Racist cops who massacred 4 whites sentenced to 205 years

Massacre of four white men by two Indian-SA cops who picked a racist fight by taunting a patron about the size of his genitals…

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The SA news media jokes about this massacre of four unarmed men, referring to it as ‘the penis-trial”

September 29 2010 DURBAN HIGH COURT – Two former police  officers –  the Indian-South African brothers Brian and Leon Steven of Phoenix – were sentenced to a combined 205 years in prison for murdering four Afrikaner men and injuring another one during a horrific racist massacre at a pub at Merseyside in Umbilo, KwaZulu on September 10 2008. The court had earlier been told in mitigation of sentence that the two convicted killers ‘were practicing Christians who had not intended to kill the victims and did not deserve to be removed from society’. However the court disagreed.

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Strydom Shawn Afrikaner victim of racist massacre Umbilo Park KZN Sept 10 2008 Originally, five Asian-South African men were arrested for the massacre in which five unarmed Afrikaner men were gunned down execution-style with police pistols at the restaurant while they were watching a football-game.  The two Steven brothers – already suspended for previous unrelated crimes – on Monday were found guilty of murdering the four whites – using their SAPS-issue guns.

Three of the victims — Nick Janse van Rensburg, 57; Shawn Strydom, 33, (picture right) and Rory Menzies, 40, (a widower and father of four young children), died on the scene;  while two others, Shawn  Edwards and his father Bruce, 57, were injured. Bruce Edwards later died of his injuries in hospital.

Murdered family man Menzies left four orphaned children:
Shortly after the massacre, journalist Kamini Padayachee of the Natal Mercury newspaper Kamini.padayachee@inl.co.za had interviewed relatives of the murdered men, noting that Menzies’s four children were left orphaned and that the children, aged from 13 to 21 years, were devastated by his death. “The children lost their mother to illness a short while ago and now they are orphans. They are all very traumatised.” The widower ran the Durban branch of a foodwaste disposal company and was a dedicated family man, reported Padayachee. http://www.news24.com/News24/South_Africa/News/0,,2-7-1442_2461005,00.html

Gruesome slaughterhouse:

The crime scene was described by the restaurant’s security guards as a ‘gruesome slaughterhouse’ and the patrons of the pub and the adjacent restaurants owners and patrons were left deeply traumatised and needed trauma-treatment after the massacre. Umbilo is a primarily ‘white-‘ dominated suburb in KwaZulu-Natal. It was also said to be ‘very unusual for Asian men to visit this pub’.

  • Enforce Security company spokeswoman Brendi Baard said security guards who had attended to the scene had described it as a slaughterhouse. “We had to calm people down and ask them to clear the scene. It was very gruesome.”
  • Alan Gale — employed at the Coimbra Restaurant next door to the pub — went to look for a friend next door and found himself in the line of fire.”When I heard the first gunshot I thought it was a cracker. I looked straight at a man pointing a gun. At the second shot, I hit the floor. Around seven shots were fired. People were screaming and diving on to the floor all around me. I saw a wounded man with blood flowing from his side. He was pleading for help and then passed away in front of me.”

When the shooting stopped, patrons reported that ‘a group of Asian men had split up and some drove off in a blue Toyota Tazz without number plates. The rest drove away in a white BMW. The security guard on duty managed to get the number plate and reported it to the police,” it was reported at the time. A musician at the Coimbra also related his version of events on condition of anonymity. “The shots were so loud they sounded like they were being fired in the restaurant. I rushed outside and saw three guys leaving the bar. A big guy was holstering a gun. “They got into a white BMW and screamed off. A man ran out of the bar after the car, bleeding from a wound in his groin, and then he collapsed. “Inside the bar one man was dead from a head shot. Two were alive and moaning and one of their friends was throwing chairs around and screaming.”

The local Asian community immediately launched a propaganda-campaign, telling the Natal Mercury two days later on Sept 12 2008 that “the White men had called the Indian men ‘coolies’ and that the white men had confronted the Indians”. However the Natal Mercury also quoted restaurant patrons as saying that “they had seen one of the Indian men follow a White man into the toilet.” A policeman also ws quoted as saying  that ‘racist insults had been hurled back and forth from both groups but that the evidence was that one of the Indians had started the entire incident when he’d made insulting remarks about the White man’s penis-size”. http://www.int.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=13&art_id=vn20080912061840115C538645

Charged originally were Police Inspector Brian Steven, 39, of Point police station; Police Inspector Leon Steven, 33, of Mayville police station;  local residents Naeem Sadick, 22; Nithanandan Ganess, 37, and Julian Naidoo, 33; the news media wrote at the time. The Steven relatives constantly claimed in interviews with the news media that the men had been’ justified’ in killing the unarmed Afrikaners ‘because of racist taunts’. http://www.capeargus.co.za/index.php?fArticleId=4611524

  • South African media.. the ‘penis-trial…’
  • The South African news media have always degraded the true extent of this racist massacre by describing it jokingly as ‘the penis-trial’ .After a mutual punch-up the Asians had left abruptly – as it turned out they had gone home to fetch their SAPS-guns from home. The five whites meanwhile returned to their table to continue watching the football game, believing the row was over. However the Steven brothers returned after fetching their SAPS-weapons, and mowed down five unarmed whites at the restaurant. 

Judge Guido Penzhorn of the Durban High Court sentenced ex-cops Brian Steven to 115 years for four counts of murder and one count of attempted murder while his brother Leon Steven was sentenced to 90 years in jail for four counts of murder and one of attempted murder. Three other men were also arrested after the massacre by a special police task-force.

“Acted in self-defence against racist whites”.

Throughout the trial, the family and friends of the accused men had organised demonstrations outside the court-room, claiming that the Asian cops had ‘acted in self-defence against racist whites.’ 

The Durban High Court also heard on Tuesday by defence counsel Jay Naidoo that ‘both accused (brothers) were practising Christians… there were no direct intentions to take the life of the deceased… there is little to suggest that they should be permanently removed from society.They have served the community as police officers.” In arguing for a lesser sentence, Naidoo submitted that Brian Stevens, diagnosed with a heart-condition, was a 41-year-old man with three children, aged 12, 16 and 17, who were all attending school; his wife is a nurse at Entabeni Hospital. He was a policeman for 21 years, leaving the force as an inspector.”  His present job was as a clerk at a logistics company and he was ‘a first-time offender.”Leon was married with two children, aged eight and nine and works at the Ocean Echo as a clerk. Prior to his arrest he was a policeman for 16 years as a sergeant.” He said Leon had been based at Durban Central police station and Brian at Mayville police station.Naidoo said the brothers had very strong family ties, “judging by the number of family members who had filled the courtroom to support the brothers.” He told the court that “evidence suggested that the crime was caused by racial slurs, excessive consumption of alcohol and a fight between Brian and one of the patrons, Thomas Vivian.”

The defence claimed: “There was no direct intention to take the lives of the deceased. Shots were fired “with no intention to shoot at the deceased. Having been dismissed at work is enough punishment. The accused lost their pension fund, their lives will never be the same again.” He said there was little to suggest that the brothers should be permanently removed from society.They served the community for 16 years and 21 years.” http://www.themercury.co.za/?fSectionId=&fArticleId=1.682307&fFeed=region_46

“ Why did the armed brothers force their way into the pub?

However, the prosecution (successfully) argued otherwise, reported the Natal Mercury. “Prosecutor Gary Williams said the murders were premeditated: ‘The racial slurs were over and the patrons saw that there was a firearm… these patrons went in and tried to close the door from the accused,” said Williams. “Why did the brothers want to go into the pub, why were they armed? Why did they force their way into the pub?”

He told the court that the intention was to enter and fire shots at the patrons. It did not matter who was shot. “When they entered the pub they entered with the intention to kill. This was premeditated. Premeditated does not mean hours or days, it can be at the same time.”

  • Williams said four lives were lost and four families suffered. He said the brothers could have informed the patrons that they were police officers and possiblyhave even closed the pub.

Instead, the brothers chose to take the law into their own hands and had shown no remorse.He said there was no evidence to suggest that they had drunk a lot of alcohol that could have impaired their judgement. “Any sentence less than life is inappropriate, society demands that these accused be removed from society as long as possible.” Leon and Brian, wearing the same clothing as they did for Monday’s court appearance, looked tired. The judge had ruled on Monday that they should remain in custody and they had spent the night in a holding cellOn Tuesday, they were taken away to start serving their life-long sentences. http://www.themercury.co.za/?fSectionId=&fArticleId=1.682307&fFeed=region_46

About Adriana Stuijt
Retired South African-Dutch journalist formerly Sunday Times Johannesburg

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