Land invasion: platinum-rich Cradle of Humankind region
April 19 2010 - In a region wracked over the past decade by a pattern of organised, violent farm attacksand targetted by an aggressive land-claim programme by the ANC regime because of large platinum deposits -- an organised group of land-claimants has started staking out squatter-sites on 67 hectares of dolomitic land, only 3km from the world-famous Sterkfontein caves…
April 19 2010 MULDERSDRIFT – Cradle of Humankind, Sterkfontein, Muldersdrift, West Rand. Yesterday hundreds of people started staking out squatter-sites on a dolomitic site near the Sterkfontein caves at the Cradle of Humankind world heritage site -- which hit the world-headlines last week when the discovery two years earlier by Matthew Berger, the ten-year-old son of a local archeologist, was announced to be a new hominid species , reports André Damons of Afrikaans daily Beeld. (the picture on the left of Matthew Berger and his new hominid discovery appeared in the Sunday Times of Johannesburg April 15 2010)
The World Heritage Site was first named by Unesco in 1999. Located 50 kilometres northwest of Johannesburg, South Africa in the Gauteng province, the entire complex occupies 183 square miles -- but the ANC-regime has announced expansion plans and also launched an aggressive land claim programme because it has become such a huge money-spinning tourist attraction – but even more important, large deposits of platinum have also been found in the historically-vulnerable region. Also read: Russian mining interests and ANC-links revealed
Yesterday, people reportedly driven in from ‘as far away as Midrand’ according to local residents and/or ‘only local farm workers’ according to one of the new squatters, arrived in an organised group early on Sunday morning to measure out tiny plots on 67 hectares of dolomitic land about 3km from the world-famous Sterkfontein caves in Kromdraai on the West Rand. The site is undeveloped farm land without any sewerage or water-reticulation facilities nearby. Dolomitic land is legally unsuitable for human settlement throughout South Africa because of its inability to percolate sewerage and water drainage into the ground below – uncontrolled human settlements on dolomite are shown to cause a very rapid health hazard and is one of the main reasons why the region around the caves has also remained relatively untouched wild-life habitats where many tens of thousands of tourists flock from all over the world each year.
Although this is the first report of an attempted land-takeover so close to the caves, there have been many violent, armed attacks against white tourist resort owners and local farmers who contributed greatly to developing the entire historic region into a hugely popular tourist attraction.
Following are jsust some examples of the violence gripping the area: It’s a long summary, a long read. For which I apologise.
Dairy farmer Loffie van der Gryp, murdered execution style, Tarlton smallholdings, Sterkfontein Dairies - Oct 28 2008 - twelve-member male gang:
Picture right: Dec 29 2008 KRUGERSDORP -- Beeld journalist Amanda Roestoff reported on 29 29 2008 from the Krugersdorp magistrate’s court that two black men appeared in the Krugersdorp magistrate's court, arrested for the murder of local dairy farmer Loffie van der Gryp of Tarlton agricultural holdings in the Sterkfontein, Cradle of Mankind region. Dumisane Ncebesha (20) of Tarlton, and Karlito Makambu (26) of Mozambique were charged with murdering Van der Gryp, 48, manager of the large Sterkfontein dairies on October 28 2008 in his office. They were not asked to plead. The present state of the trial is not known.
Picture left: the Van der Grijp family, attacked by a large gang at the Sterkfontein Farm Dairy on Oct 28 2008, ltr Roedolf, murdered dad Loffie, wife Linda, daughter Leandre and son Bennett. This is not listed in the SAPS crime statistics as a farm attack but as a business robbery.
The dairy which supplied the entire region with milk products from its own Fresian herd, was located right next to the Greensleeves restaurant along the R563-route to Hekpoort and Meropeng. Nothing was stolen during the attack. A gang of twelve black men had ambushed the farmer while he was walking to the dairy farm’s office from his nearby rental home at night, tied him up, tortured him, bashing him over the head with large stones which left him disabled and bleeding on the ground. They then split into groups, some attacking Van der Gryp's wife Linda, 46, sons Bennett (23), Roelof (21) and daughter Leandré (17), holding them at gunpoint inside their rental homestead next to the dairy. They then also attacked a local pastor, Boer Booysen, 65, of the Van der Gryp family's AGS (Afrikaans evangelical) church - whose house they were renting and who suspected that something was wrong and had gone to investigate. The gang then engaged the pastor in a gun battle, shot Booysen in the leg and then deliberately shot dead Van der Gryp, who was lying tied up and bleeding from his head wounds. Makambu is a Mozambiquan citizen, Ncebesha was a farm worker on the Tarlton smallholdings. . http://www.news24.com/Beeld/Suid-Afrika/0,,3-975_2446910,00.html http://www.news24.com/Beeld/Suid-Afrika/0,,3-975_2418127,00.html
However probably the most notorious case internationally was the execution-style murder of German wildlife reserve owner Franz Richter, who developed the Phumangena uMuzi Zulu village at the Cradle of Humankind nature reserve and created hundreds of jobs in the process. He and an unnamed employee were shot to death execution-style in an ambush by a large armed gang.
Franz Richter murder: German wild-life reserve owner murdered at world-famous Heia Safari Ranch, Cradle of Mankind, Muldersdrift November 2007:
April 16 2009, JOHANNESBURG HIGH COURT. Daniëlla du Plooy and Liezl Temmingh of Beeld newspaper report on the murder trial of six suspects in the Johannesburg High Court. On trial are his former housekeeper - the Sowetan reported her as his ‘widow’, but this could not be independently confirmed - Mrs. Celfwe Mbokazi, Johnson Chwire, Dumisani Xulu, Gilbert Mosadi, Ronnie Khumalo and Vincent Dlamini. It is very unusual to have a woman co-charged for a farm murder, according to our own records. They have all denied guilt.The documents in court show that Richter, 80, was murdered while enroute to pay his workers at Phumangena uMuzi, a Zulu village in the Cradle of Humankind nature reserve, when he and an unnamed employee were shot to death in an ambush. Richter’s murder was a ‘summary execution’, the documents said. Two of the suspects allegedly used to work for Richter, including the housekeeper. Chwire, Xulu, Mosadi and Khumalo also face corruption charges for allegedly trying to bribe a police officer with R15,000 cash in exchange for destruction of the dossiers. Mrs. Gaby Burgmer, Richter ‘s daughter, who has taken over the management of the popular tourist resort, demonstrated with local residents of Muldersdrift outside the court against the bail application. Mrs Burgmer, who is a state witness, said she was ‘very unhappy that the trial has already been postponed twice on the request of the prosecution”. Richter came from Germany in 1970 and bought the virgin land site where he built the Heia Safari resort as his ‘Africa dream’, creating hundreds of jobs for local black residents. http://jv.news24.com/Beeld/Suid-Afrika/0,,3-975_2502688,00.html
German TV reports http://www.focus.de/focustv/focustv-spezial/12-07-08-21-50-uhr-auf-vox-am-kap-der-hoffnungen-suedafrika-zwischen-gewalt-und-wm-euphorie_aid_317207.html and http://www.focus.de/focustv/focustv-spezial/12-07-08-21-50-uhr-auf-vox-am-kap-der-hoffnungen-suedafrika-zwischen-gewalt-und-wm-euphorie_aid_317207.html
trial 6 suspects April 2009 court protests by daughter Gaby Burger: http://jv.news24.com/Beeld/Suid-Afrika/0,,3-975_2502688,00.html
Cradle of Mankind hotel/restaurant owner Clive Rautenbach killed July 16, 2007
Clive Rautenbach, the owner of the rural La Terrasse Restaurant and Hotel, (front entrance right) was murdered on July 16 2007 at his restaurant at the Cradle of Mankind, 50m from the Crocodile river. The case of the now convicted murderers/rapists was held in the Johannesburg High Court from 27 April 2009.
Jerry Jacob Sello Mereko, 36, Tlou Andries Malete, 30, Elvis Freka Mohlabe, 30, Thabo Wash Moloi, 21, and Prosper Shoge, 25, were found guilty of the murder and robbery of hotelier Rautenbach in his business on July 16 2007. Rautenbach was with his partner Nicolene Vanessa Da Costa when the armed robbers stormed into their living room. The accused shot and killed the unarmed Rautenbach before robbing the couple of their vehicle, travellers cheques, R11,000, cellphones, desktop computer and laptop, three television sets, shoes, jewellery, and a passport belonging to Mrs Da Costa.
One of the men also was also found guilty of raping one of the staff members in full view of her male colleagues who were held hostage in the same room with her. They were also found guilty of 10 other counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances; and possession of illegal firearms and ammunition. Star and http://censorbugbear-reports.blogspot.com/2009/04/suspect-confessed-to-killing-hotelier.html
Local rural residents have many reasons to be greatly concerned about the plans for another squatter camp in the vicinity: their local private security teams are already working at full steam, together with many volunteer-citizens who spend most of their off-work time on 24/7 patrols because they are being targetted in an ongoing wave of farm attacks by well-organised, heavily-armed black male gangs.
Amongst the many armed assaults against smallholders, holiday resorts, tourist attractions and farmers, a particularly brutal attack on the popular Lion Park in Muldersdrift did briefly hit the international headlines on July 7, 2008 when German immigrant, Kurt Dieter Huppe, 27, (left) of Benoni was shot dead execution-style in front of his girl friend and her small child (left) by a huge gang with AK47s which also attacked and terrorised several hundred visitors at the park’s crowded restaurant on Sunday-morning. http://www.news24.com/Beeld/Suid-Afrika/0,,3-975_2353602,00.html
Also murdered in the region: Belgian farmer Susan Mattias, November 2005 at her smallholding Lindley in Muldersdrift; Afrikaner-farming couple Elsie and Eugene Pienaar in February 2005; and a particularly atrocious attack was carried out targetting the entire Pretorius family of Muldersdrift, who told The Star journalist Jonathan Ancer of their ordeal on February 25 2005.
“I can’t stay any longer. I must go.” These were 36-year-old Coenie Pretorius’s dying words to his wife Petro as he lay in her arms. “It’s okay,” she responded. The tragedy that befell the Pretorius family wa every family’s worst nightmare. Coenie, Petro and their children – 12-year-old Coenie and eight-year-old Estleen – had just returned to their home in Muldersdrift after a church service. Coenie, who owned his own construction business, was the under-deacon at the Old Apostolic Church of Africa in Muldersdrift. And, just like every Wednesday evening, about 15 members of the church had gathered for a bread-breaking service to discuss the weekly Scriptures. After the service, the Pretorius family stopped off at a café to buy bread, milk and soft drinks before turning into their driveway. Unknown to them, armed robbers were already inside the home they shared with Coenie’s parents, Coenie Snr and Hannah, and his brother Jurie, 29, terrorising the rest of their family. An employee rushed out to warn them there was trouble, but the warning came too late. Coenie tried to reverse as a man in a balaclava emerged and fired two shots at the windscreen. Coenie tried to drive away. As the bakkie lurched forward, the gunman ran alongside, firing three more shots. Coenie, who was shot in the chest, lost control and smashed into a tree. Petro was shot in the abdomen – but he survived. They took Coenie Snr’s ties and shoelaces, bound the four hostages and began ransacking the house. “I heard five gunshots. I didn’t know what was happening. Then I heard a car race off and a big bang. I looked at my watch – it was 9.20. I decided to wait five more minutes to make sure it was safe to go out,” Jurie said. During this time, the children began screaming. Jurie rushed out and found his sister-in-law cradling his brother. “It was the worst. My big brother lying on the ground. I checked for vital signs but I couldn’t feel anything. We decided to rush him and Petro to hospital. The children were praying aloud.”“The paramedic examined Coenie and said: ‘Sorry, sir, there’s nothing to revive.’ The gunmen fled in Jurie’s car with Eugene still in the boot, later abandoning the car in Lanseria. Eugene bashed the boot with the car’s jack and wheel spanner to free himself. Police Superintendent Milica Bezuidenhout said that after an extensive search of the area, a suspect was arrested about midnight. A 9mm pistol was seized and jewellery was found in their possession. The seven suspects first appeared in Krugersdorp magistrate’s court on charges of armed robbery, murder, attempted murder and kidnapping. Petro survived. http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=15&art_id=vn20050225064938234C609461
In September 2004, local smallholders Martinus Langenhoven was also shot dead in Muldersdrift. On April 31 2001, smallholder Peter Dennis was killed at a farm near the Sterkfontein caves. List of names, sources, pictures: http://censorbugbear-reports.blogspot.com/2009/05/alphabetic-name-lists-of-murders-on.htmlhttp://www.100megspop2.com/crimebusters/FarmVictims.html
New squatter camp plans:
Damons reports on April 19 2010 in Beeld newspaper that the shack-building plans on the claimed site were suspended after a meeting between the new squatters and a local council member. Just before Beeld arrived at the scene, an ANC council member had apparently also met with the people. It’s not reported what was said. More meetings were scheduled for next Sunday.
Picture: A man loads up building material after stopping construction of a shack near the Sterkfontein caves. (Herman Verwey, Beeld)
“Land bought for development by West Rand municipality to house 42 families”
The land was bought about six years ago by the West Rand district municipality to build "decent houses" for 42 farm-worker families, a man from the Kromdraai Conservancy who was too scared to give his name, told Beeld on Sunday. Apparently the land used to belong to a farmer, and the plan was to develop it to house his workers. According to the man from the Kromdraai Conservancy, who didn't want to be identified, tests have shown that this land is not suitable for development due to the presence of dolomite."Early this morning (Sunday) there were 150 people here, measuring out plots of land. The residents are worried that the crime rate in the area could soar," he said.
Another man said they can't even develop their own land without applying to the municipality or doing an impact study. "We're all concerned. There isn't even a sewerage system here and what will the tourists think?" said another. Gerhard du Plooy, a resident, said the part of the land where the people want to build their shacks is the most sensitive part of the Cradle of Mankind. "The area is a world heritage site with clear environmental guidelines for formal and informal development. "The West Rand district municipality must ensure that these guidelines are adhered to," said Du Plooy. He told Damons that the "new residents" come from as far away as Midrand.
'What about our heritage?'
Simon Zulu, one of the new residents, said they are aware of the area's world heritage status. "Yes, we know, but what about our heritage? The farmers are still living here, so where are we supposed to live? "I just want a small piece of land where I can lay down my head, not the whole area," said Zulu.
He also said that most of the people who came to mark a piece
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