Archive for June, 2006

Farmers want end to ‘guerrilla war’

Posted in Uncategorized on 28 June, 2006 by rudiprinsloo

June 27 2006 at 07:48AM

By Graeme Hosken and Janine du Plessis

Farmers east of Pretoria are demanding police step in and end what they call a “guerrilla war” being waged against them by criminals.

The demands come after Cullinan farmer Jan du Preez was arrested when he opened fire on three men armed with handguns and a hammer moments after they attacked him and his family.

Du Preez was at his home on the farm Nooitgedacht with his wife Gerda, four-year-old daughter Anrie and son PJ when they were attacked on Thursday night.

‘They know what to look for’

The Du Preez family live with their friends Barry Visser and Riaan van der Merwe and their wives and children, who were also assaulted in the attack.

Their neighbour Andries Benadé was critically injured two weeks ago when gunmen, armed with R1 and R4 semi-automatic rifles, opened fire on him, shooting him in the leg and arm. He spent two weeks in the intensive care unit of Eugene Marais Hospital.

The previous owner of Benadé’s farm was shot and killed nearly six years ago in an attack that left two other people dead.

Benadé has blamed the lack of service from the Cullinan police station as one of the reasons why farm attacks are on the increase.

He said he was amazed at the number of attacks in the area. “This happened 300m away from my house, where I was shot twice. I was still recovering in hospital when it happened. There have been a lot of farm attacks, assaults and attempted housebreakings. In the past two months it has been on the increase – there have been four recently,” said Benadé.

‘It was chaos’

“The police… took over half an hour to arrive after my shooting incident. Luckily most of the people in the region have neighbours nearby who can help or alarms which make the criminals run away.

“The police say these are ordinary robberies, but they are well-planned and professionally carried out. They know what to look for. If they wanted to steal my VW Golf they could have broken the ignition, they did not need to storm my house with an R1 and R5.

“The police are not doing anything about it either. Why must they wait for an attack before they investigate? It will not stop and will continue,” said Benadé.

The three families attacked on Thursday were singing karaoke in their lounge when the men burst into the house, kicking down a door and smashing furniture.

Du Preez, who was released on R500 bail after appearing in the Cullinan magistrate’s court on a charge of possessing an unlicensed firearm on Monday, said he did not know what was happening.

“One moment we were talking to each other and the next it was chaos with people screaming as these men charged into our house,” he said.

Du Preez’s wife, along with Visser’s wife, managed to lock themselves in a back room, while Visser and his 13-year-old son Marco grabbed Anrie and hid in another bedroom. Du Preez and Van der Merwe apparently tried to fight back, but were overpowered before allegedly being hit with a hammer and whipped with electrical cables.

As one of the gunmen kept watch over the two, his accomplices searched the house for guns and money. The gunmen, who found Visser and the children, fled when Visser attacked them as they threatened to shoot his son.

“I saw one of the men point a gun at Marco and knew I had to do something. I jumped up and punched him before grabbing his gun and hitting him over the head with it,” said Visser, who was pistol-whipped by the second gunman.

The attackers ran away without taking anything. As they fled, Du Preez allegedly grabbed Visser’s father-in-law’s gun from the safe, and fired three shots at the fleeing men. None of them was hit.

Police Inspector Katlego Mogale confirmed the attack and the arrest of Du Preez.

She said because the bullet cartridges had been removed from the scene, the investigating officer had become suspicious about the account of the attack.

This article was originally published on page 3 of Pretoria News on June 27, 2006



Necrophiliac sentenced to life in prison

Posted in Uncategorized on 28 June, 2006 by rudiprinsloo


June 27 2006 at 05:05AM

A Witbank engineering student who shot dead a 17-year-old childhood friend when she refused to have sex with him was on Monday sentenced to life imprisonment.

Themba Mthombeni was given a life sentence plus 15 years in prison on charges of murder, abduction, violating a body, attempted rape and the unlawful possession of a firearm.

Pretoria High Court Judge Mahomed Ismail said the court could not be blinded by Themba Mthombeni’s youth or feel sorry for him.

“I am perplexed why a person with so much potential would resort to such horrible crimes.

‘A human life was taken as a result of your actions’

“The manner in which you acted cannot be tolerated. A human life was taken as a result of your actions. Society cannot condone or tolerate this type of conduct where people resort to violence for the slightest excuse or provocation,” said Ismail.

Emotional family members wept and had to be consoled. They sat in silence in court for several minutes after hearing Mthombeni was going to jail for at least the next 25 years.

Mthombeni earlier admitted that in April 2003 he had forced Thandiwe Masimula, 17, to accompany him to his dormitory room at gunpoint. He shot her in the neck when she refused to have sex with him, before raping her.

After locking her body in his room, he went in search of other victims to rape. He pointed a firearm at two school teachers who passed him in the street with the intention of raping them as well. He fled after one of them sprayed him with mace.

He later returned to Thandiwe’s room, where he tried to rape her room-mate, but fled when her screams alerted a neighbour. His young victim’s decomposing body was found in his room several days later. Ismail earlier referred to the crimes as “glaringly heinous”.

This article was originally published on page 2 of Pretoria News on June 27, 2006


Farmers are not free booty – ACDP

Posted in Uncategorized on 25 June, 2006 by rudiprinsloo

June 23 2006 at 12:23PM

It is time for the government to state unequivocally that South African farmers are not “free booty”, the African Christian Democratic Party said on Friday.

“Human life apparently has no value,” Casper Nordier, ACDP leader in Free State, said in reaction to the murder of Bainsvlei farmer Flip Heyneke outside Bloemfontein.

“The latest farm attacks countrywide are committed with such cruelty that one cannot but wonder whether the farm attackers do this on purpose to draw more media attention.”

Heyneke, 50, was found tied and hanged in a storeroom on his farm near Bloemfontein by his wife on Wednesday night.

Police spokesperson Inspector Harry Nagel said Heyneke’s wife discovered his body about 9pm in the storeroom, when he did not return home at 8pm, his usual time.

“His hands were tied behind his back and he was hanged.”

The ACDP said at least two people had also been murdered in farm attacks in neighbouring provinces in the past week and another approximately six farm attacks took place in the Free State and neighbouring provinces in one month’s time.

“Three of the victims, one murdered and the other two seriously injured, were black farmers or their family members,” said Nordier.

He said those who hanged Heyneke had clearly left a message of contempt to government for abolishing capital punishment.

“It had been known for quite some time that South African farmers statistically have the most dangerous career in the world,” said Nordier, adding it was time that South African farmers received more credit for their goodwill. – Sapa


Family mourns farmer’s death

Posted in Uncategorized on 23 June, 2006 by rudiprinsloo

23/06/2006 09:37 – (SA)

Danel Blaauw, Die Volksblad

Bloemfontein – The family of a Free State dairy farmer are struggling to come to terms with his brutal murder at their farmhouse 20km outside Bloemfontein.

The body of Flip Heynecke, 51, who’d been hanged with an electric cord and strangled, was found by his wife and two daughters.

Wilna Heynecke and her daughters, Odette, 22, and Carin, found Heynecke’s bound and bloodied body on Wednesday night.

Heynecke’s body had been tied to a large lifting jack inside their weekend home.

The family cut him lose and rushed him to Universitas Hospital in Bloemfontein, where he was declared dead on arrival.

Heynecke farmed on the farm Over-eenkoms about 20km outside the city.

Scenes of grief played out at the house in the Bainsvlei area on Thursday.

‘A peaceful person’

While the Heyneckes were still trying to find answers for the senseless farm murder, police launched an extensive search for the killers from the air and on foot.

“My father was such a peaceful person,” said Odette. “I can’t understand why it had to happen.

I can’t comprehend it.”

A police airplane and helicopter circled low over the farms, while forensic specialists combed the area and lifted footprints.

Heynecke, who lived in Fleurdal, was a fulltime farmer. He’d been commuting between the city and the farm for the past six years.

He and a neighbour, Faan Schoeman, managed a dairy. “He delivered milk from me at 09:00 and again at 19:00 and 19:15,” said Schoeman.

House surrounded in darkness

“When he had still failed to arrive at 19:30 on Wednesday, I became worried.”

Schoeman phoned Mrs Heynecke in the city.

She and her daughters immediately drove to the farm and searched around the house and dairy.

“The house was surrounded in darkness. A light was burning at the stables,” said the widow.

There was a warm can of milk, and Heynecke’s lunch boxes were lying in the footpath.

The search company found strange footprints in the yard and went to investigate at the house.

“Everything was locked up and Flip’s bakkie was gone,” said Schoeman.

Dawid Claassen, Odette’s friend, kicked down the front door and, together with the family, found their murdered father.

“He was tied to a jack and was half sitting, half hanging,” said Odette.

“His hands, arms and neck were tied with electric cord. His mouth was covered with brown tape.”

Blood was running from his ear, and his hands were bloodied.

“He must have been violently murdered,” said Odette.

Farmer hanged, strangled

Captain Francois Laux, acting commander of the unit against serious and violent crime in the Southern Free State, said a post-mortem had indicated Heynecke had been hanged and strangled.

Police were searching for three or four suspects. One of the suspects apparently used to work for Heynecke.

The killers escaped in Heynecke’s beige Datsun bakkie with registration number CGH 192 FS.

A microwave oven, cellphone, blankets, mattress and radio were also stolen.


Wife finds farmer hanged

Posted in Uncategorized on 23 June, 2006 by rudiprinsloo

22/06/2006 14:01 – (SA)

Bloemfontein – A 50-year-old Bainsvlei farmer was found tied and hanged in a storeroom on his farm near Bloemfontein by his wife, police said on Thursday.

Inspector Harry Nagel said Phillip Heineke’s wife discovered his body about 21:00 on Wednesday in a storeroom, when he didn’t return home at 20:00 – his usual time.

“His hands were tied behind his back and he was hanged.

“She took him down and drove him to Universitas hospital where he was certified as dead,” Nagel said.

Police said Heineke lived in Fleurdal in Bloemfontein but went to his farm during the day to work.

Nagel said Heineke’s bakkie, a beige Nissan 1400, with registration number CGH 192 FS and his cellphone were missing.

No arrests had been made.


Wounded wife crawled to toilet

Posted in Uncategorized on 21 June, 2006 by rudiprinsloo

21/06/2006 11:39 – (SA)

Buks Viljoen, Beeld

Carolina – Babs Boshoff, 61, is recovering in hospital after an emergency operation to her hand, which was badly hurt in a bloody attack on her and her husband’s farm in Carolina on Monday.

Thys Boshoff, died at about 18:30 on Monday on the farm Boesmanspruit about 50km from Carolina after armed robbers fired two shots with a shotgun through the back door of the house.

He was hit in the chest and apparently died immediately.

His wife Babs’s left hand was nearly severed by a bullet while they were desperately trying to bar the door of their farmhouse against armed robbers.

His wife, Babs, 61, was hit in the left hand, nearly severing half of her hand with four fingers attached to it.

The attack on the couple was the fourth armed robbery in a week in a 10km-radius from the Moedig Shool (Thokozani), which was in the news recently after pupils had to gather information about the farms in the area for a task.

‘Looked like a battlefield’

Lewis Ellerman was visiting the Boshoff’s on Monday night. Shortly after he had left, Boshoff went outside to feed the dogs. He saw two masked men. “He fled into the house and his wife tried to help him bar the door,” said colonel Nic Uys, commander of the Carolina commando, on Tuesday.

“It looked like a battlefield. There was blood everywhere,” said Uys.

The robbers pushed Boshoff’s body, which was lying on the kitchen floor at the backdoor, out of the way in order to enter.

They dragged his wife to the bathroom, where they tied her hands to the handle of the bathtub with a piece of nylon rope.

They stole four firearms from the safe before escaping in the couple’s bakkie.

Boshoff’s wife apparently managed to untie herself and crawled to the telephone to call for help. She was found hiding in a toilet, where she was holding her badly injured hand in a chamber pot.

An emergency operation was done on her hand at Midmed Hospital. Her condition was stable. Police have launched a massive manhunt for the suspects.

While on his way to help the couple, Captain Marius Burger, station commissioner of Machadodorp police, died after his car collided with a truck while he was on his way to help them.


Farmer too late to save wife

Posted in Uncategorized on 21 June, 2006 by rudiprinsloo

19/06/2006 09:08 – (SA)

Cindy Preller, Die Burger

Sterkstroom – An Eastern Cape farmer who dropped by for a visit may have prevented an attack on a neighbour, but was too late to help the farmer’s wife who’d already been killed.

Anna Maria Geyer, 69, was on Friday afternoon killed after her throat was slit by youths in a chicken coop on the farm.

Two men apparently stabbed her with sharp objects – presumably knives. A farmworker, Douglas Tshoki, 53, was tied up with wire next to the coop.

The suspects gagged Tshoki with rags to stop him from calling for help. However, Geyer’s husband, Wikus, 70, heard her screams and rushed to the farmhouse, said police spokesperson superintendent Gcinikaya Taleni.

“Nothing was stolen, but robbery as motive for the murder is not excluded. The suspects possibly got a fright and fled,” said Taleni.

Two suspects, aged 19 and 21, were arrested on Sunday. They were expected to appear in court on Monday.

Suspects fled into mountains

Nico Smuts, board member for Agri Eastern Cape in this district, expressed horror at the murder. He said the youths sought employment on the Geyers’ farm, Dedoorens, earlier on Friday.

“After lunch, Wikus went to the camp to check whether the cattle had enough water. His neighbour, Leon Coetzee, arrived at the farm shortly after the murder with a blesbuck he wanted to give Wikus,” said Smuts.

According to Smuts, Coetzee mistook one of the alleged killers for a farmworker and asked him to help offload the buck, upon which the suspect fled.

“Coetzee suspected something was amiss, and with Wikus found Mrs Geyer where she’d been assaulted and had her throat slit. It was an act of Providence that Coetzee arrived on the farm,” said Smuts.

According to Smuts, the suspects had told Tshoki they were waiting for Geyer to arrive home so that they could get money from him and kill him.

Smuts said the police where on the scene very quickly, but the youths nevertheless managed to flee into the mountains.

“The incidence of farm attacks in the Eastern Cape is unacceptably high and we’re planning a meeting at the show grounds in Queenstown next Wednesday (July 5) to show our dissatisfaction,” said Smuts.

Geyer’s funeral has been set for 15:00 on Thursday in Queenstown.

The couple were childless and their farm had been offered for sale to the department of land affairs for restitution purposes.