Why was Dutch charity-worker Reita van Vulik murdered?

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.

VAN VUIJK MRS REITA DUTCH AID WORKER MAP MURDER SITE MARCH 8 2012 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.

http://youtu.be/jOS_NdW8AQk

 http://truevisiontv.com/orphans/

 sources, contacts and links:

Sunday Tribune :

http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/dutch-charity-worker-found-dead-1.1253538

http://www.ghanamma.com/2012/03/murdered-kzn-woman-worked-in-community/

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
Website: http://www.socdev.gov.za

http://kzntopbusiness.co.za/site/social-development

Dutch woman 66 kidnapped killed in South Africa  March 3 2012

http://www.telegraaf.nl/binnenland/11688140/__NL_se_gedood_in_Zuid-Afrika__.html

http://www.ghanamma.com/2012/03/murdered-kzn-woman-worked-in-community/

 

                                                    Whites not safe anywhere

WHITES NOT SAFE ANYWHERE IN AMANZIMTOTI http://www.looklocal.co.za/looklocal/content/en/amanzimtoti/amanzimtoti-your-voices?oid-5089504&sn-Detail&pid-4197417&Whites-aren%E2%80%99t-safe—anywhere-anymore

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

4 Responses to Why was Dutch charity-worker Reita van Vulik murdered?

  1. The SA authorities provided completely the wrong information on this murdered woman. Well-informed sources in The Netherlands point out that her name was Mrs Riet Vuyk, a protestant widow who started the Mangwazane mission at Ubombo 3970 TELEPHONE Tel: 0027-355958085 with the proceeds from her late husband’s foundation, the Jan Vuyk Huis: http://www.janvuykhuis.nl/ . The sources also say that Mrs Vuyk had been having a few problems with the people she’d appointed to run the mission in her absence and was trying to get the matters resolved when she was kidnapped and murdered. We apologise for the incorrect information above but hope that readers understand that the information above was provided by the South African authorities.

  2. Lisa says:

    And it wasn’t that she was on the verge of obtaining the permit for the cluster home and government assistance. She was denied of it in spite of her years of effort trying to help these people. However, she continued by using the fund from the community in Holland until the children were removed out of the cluster and for what purpose? To avoid a helpless, charitable woman to get government assistance for the kids welfare. Ruthless and brutal community.
    She was killed by the very people she helped. Where in the world can you find such people that after years of devotion by someone who came all the way from the comforts of her own home, decided to help people without expecting anything in return?

  3. musa says:

    This is so saddening.
    I had watched this angle help aids orphans on TV some tym back. Its really heart breaking, society has lost values.
    Tym 2 have the death penalty back..

    • Thank you so much for your comment. It is heartening to know that so many people loved this woman. That’s why it’s so difficult for the Dutch to understand why she was murdered.

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