Aveline Botes dies in high-speed kidnap terror

Dead: Aveline Botes; her kidnapper, and a police-constable. Injured: w/o Olifant Mokoena

2011-05-12 HARRISMITH. Mrs Avelene Botes was kidnapped by five hard-core armed black criminals during their escape from the local magistrate’s court on May 11 2011;  she was taken on a wild ride  – and died in hospital after her Mercedes crashed at high speed into a shop wall in Bluegumbush. The crash also killed the criminal driving her car.  During the escape, a police-constable was shot dead execution style, warrant-officer Olifant Mokoena was seriously injured, and their handgun and two R2 high-powered assault carbines stolen.

BOTES AVELINE KIDNAPPING DEATH LARGE GANG MAP The drama started at 10:40am when five arrested suspects of an armed robbery escaped during a wild shootout at the magistrate’s court.The gang ‘s leg-irons had already been loosened inside the prison van as they arrived; they grabbed a constable’s service revolver and shot him dead. The gang then seriously injured warrant/officer Olifant Mokoena, got hold of two R5 military assault rifles, with which they spilled into the street, shooting indiscriminately while trying to find a get-away-car.
Mrs Aveline Botes was just driving past with her white Mercedes and they kidnapped her.  Bystanders and guards at the court exit fell flat, scattered and hid in a massive panic while the gang threatened them with the guns. Mrs Botes then was taken for a high-speed ride: but as they always seem to do, the gangster who drove the white Merc llost control, crashing it against a shop-wall in Bluegumbush near Phuthaditjhaba – where he died behind the wheel. The critically injured Mrs Botes was rushed to hospital where she died: the Volksblad newspaper claims she’d ‘probably died of a heart attack.’ Her nephew Petrie Jonker was in shock about his aunt’s death, Volksblad reported.

And one witness, businessman André Bester of Stuart Street, saw Mrs Botes’ kidnapping take place right in front of him, and it was also witnessed by colleagues. He feels very badly: “we wanted to help but those guys had guns pointed at us,’ he said. “We first saw the men running down the street. We saw their weapons when they turned towards us. They tested the car-doors of parked vehicles. When auntie Avelene came around the corner with her car, they stopped her at once, shoved her into the passenger’s seat and chased off. She tried to climb out but they dragged her back inside.’

Another female witness confirmed this, and irrelevantly mentioned that Mrs Botes was wearing ‘something white’, then adding: “at one stage the door was open, they grabbed her back. It was terrible.’
An unnamed police officer said that the six robbery-suspects were brought to the court in a police van: they were due in court on charges of attempting to escape before. The suspects’ ankle-chains were already lose when the van was opened. “they immediately grabbed the constable’s pistol and shot him in the head’, the unnamed policeman told Volksblad. Warrant-officer Moekoena rushed in to help: but was shot eight times. One suspect immediately  handed himself over during the escape of the other men; but the other five had run off with the pistol and two R5s.’
Security guards at the court-entrance said they had to fall flat because the escapees were shooting about themselves wildly, indiscriminately. “They just ran from the entrance and fired into the street, pa-pa-pa. We were scared. We though they were going to shoot us all’. A long blood-trail at the court house was silent testimony to the drama while Volksblad was at the scene and the wounded police officer was running around frantically searching for help. He was rushed to hospital.
Meanwhile the four surviving suspects are back in a police cell.
– Volksblad http://www.volksblad.com/Suid-Afrika/Nuus/Gyselaar-sterf-in-bloedige-drama-op-Harrismith-20110512

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

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