Why was Dutch charity-worker Reita van Vulik murdered?
11 March 2012 4 Comments
Mrs Reita van Vulik (or Vuijk?) was a 66-year-old Dutch woman who in 2005, formed a local citizen-committee to run a child-centre in SA pres. Jacob Zuma ’s home district in KZN. This region has the highest HIV-infection rate in SA and featured in the BBC documentary Children of Nkandla.
This past week, the Dutch volunteer-worker was kidnapped and murdered. Three Zulu men from Ubombo, northern KZN, were arrested and scheduled to appear in Ubombo court Monday for a remand date. link Her name is spelled differently in the various media either Van Vulik or Van Vuijk.
SAPS spokesman colonel Jay Naicker told the Sunday Tribune newspaper in SA that the 66-year-old Dutch woman was missing since Monday after her Toyoto Hilux was found crashed upside down near Hluhluwe. They launched an investigation on Wednesday against a 23-year-old man who was identified by an acquaintance as having driven the woman’s bakkie when it overturned. He was arrested in Ubombo in northern Zululand (map above) – and pointed the police to the site where Mrs Van Vulik’s body had been dumped near a ridge in Ubombo. Three male suspects will appear Monday March 12 2012 in the Ubombo magistrate’s court charged with theft, kidnapping and murder.
‘ She worked with our department to start a child- and youth-centre in Nkangala (Nkandla) and was on the verge of getting funding – heartbreaking she was murdered in the community where she tried to help people ’
The local provincial ANC-MEC for social development Weziwe Thusi ( +27 033 341 9600) condemned the murder of the Dutch woman ‘in the strongest terms’.
She had been doing community upliftment work in Nkangala since 2005. She was apparently on the verge of receiving government assistance in building the child-centre when she was killed.
Said social-development dept spokeswoman Ncumisa Fandesi: “She was someone who had gone to that community and identified a need and wanted to assist the children and the youth of that community.”
Ms Fandesi said that the Dutch aid-worker’s death was a tragic loss for the Nkangala community. “We first became aware of her in 2005. She was working alone at the time assisting the community with various projects. But her goal was to open the child- and youth care centre,” she said. Fandesi said that Reita had been running a makeshift centre for some time together with a committee of community members.
“Her efforts started out very impromptu. She didn’t have an organisation as such but she formed a committee with community members in that area. We had been working with her to help her start the centre because there are some rules and regulations when it comes to things like that. She had not reached the stage where she was being funded yet, but she was working towards that. There were some matters that needed attention.”
Nkandla is a town in the uThungulu district of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It is the seat of the Nkandla Local Municipality and the hometown of SA president Jacob Zuma. The Nkandla region encompasses nearly 160,000 inhabitants, spread relatively sparsely over a large area with a very high average annual rainfall. Poverty is prevalent, with over 90% unemployment. It has the highest rate of HIV infections with statistics stating 1 in 4, but it is closer to 1 in 3. There are also many orphans due to the AIDS epidemic killing many middle-aged parents.
A documentary “Orphans of Nkandla” by the BBC and Truevision (Deborah@truevisiontv.com) recounted the hardships of orphans in the municipality and the sisters of the Catholic order who helped them.
sources, contacts and links:
Sunday Tribune :
NKANDLA POLICE: (Phone: 035-8330053 Fax: 035-8330062)
MEC: Mrs Weziwe Thusi, Head of Department:
Address: 208 Hassen Haffejee, Pietermarit zburg, 3201
Address: Private Bag X 9144, Pietermartizburg.
Tel: +27 033 341 9600
Whites not safe anywhere