Lowveld engulfed in violent crime
5 August 2011 Leave a comment
Summary: On Aug 5, a tourist was shot dead checking in at the Winkler hotel reception in Witrivier; a Nelspruit family was attacked by an AK47-gang; two Afrikaners were shot at near Hermansburg. On Aug 4 a total of five farm-attacks took place – details are still being awaited. Meanwhile, farmer Casper Labuschagne, 66, was brutally assaulted on his Mara farm; a black cop was arrested for armed robbery and the gunshot-injury of security guard Kobus Brits, 60; seven Islamic foreigners have been murdered and 40 injured in a wave of xenophobic violence targetting Indian and Pakistani citizens over the past 3 months; there was a huge cocaine haul at Mozambique border; South Africans lose retirement homes and tourists pull out of Mozambique after land-confiscation by regime.
Farmer Casper Labuschagne, 66, beaten black and blue: dog Seuntjie choked to death
22 July 2011 MARA. Farmer Casper Labuschagne, 66, was brutally beaten and his labrador dog Seuntjie choked to death by a large black armed-attack gang on Wednesday. Mr Labuschagne lives alone on the farm. He had gone to Karino to buy bread and milk and returned to his homestead at 7pm. He was ambushed on his stoep. The attackers brandished pick-axe handles and rusty pipes. The gang had gained access to the homestead through a tiny living room window. They beat up the old farmer, tied him up, took his keys, opened the registered gun-safe and took about R10,000 in cash and his shotgun. The investigating officer is Lt Col Robust Hlatshwayo at 082-464-5721.
He was then dragged into the kitchen where he endured more assaults until he passed out. They took his cellphone and fled in his white Honda Ballade vehicle registration CGN 327 MP leaving the unconscious farmer behind. Another dog, fox-terrier Bakkies guarded Mr Labuschagne and apparently barked so much that he woke up. He cut himself loose with his hunting knife and drove to neighbours who alerted police. Mr Labuschagne usually did not have that much cash at him but he had just sold some cattle to a local abattoir the Saturday before. “He has always been very good for his workers. He is defenceless. We don’t know who was responsible for the attack, said Ms Winterbach. Labuschagne cannot recall the number of attackers nor would he recognise their faces. “He can remember that they repeatedly kicked him and stepped on him,’ said his sister. The investigating officer is Lt Col Robust Hlatshwayo at 082-464-5721.
Hazyview constable Descend Ntimane charged with shooting, injuring Kobus Brits, 60, security guard
5 August 2011 – NELSPRUIT – Several policemen appeared in court for crimes varying from attempted murder to corruption and one of them is suspected of having shot a 60-year-old security guard in Hazyview. Arrested for corruption were constables Reuben Mkhonto, 30 and Oral Nkobeni, 33 of the Komatipoort vehicle-theft unit. Also arrested and charged with the attempted murder of Mr Kobus Brits, 60, was constable Descend Ntimane of Hazyview, who allegedly was part of a gang which carried out an armed robbery last Friday at Hazyview Hypermeat.
Brits: “I locked the gate at about 18:15 and walked to a vehicle. I had just got into it when the door was pulled open,” he recalled. He counted five black men, one of them demanding cash. One man was threatening Brits with a firearm and he attempted to push him away. The black man then shot Brits – at which point the men fled. Brits said it took the summonsed police an hour to arrive.He was taken to Matikwane Hospital for treatment of a flesh-wound and discharged shortly afterwards.Lt Col Leonard Hlathi, police spokesman, said that, following their investigation, Const Descend Ntimane was arrested on Monday.He appeared in White River Magistrate’s Court on charges of attempted murder and armed robbery. His accomplices have not yet been apprehended.
Hazyview constable Descend Ntimane charged with shooting, injuring Kobus Brits, 60, security guard
5 August 2011 – NELSPRUIT – Several policemen appeared in court for crimes varying from attempted murder to corruption and one of them is suspected of having shot a 60-year-old security guard in Hazyview. Arrested for corruption were constables Reuben Mkhonto, 30 and Oral Nkobeni, 33 of the Komatipoort vehicle-theft unit. Also arrested and charged with the attempted murder of Mr Kobus Brits, 60, was constable Descend Ntimane of Hazyview, who allegedly was part of a gang which carried out an armed robbery last Friday at Hazyview Hypermeat. http://www.looklocal.co.za/looklocal/content/en/lowveld/lowveld-news-crime?oid=4558114&sn=Detail&pid=490171&Cop-charged-with-murder The case was postponed until September 1.
“We are being murdered one by one”: Islamic foreigners in attack wave: Bushbuckridge
3 August 2011 Journalist Christopher de Wet BUSHBUCKRIDGE – The serious increase in armed attacks against Islamic foreigners Bushbuckridge spurred foreign business owners and community members to go on a regional strike on Thursday.It is not certain how many of the foreign business owners and victims of attacks were legally in South Africa.
Seven murders of foreigners from Pakistan, India: 250 robbery-cases, 40 attempted murders of Islamic foreigners in Lowveld over past 3 months: According to a local business owner, Mr Mohammed Alam, in the past three months there had been no less than seven xenophobic murders, 250 cases of robbery and 40 cases of attempted murder in the Bushbuckridge, Acornhoek, Mohala and Hazyview region alone.”The aim of the strike is to bring the local authorities’ attention to the high incidence of xenophobic attacks in the past three months,” said Alam.
Anzar Mirza murdered on July 11 – The latest victim in the region was Mr Anzar Mirza, who was shot and killed on July 11 in a hijacking. On Friday the owner of Sana Discount World, Mr Younis Mohammed, managed to shoot and kill one suspect and wound another when six men stormed his shop and held him at gunpoint. He added that four of them managed to flee in his VW Kombi. The attacks are focused on foreign-owned businesses and community members with the victims are all either from other African countries or Pakistan and India. “We have given the council notice of our planned strike and we have consulted with our ambassador regarding the problem.We are being murdered and harassed and the police have not made a single arrest in any of the reported cases,” said Alam.
He said that community members in the region would close their shops and march from police station to police station on Thursday until they ended up at the provincial legislature building in Riverside to speak to the MEC for safety, security and liaison, Mr Vusi Shongwe.
“The police say they are trying their level best, but since the new section commander has taken over in Bushbuckridge, the attacks on foreigners have only become worse.”We are being murdered one by one,” said Alam.
Cocaine recovered at Lebombo border
About 1,2kg of cocaine was concealed on a woman’s body travelling by taxi from Mozambique.
28 July 2011 KOMATIPOORT – Police recovered about 1,2kg of cocaine at the Lebombo border to the value of R3,5 million. It was concealed on a woman’s body travelling by taxi from Mozambique on Tuesday night. A Lebombo SAPS tracing team received information of possible drug smuggling to occur during the night of July 25, on the N4. Police stopped a taxi at the weigh bridge just outside Komatipoort and searched the passengers. A woman was arrested and the case is being investigated by the organised crime unit of the SAPS. Currently, cocaine sells at R287 per gram which brings this bust to R3,5 million.
SA tourists pull out of Mozambique
The Mozambican government seizure of a private land development, La Perla in Bilene is spelling doom for the local tourism industry.
5 August 2011 NELSPRUIT – Journalist Christine Rossouw writes that reports are streaming in of white South African holidaygoers cancelling their reservations at a number of resorts along the coast, have been streaming in, since it was reported that up to 4,000 holiday homes in 600 resorts in Mozambique could be at risk of having their land repossessed by the government.
Mrs Adri and Mr Ivan van Wyk, who were among the 15 homeowners who had their La Perla retirement properties confiscated on July 15 are seeking assistance from the South African High Commission in Maputo to get their retirement home back.
Authorities are seizing resorts and private land sites, claiming they are “authorised under Article 18 of the land law which states that if owners don’t comply with it, the land reverts back to the state.”In terms of the Mozambican Land Act of 1997, land cannot be bought or sold in Mozambique, as all land is classified as public domain. Rogerio Gomes, president of the tourist association and vice-president of the business council in Gaza has invited South Africans concerned about land-confiscations to contact him directly on +258-823-969-890.
South Africans lost their retirement homes: South Africans who had their houses in La Perla, Bilene violently ripped away from them on July 15 meanwhile find themselves with their hands tied and without rights. Mr Gomes said In the case of La Perla, developer Mr Braam Bruwer had been granted the right to use the land on which La Perla was to be developed for general tourism purposes only. In 2005, the state became aware that Bruwer was subdividing the land and selling it off to South African investors. Gaza provincial governor Mr Djalma Lourenco, subsequently revoked the concession. But Bruwer continued building the houses he had sold to South African investors until the state eventually terminated his right to the land and reposessed it, along with all the houses that had been developed thereon. Gomes said those South Africans who believed they owned property in La Perla were misled by an unscrupulous developer. “They are recognised by Mozambican legislation.The government had an agreement with Bruwer and it was against Bruwer that the action was taken,” Gomes said. Under the Mozambican legislation of 2007 it is in fact possible for South Africans to purchase homes within resorts, provided the developer has applied for timeshare rights. In which case rights for the portion of land that the South African investor will occupy is tranferred over to them.But once a property is repossessed upon termination of the land rights, it belongs to the state, and those South Africans who purchased homes in La Perla for millions have been left with nothing. “They (the investors) have done business with the developer and not the state, and as such don’t have any rights and are not recognised by legislation law,” said Gomes. According to him, La Perla was not the first property to be seized by Mozambican authorities and it will also not be the last. There are reportedly up to 4 000 holiday homes in 600 resorts along the coast of Mozambique that could be in jeopardy. Mrs Adri and Mr Ivan van Wyk, who were among the 15 homeowners who had their La Perla retirement properties confiscated on July 15 are seeking assistance from the South African High Commission in Maputo to get their retirement home back.