off their farms.

The action is in the name of a redistribution of white land, but which has instead made a million former farm workers homeless and set off the collapse the once-prosperous country’s economy into famine and ruin.

Mugabe has declared all white-owned land to be state property and banned farmers from taking the government to court.

The evictions and violence have continued despite the establishment in February of a power-sharing government between Mugabe and former pro-democracy opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, with an agreement to restore the rule of law and to "ensure security of tenure to all land holders."

Tsvangirai, now prime minister, began by promising to end the lawlessness, promising that "no crime (by invaders on white farms) will go unpunished," but police - under the control of staunchly pro-Mugabe security chiefs - continued to refuse to act against the mostly well-heeled Mugabe loyalists grabbing productive farms and selling their crops.

Western governments have refused to provide finance for the recovery of the country’s economy from world-record inflation and decimation of production under Mugabe, until there are "clear signs of reform" in the re-establishment of the rule of law. The restoration of peace and security on the farms is cited as a key condition.

But there was shock this week when Tsvangirai, referred in an interview to "isolated incidents of so-called farm invasions" that had "been blown out of proportion." Said a Western diplomat: "He’s talking like Mugabe now."

Throughout Tuesday night on Mount Carmel farm in the Chegutu district, farmer Ben Freeth and his family were terrorised by a mob of invaders who rolled blazing tyres at their thatch-roofed homestead.

At the weekend, an 80-year-old woman was assaulted by police removing her son from his farm. On Friday, another farmer was beaten up by a Mugabe supporter trying to force him to leave.

"There has been absolutely no resolution or even recognition that there is even a problem," said CFU president Trevor Gifford, who is trying to stop a government official cutting down what is left of his timber plantation, and is selling it to the government of neighbouring Zambia for telephone poles.

Gifford is due to appear in court tomorrow for "illegally occupying state land."

"This is happening in a country that has become the world’s most dependent on donors for food," he said. "Until this government respects the rights of its own citizens and investment agreements, no-one will look at this country."

White Actress Refuses to Kiss Black Actor

NewsGuy at The Right Perspective reports on a brouhaha developing over a white actress' refusal to smooch a darkie. Looking at the ugly mug's face, I can't say I blame her. What's with the 'stache dude? Actually, she said it was unhygienic which is fair enough, she is the one that gets the cooties - and you don't know where his mouth has been... And right on cue the liberal media has latched onto this story like shit to a baby blanket. The angle is the usual, sies on whitey and poor, poor blackie.

A White actress’ refusal to kiss her Black co-star on the lips during a play aimed to promote inter-racial relations has exploded into a major race row in South Africa.

22-year old Carolyn Forword says she did not walk out of the production of The Pied Piper of Hamlin because of the race of her co-star. Instead, she insists the repeated smooching is “unhygienic” and not suitable for the audience of young children for whom the show is intended.

Forword’s co-star, Unathi Dyantyi, is more than a little crushed.

“I felt like a piece of shit every time we had to do it because of the way she treated me,” whined Dyantyi, who says Forword shrank from his advances and pushed him away while during the performances. “She didn’t want to kiss me. She said she found it unnecessary and the kiss was unhygienic.”

“I’m speechless. What’s unhygienic about the kiss? And what’s unnecessary about it? It is necessary for what the director is aiming to do. He’s trying to convey a message that it’s OK for different cultures to fall in love. We’re a multicultural country and we’re trying to convey that.”

Forward, who recently returned to South Africa from a two-year hiatus in England, is upset that she is being portrayed as a “racist” in the media. “It is a play for eight-year-olds,” she said. “They wanted me to kiss the guy for 20 seconds, which is inappropriate for that audience. It wouldn’t have gone down well at a Catholic school, for example. It would have been unhygienic because it was a travelling show. I pulled out because the director never gave my agent an idea of where we were staying. It had nothing to do with the kissing thing. But now I’m seen as a racist.”

“If Carolyn really was a racist, would she really have agreed to perform in a play that promotes miscegenation?,” ask her supporters. Forward did 12 shows of The Pied Piper before pulling out, leaving the remaining 50 shows to her understudy.

The play’s director, Leslie Ehrhardt, supported Dyantyi’s account. “Without a doubt there was a racial element from the word go until the very end,” he said, adding that the controversial kiss lasted about 20 seconds during each show. “Carolyn underlined it with her general behavior towards Unathi. She pushed him away and her face was screwed up, as if kissing him was the worst thing in the world.

“She said to me in rehearsals that her doctor told her it was unhygienic to kiss on the stage. That took me by surprise. When we going to her old school, she said it would not go down well with her people, or words to that effect.”

Siener van Rensburg

Siener van Rensburg is mentioned here occasionally and so for the benefit of those unfamiliar with the man, particularly foreign readers, here is a 3-part summation of the man and his prophecies.

Who was Siener van Rensburg?











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