Farm wife murdered, Pretoria court burns down

 2010-10-26 Anna-Marie Rohrs, farm wife Escourt KZN, murdered

Oct 26 2010 – “The Democratic Alliance party is deeply saddened by the senseless murder yesterday of Anna-Marie Rohrs, the wife of an Estcourt KZN farmer. This is yet again another murder of a farmer’s wife in the KZN Midlands,” said MP Alf Lees in a statement.

  • The DA extends its heartfelt condolences to Alex Rohrs and his family. The Estcourt teacher was murdered in cold blood and police are searching for two black suspects.

This is a family which has done so much for the people of all races in the area and in particular for the people who work on the farm.This murder follows soon after the brutal farm murders of Hilda Linyene, Zakwe Mlongwe and Loraine Karg.

Rural safety remains a problem of immense magnitude which the ANC simply does not take seriously enough. The disbanding of the Farm Commandos has left rural people vulnerable to the brutal and vicious attacks such as the attack on Mrs Rohrs that has left her dead and her family bereft.

ANC-regime spends millions on fancy offices and luxury house for SAPS commissioner…

Whilst the SAPS spends millions of rands on fancy offices and a house for Police Commissioner Bheki Cele, the SAPS remains with far too few police members and other resources to protect innocent South Africans from the violent and other crime that is rampant in South Africa. Whilst the SAPS are to be congratulated for apprehending a suspect, this is little comfort for the Rohrs family who have lost their beloved wife and mother.

The DA calls upon the Minister of police as well as the KZN MEC for Safety and Security to take their responsibility for the safety of all South Africans — in particular the extremely vulnerable rural people seriously. They must make the presence of members of the SAPS in rural areas visible and extensive. Having police members sitting in distant police stations without access to motor vehicles will not save other rural people from attack, rape and murder. Statement issued by Alf Lees, MP, Democratic Alliance member of the NCOP, October 27 2010 http://www.politicsweb.co.za/politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page72308?oid=207724&sn=Marketingweb+detail&pid=90389

————————-Pretoria Magistrate Court historic building burns Oct 27 2010 Pic Anneke Lombard

News24 User Anneke Lombard sent this photo to News24 via her Blackberry.

Historic Pretoria Magistrate’s Court burns down

2010-10-27 Pretoria – A blaze that ripped through the third floor of the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court brought trials in the civil litigation courts to a grinding halt as officials announced on Wednesday evening that court operations would be suspended. Staff was evacuated after the fire broke out shortly before 14:00 and one firefighter was treated at hospital for heat-exhaustion. First-appearance criminal matters now would be temporarily handled at the Pretoria Central police station, criminal cases were temporarily disposed and all family-courts were diverted to the Visagie Street court building.

The Boer-Republican-era building — on the north-east corner of Koch and Pretorius Streets —  was erected in May 1889 by the Transvaal Boer Republic – the same month when President Paul Kruger laid the foundation stone for the nearby new “Raadsaal’, the Republic’s parliamentary building. The buildings were both designed by government architect S. Wierda and built by J.J. Kirkness.

Firefighters battled for several hours to contain the blaze as much of the historic building’s roofing structure was tin and timber, which kept on reigniting. By nightfall there was still visible smoke, but no flames. The roof had collapsed.

Pretoria fire department spokesman Johan Pieterse said one firefighter was taken to hospital where he was treated for heat exhaustion and discharged. No-one else was injured.

“It started at the offices. Everyone was evacuated and no one was injured,” said Pieterse from the scene. By 17:00 the entire top floor of the building was gutted. Large clouds of smoke ballooned over the city, while firefighters wearing gas masks battled the blaze from platforms raised above the court building. The cause of the fire was not known. The nearby new magistrate’s court building was unaffected by the fire.

Pretorius Street and Schubart streets, flanking the court, were closed as around nine fire engines were at the scene. A number of ambulances were also on standby. The large blaze attracted a huge crowd, who stood behind a police tape barrier and watched as firefighters attempted to prevent the blaze from reaching the bottom floors of the building. News24 User Anneke Lombard sent this photo to News24 via her Blackberry.

Tlali said most of the damage occurred in that part of the court building where the civil litigation court roll for trials. Officials and marshals would be on hand “to assist and direct members of the public and transport would be made available for people whose cases may have been referred to other courts around the city, including those that could be referred to the Atteridgeville court,”he said.  Justice and Constitutional Development Minister Jeff Radebe said: “We urge our law enforcement agencies to work around the clock in order to get to the bottom of the cause of this fire. Should any foul play be detected, those responsible for this must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.” http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/Blaze-closes-Pretoria-Magistrates-Court-20101027

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

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