One week ago, a friend of mine and his wife were brutally murdered on their farm just outside Magaliesburg. Richard Theron and Estelle Van Dyk were my clients and friends, and during a forensic analysis which I undertook on their computers after the murders, I found numerous documents in which they pleaded with the SA Police, the Police commissioner and even the DA, for help against the numerous death threats.
The documents below are reposted verbatim and unedited, and show how, apart from death threats made by the squatters on their property, they were even threatened by the local ANC (Mogale City) councillor, one insiduous person known as Peace Mabe that "your attitude will result in a farm murder".
I am in possession of their computers, as well as the original documents, and if anyone wishes to see these documents to establish the veracity thereof, you are welcome to contact me on . I can also forward copies of the (electronic - MS Word format) documents in their original state.
Regards, Bert Oosthuizen
On Saturday 05 June 2004, two innocent people were murdered in a racist attack on their farm just outside of Johannesburg. As with most of these politically motivated hate crimes, nothing was stolen.
The following are a selection of 8 out of many letters written by the murdered couple, Richard Theron and Estelle Van Dyk which the writer (an IT specialist) obtained from their computers during a forensic analysis.
Richard and Estelle received numerous death threats and were harassed, terrorized and intimidated by the squatters on their farm Koesterfontein in the Magaliesburg district. They begged and pleaded with inter alia the SA Police (Magaliesburg as well as the national Police Commissioner) a number of political parties and other institutions for help and protection.
What makes this case noteworthy is not only that their cries for help went unanswered, but that an ANC town councillor (Ms Peace Mabe in charge of the Mogale Housing portfolio) exacerbated the situation by intervening, unlawfully providing government resources to perpetuate a number of crimes against the now murdered couple.
Furthermore, it is the opinion of this writer that Ms Peace Mabe made herself guilty of criminal incitement to murder, by stating to the late Ms Estelle Van Dyk while in the company of the unlawful occupiers of Van Dyk & Theron's farm that quote ""this will be the cause of another farm murder". unquote.
Clr Peace Mabe went on to state that "the whites' attitude was the cause of farm murders". Ms Van Dyk noted this in a letter addressed to DA Clr Helena Hattingh and others, and wrote "I take this as a threat against my life". (see document 6 below)
The letters were addressed to the Magaliesburg Police, the Police Commissioner, the Democratic Alliance and numerous other parties. Each letter was written either by Richard Theron, or Estelle Van Dyk, or jointly.
I repost them here (VERBATIM, UNEDITED AND EXACTLY AS WRITTEN by the murder victims - All cited (electronic) documents are available for inspection by interested parties. Note that these documents have also been forwarded to the West Rand SA Police Services. At the time of writing, (Friday 11 June 2004) no suspects have been apprehended and: the writer has yet to be contacted by any member of the SA Police Services investigating this double murder.
Please Sir, these people feared for their lives and begged for help, and none was forthcoming. Now their mutilated corpses are lying in Krugersdorp mortuary. I implore you to wield whatever power you may have, to ensure that the murderers are brought to book, and to investigate the lawfulness of CLr Peace Mabe's actions and statements.
Although it is too late to save my dear friends Richard & Estelle's lives, it is not too late to intervene - perhaps with your intervention, some other lives can be saved and this untenable situation of what is aptly termed by Prof Greg Stanton (Chairman: Genocide Watch - affiliated to Amnesty International) as a certain genocidal campaign against South African farmers, be slowed or halted.
You are good men - please do not allow evil to continue to exist.
Farm Couple killed
Slain Couple tell of "threats"
As ons so hoor van die plaasmoorde en barbaarsheid om ons, wonder ons wie is volgende, en hoe dit ons gaan raak.
Vandag is vir my en Neels 'n dag van rou. Neels se hegte vriend en kollega van byna dertig jaar, Richard Theron, en sy vrou Estelle Van Dyk is Saterdagmiddag laat vermoor op sy plaas net buite Magaliesberg.
Dit was verskriklik om die moord toneel met ons eie öe te aanskou het. Richard se kop is met 'n byl of pik oopgekloof, en is ook herhaaldelik met 'n mes gesteek. Hy moes gegil het ten tyde van die aanval, waarop Estelle die deure gesluit het en haar vuurwapen, 'n .22 pistool gaan haal het.
Die barbaarse kriminele het toe begin om die kombuisdeur oop te kap met 'n byl, waarop Estelle op hulle geskiet het deur die deur. Ongelukkig het sy nie raakgeskiet nie en een het om die huis gesluip en haar deur die venster in die sy gekiet. Sy is enkele minute later oorlede. Orals is daar koëelgate in die mure, vensters en deure.
Hulle lyke is Maandag oggend deur 'n bediende ontdek. Soos altyd die geval in hierdie plaasmoorde, is absoluut NIKS geneem nie. In die huis was selfone, kontant, TV's en radio's, en twee rekenaars (een wat ek nog self aan Richard verskaf het.) Richard se 4 x 4 voertuig het buite gestaan met die sleutels op die tafel,onaangeraak.
Julle sal onthou daar was'n bespreking op hierdie einste lys so jaar gelede, toe daar 'n klomp plakkers op Richard se plaas toegesak het. Hy het 'n vriendelike ooreenkoms met hulle bereik en meeste van hulle is toe weg, totdat 'n ANC raadslid tussenbeide getree het en die plakker geforseer het om terug te gaan plaas toe, en hulle selfs regeringsvoertuie laat kry het om hulle terug te trek na Richard se eiendom toe. Neels het betrokke geraak en die insident was voorbladnuus omdat staatsvoertuie gebruik is om 'n onwettige plaasbesetting uit te voer.
Daarna het dinge versleg, en beide Estelle en Richard het verskeie doodsdreigemente ontvang. Hierop het hulle die plaaslike Magaliesburg polisie, die kommissaris van polisie, die ministers van justisie en Polisie genader om hulp, omdat hulle met die dood gedreig is. Soos te verwagte was, was daar hoegenaamd geen belangstelling nie, en Estelle en Richard het hulle na die DA gewend om te smeek vir hulp. Skynbaar het daar 'n DA parlementlid of LV daar opgedaag en hulle aangeraai om sekuriteit te verbeter, maar kon niks verder doen nie. Dit was minder as ses maande gelede.
In hul huis vandag het ek deur Estelle se dagboek geblaai en talle patetiese notas gelees, almal in die laaste 3 maande, bv.
1) 3:10 NM: Hier loop alweer vreemdes op die plaas rond. Ek het vir Matshwana gese om pad te gee, maar hy se dis sy konstitusionele reg om hier te wees.
2) 6:30 NM : die swartes slaan al ure lank dromme en rumoer. Gelukkig het hulle nou opgehou.
3) 9: 45 NM : hier ry alweer onbekende voertuie op ons plaas rond
4) Elias loop alweer om die huis rond en gluur na my. Hy se ons kan hom nie 'evict' nie
En so aan en so aan.
Op die moord-toneel het die hoof van die plaaslike sekuriteitsfirma opgedaag en ons verwitting dat dit die vyfde aanval is soveel maande is, en dat ook hierdie naweek, 'n ander plaasmoord gebeur het in dieselfde distrik. Hy het bevestig dat in al hierdie gevalle, niks of bitter min geneem is. Die vorige aanval in die area (te Hekpoort) was teen die bejaarde dokter en sy vrou - hy is summier vermoor, en die ou tannie in haar sewentigs is toe vasgebind en vir ure lank met kookwater gemartel, voordat sy verwurg is.
Richard was 'n liewe, kalm en rustige men swat nie 'n vlieg skae sou aandoen nie - hy was 'n tipiese 'nerdy' rekenmeester. Estelle was 'n hoogs-intelligente maar sieklike vrou wat geleef het vir haar vyf katte, vyf honde en sewe perde.
Vanaand lê daar twee verminkte lyke in die Krugersdorp / Roodepoort lyskhuis
- onskuldige mense wat ten spyte van hulle krete
om hulp en beskerming van die staat, wreedaardig en barbaars om die lewe gebring is.
Wie is volgende mense? Wie van ons gaan 'n soortgelyke epos skryf in die nabye toekoms? Skaars twee maande gelede het Fred die hoeveelste vriend verloor wat vermoor is naby Vereeniging. Daar was in die laaste paar weke sedert die verkiesing, 'n opmerklike opswaai in die getal en intensiteit van plaas-aanvalle. En so gaan hierdie volksmoord net aan en aan.
"n Amerikaanse generaal het tydens die VSA-burger-oorlog gesê: " I would rather die standing up than living on my knees."
Hoe vêr nog voordat ons sê: genoeg is genoeg?!!!
Unlawful Occupants: Date: 05 November 2002
As the owner of the farm known as Greener Pastures, I am bound by the LAWS OF SOUTH AFRICA to not engage in criminal activities. I have called the police several times and pointed out the following:
1) There are many unlawful occupants who have committed criminal
acts; theft, malicious damage to property, possession of stolen goods, and daily criminal acts of trespass as well as several acts of assault.
2) As the owner of this farm I am therefore guilty of harbouring
criminals and being in possession of stolen goods.
The police maintain that these people are 'squatters'. They have taken over existing buildings - they are NOT SQUATTERS - they are unlawful occupants:-
Legal definition, page 4 (xi) "unlawful occupier" means a person who occupies land without the express or tacit consent of the owner or person in charge, or without any other right in law to occupy such land, etc..."
4) When the police (Inspector Schultz and another man) were here yesterday, they accused me of illegally evicting people who had been on this land for 16 (sixteen) years - no investigation - just accusations.
5) One (1) person has been on this property for 4 (four) years - the others moved in after the last owner left 18 (eighteen) months ago. Subsequently people moved off this land and others came onto this land WITHOUT ANY AUTHORITY OR PERMISSION WHATSOEVER (as stated above). When I moved onto this land on 1st February 2002, there were 3 (three) adults and 5 (five) children. Over the last few months the numbers have grown to over 30 at any one time. I have counted 11 (eleven) children under the age of 5
(five) years old. I do not have a license for a day care centre (criminal
act) and there are NO toilet/sanitation facilities or running water or even clean water. The law is very clear on these matters - the land owner IS RESPONSIBLE FOR EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS ON HIS/HER LAND. When do I get charged for any or all of the above???
6) Why do the Police ignore criminal activities of Unlawful Occupants?
7) One Unlawful Occupant actually has another house in the area and is seldom in occupation but allows her family to live here - who gave "express or tacit consent"? (as above). The answer is THE POLICE by failing to bring criminal charges against these Unlawful Occupants.
8) ANY OCCUPANT, whether by means of Unlawful Occupation or Squatting, does NOT have the right to walk anywhere they chose on any land. If they have any rights whatsoever to be on the property, the owner has the right to insist that these people use designated roads. They do not have the right to bring animals onto farm lands, they do not have the right to bring other people to live on the land.
9) The Constitution of South Africa IS THE SUPREME LAW and where any law is in conflict with the Constitution, the Constitution shall be deemed the law. I have a Constitutional right to a safe environment - these Unlawful Occupants do not constitute a "safe environment".
They have set their dogs on my staff and actually injured them.
They have thrown stones at us when we try to pass their illegal dwellings, on horseback. These are race horses that need to be exercised.
We bought the entire farm, including all the buildings. In spite of having no less than 5 houses, we have nowhere for our own staff. Manford, who was my gardener in Hekpoort, could not come here with me because there was no accommodation for him - he subsequently committed suicide because he had nowhere to live and no income to support himself.
I found a really excellent horseman, Sidney, who has left and taken another job which offered accommodation.
I have no maid in the house - no accommodation.
I have work for up to 10 people but I have no accommodation. The 2 young men working for me now, are also looking for jobs with accommodation. I will soon be left with NO staff whatsoever.
The Unlawful Occupants have threatened to kill me, my horses and my dogs. They also threatened to kill the one man working for me, Tshepo. His family took it upon themselves to go to the people who threatened him. The police were informed of these threats but, as usual, say they can do nothing until I am killed.
Does any of the above constitute a "safe environment"??
Now let's look at my 'harbouring criminals':
Samuel has already been in jail for theft - he has a criminal record. He has admitted to:
Removing and selling the borehole motor
Maliciously damaging the top borehole so that it can not be used again without incurring massive expense to the owners
Is this a "safe environment"?
Seun is clinically insane, his last insane episode is where he took a long knife in one hand and a metal rod in the other. He tried to stab and beat the women and children who ran screaming into the bushes to get away from him - the small children were utterly terrified and huddled together screaming. Seun then went to the next farm where he tried to stab one man, before the knife was removed from his hand. He regained the knife and came back to our farm, where he proceeded to run amok. I called the police, who arrived 2 (two hours) later.
Is this a "safe environment"?
Lettie maintains that our house which has been badly vandalised and all roofing removed to create shacks on our property for the Unlawful Occupants, was done by 'totsies', yet many items from our house are in her possession or in their area to create shacks. This was told to the police who, on more than one occasion, stated that it was NOT THEFT because the items were still on the property. The legal definition of theft is to deprive the rightful owner of the use thereof. What part of theft do the police not understand - why has no action been taken against this criminal who flaunts the furniture and other items right under our noses?
Is this a "safe environment"?
AM I HARBOURING CRIMINALS AND IN POSSESSION OF STOLEN GOODS??
The answer is obvious - yes, yes, yes - so when do I appear in front of a Magistrate, charged with the above criminal acts??
The police from Rustenburg raided our farm and took away about 10 (ten) illegal immigrants - I am responsible for EVERYTHING that happens on our farm - why was I not charged?
The police from Boons raided our farm and arrested two (2) men who, I understand, have been convicted of theft. I am responsible for EVERYTHING that happens on our farm - why was I not charged?
When does the law apply to everyone?
What criteria are used to determine when the police can and will enforce the law?
When does the law apply to everyone?
The Unlawful Occupants appear to be protected by the police under something called 'ESTIA' - the Supreme Law of South Africa known as the Constitution is apparently rubbish and nonsense to the police and the Mohale Council, especially one Peace Maba.
FROM: Richard Theron/Estelle van Dyk 18.11.02
Affidavits: death threats against me by Emily - witnessed by Maggy
Tshepo - witnessed by Tony, Maggy
race horses - witnessed by Tshepo, Maggy
security dogs - witnessed by Tshepo, Maggy
5) Refusal to clean up their litter:
Lettie, Emily and an unnamed daughter of Emily stated to Maggy that since it was not their property they would not clean up somebody else's property. (However, further on... they claim that they own this property!)
6) Refusal to give names and ID's
Maggy and M'dala have several times tried to make a list of names and ID's of people staying on our property. The unlawful occupants refuse to give their names or ID's because "the police told them not to give any information to anyone". When asked for the name/s of the police they refuse to give it and will not even say which police station the police came from. I spoke with Captain Banda of Magaliesburg Police State who denied any police involvement with these UO's.
When Maggy and M'dala tried to ascertain how long various persons had been living on the property, Emily said that she and her children were here "more than 25 years".
Tony Skenka (and his brother Andrew) who have been resident on the next door farm for the past 12 years have confirmed their original claim of 4 years.
Tshepo witnessed their dogs attacking our staff member Johannes (who is now deceased).
The van Dalen's bought this property in October 1998.
Living on the property was Seun, Lettie, Samuel and his wife, Emily. When the van Dalen's left in March 2001, Lettie had already moved away which left only three people on this property, namely Seun, Samuel and his wife.
When we took occupation on 1st February, 2002, we found the three abovementioned people in occupation, who stated that they were the only people occupying our land and that they had been there for a period of 4 (four) years.
Days later I noticed several young men and on the premises and when I went to ask who they were I found a woman who introduced herself as Lettie, in residence, who told me that the ANC had given her the house she was living in. I asked her about the young men and she said that they did NOT live there, they only slept there. I also found a woman with several small children who told me she was Lettie's daughter and that she lived there with her husband and children in the large tin shack on the property. I noticed that the large dwelling, formally used as a school house, was missing half the roofing and asked her where she got the material for her shack from. She pointed to the school house and told me that the van Dalen's had given the roofing to her (which the van Dalen's DENY).
These 3 women, Emily, Lettie and her daughter said that there were NO MEN living on the premises, that their husbands lived on the farms where they worked and only came here at weekends. They denied that there were other men, young or otherwise on the premises.
When I saw at least 10 men on the premises, I informed all the people there that there was no agreement for them to live on our property. Several of the men told me that 'the council' had given them permission to live there and that I was the one who could leave.
When I noticed even more new people on the premises and asked them to leave, I was always told that the council had given them permission to live there.
The police from Boons took away 2 men whom, I understand, are now in jail for theft. The police from Rustenburg took away 10 men who were apparently illegal immigrants.
At times there are up to 40 people on our premises. We asked Lukas Mapogo to intervene on our behalf and ascertain what the situation actually was. Mr Mapogo went to the Unlawful Occupants area and came back to us with the story from Emily who informed him that the ANC had actually bought the land on which they were living, that they the occupants owned it and that Theron was a liar. Theron according to Emily had only bought the top portion of about 10 acres, and Emily owned the rest of the farm.
The time period for the Unlawful Occupants has been stated (by Emily) as 4 years (to us), 16 years (to the Mohale Council) and 25 years to Maggy and M'dala.
The latest assault and intimidation was Friday 15th November 2002 when Tshepo was assaulted by three men, in the presence of Maggy and M'dala, who accused him of vandalising the UO camp and breaking their bottles of beer.
At approx. lunchtime Sunday 17th, whilst at a local tavern, Samuel and his wife, Emily, told Maggy and M'dala that there would be a farm murder here because this was their property and they were not going to leave. He also said that unless all the people who work for Greener Pastures ("die ou vrou") leave immediately, they will also be killed.
Names of witnesses:
Tony Skenka cell no.
M'dala (Sangoma) [ will get his full name to you]
Today, 28 January 2003, at approximately 1445 I noticed a white panel van driving down the private farm road. It stopped at the unlawful occupants area and two white men then walked with a black man to the water reservoir. I walked to the car and met the two men. One introduced himself as Frik van Staden from the Municipality of Mohale, telephone number . He stated that Peace Mabe had instructed him to put down a borehole and pump to supply water for the 'squatters' because they complained that they had no clean water.
He stated that his visit was a waste of time as there were only 7 people on the premises and it was not a viable proposition for the Municipality.
When we moved here on 1st February 2002, there were NO signs of wild life, no snakes, lizards, bees, frogs and especially NO birds. We found several bird traps as well as bird nests that were removed from trees, we found a turtle in a bath in the UNLAWFUL OCCUPANTS area and we were told that they eat whatever they can find. We are trying to restore and repair this badly damaged land.
The UNLAWFUL OCCUPANTS have destroyed the wildlife in the area. They use the farm land as their toilet and especially defecate where our labour need to walk, to discourage them from walking near their UNLAWFUL homes. There are two (2) toilets in their area. They litter acres of land, including the neighbouring farm on the west, which we have dominion over.
The UNLAWFUL OCCUPANTS have broken our fences, in spite of being asked to use the road, they continue to destroy fencing. We fix, they take it down.
The oldest occupant, Lettie, has told my staff that we will be killed by them. Several others have issued death threats against us, the legal owners, as well as our labour force.
If we try to walk or ride on our legally owned land, we are beset on by children who deliberately set their dogs on us. The grooms on horseback cannot use our private road to pass the UNLAWFUL OCCUPANTS without being set on by dogs and children throwing stones. The adults shout out death threats. We have asked them to remove the dogs (as is the land owners right). They refuse and continue to set the dogs on us. The dogs also bark all night.
They, the UNLAWFUL OCCUPANTS, appear to have the right to walk anywhere on our land and at any time. People trespass on this land during the day but especially at night, at all hours. We do not get an uninterrupted night's sleep with the constant traffic of people coming and going to the UNLAWFUL OCCUPANTS camp. The locals tell us that there are criminals among this group, especially thieves and these people allegedly sell drugs, which accounts for the strange comings and goings. We personally have seen cars arrive at the UNLAWFUL OCCUPANTS camp, something is handed out or received through a window and the car leaves the area.
This is a horse farm, this is our business and livelihood. The private road is a measured kilometre and is to be used by the grooms to gallop the race horses and keep them in racing condition. Small children and adults are always in the road. We have informed them of the dangers of being trampled by horses but they persist in putting small children to play in the road.
When we mended the fences closest to our residence, the UNLAWFUL OCCUPANTS actually knocked down a stable wall to gain closer access to their UNLAWFULLY occupied houses.
We employ up to 10 people, none of whom have housing on this property due to the UNLAWFUL OCCUPANTS occupying our housing. Each month our staff pay rent and our housing bring us no return whatsoever, including no usage by us of these houses.
When we need a groom to stay overnight with a sick horse, we have no where to put him. This is unacceptable.
The UNLAWFUL OCCUPANTS continue to modify our housing, including taking out windows and doors and taking them off the property - theft. They admit to taking down the metal roofing and using it to build the two shacks on our property - theft.
Samuel, the oldest occupant, has admitted to stealing the borehole pump.
Seun, one of the occupants, is clinically insane and during his last episode ran amok on this property where he threatened the women and children with a large knife and a metal stick and proceeded to our neighbours house where he tried to stab several people, before being disarmed by the Sangoma.
We, as citizens of South Africa, have a Constitutional Right to a safe and clean environment. This does not include housing criminals, the insane or people who have no respect for either the law or the environment.
The UNLAWFUL OCCUPANTS do not have permission to walk on the neighbouring properties, but do so - trespass.
We need our housing back under our control. We need to house our own staff and to be able to exercise the horses on our private road. We also need to have secure fencing around the entire property and to be able to graze our horses, safely, in secure camps. We also want the natural wildlife to safely return here. We need to put water in the reservoirs and fill the natural dam near the UNLAWFUL OCCUPANTS, so that we can irrigate the entire land.water and children do not belong together. We, as the land owners, insist that only paying, responsible, adults will occupy the housing on this farm. There will be no other animals on this farm and no small children.
My blood pressure has risen since being threatened by these people. I do not feel safe in my own home, on my own, legally owned land. Each time I call the police, they say they can do nothing until I am attacked.
Our dogs which serve as an alarm and protection, have been injured by these people. One dog has clearly been hit by a stone in his eye and is going blind in that eye. Our dogs have the legal RIGHT to be on this land and to protect it from intruders - the UNLAWFUL OCCUPANTS have no right to trespass on this land and no right to be so close to our residence that our dogs need to go out on to the private road to chase away intruders.
If these people choose to stay here, in spite of being given housing elsewhere, then a landlord/tenant situation arises, where we are the landlords, they are the tenants. They pay a monthly rental, they agree to abide by the rental agreement and the first breach of this contact will entitle us to evict them without further notice.
These people vandalised and stripped our residence of anything that they could remove. They have no interest in securing a better life for themselves or their children and they have no interest or ability to maintain their habitat, yet they refuse to move. They even vandalised their own water system, ensuring that they have no water source on this property.
Katherina started work here at Greener Pastures Farm on 2 March 2004 as a part time domestic worker.
The first time she came here for an interview, she stated that she was frightened of dogs. It was explained to her that when she came to work, she should wait at the top road to the farm and the dogs would be contained. That someone would fetch her from the top road and escort her to the farm house. This took place almost every time she came to work. The exception was the last week of March when no one saw Katherina waiting at the top road and she turned around and went home She DID NOT attempt to access the farm house without an escort.
This farm has several large dogs for security purposes. The farm manager is an elderly woman who is forced to live alone on the property as the staff houses are illegally occupied. The known facts are:
Previously it was explained to Katherina that basic dog behaviour is that dogs attack people who scream because it incites them and that she must stand still, fold her arms and keep her hands still and not look the dogs in the eye and, if possible, walk slowly away, otherwise the dogs will take the persons behaviour to be aggression against them and defend themselves
This property has several houses on it which are illegally occupied by squatters
At times there are upwards of 40 strangers / trespassers walking anywhere on this farm
Magaliesburg police have been called out several times over the past 2 years and among the matters are the constant death threats made by these people against the farm manager and workers. The actual attacks on farm
employees. The threats and actual poisoning of dogs on this property
(never investigated by Magaliesburg police), the gunshots made by them causing the owner to call the police.
At about 07:30 this morning (11 May 2004) I heard a woman shouting somewhere to the west of this farm and when I went to look I saw a woman on the private farm road shouting and waving her arms at my two black dogs. I could not see or recognise the person until I got closer and saw that it was Katherina. I was shocked to see her as she was only due to come on duty on Wednesday. I shouted to her to stand still and stop screaming at the dogs but she continued shouting and waving her arms and handbag. I tried calling the dogs but she was shouting so loudly I am not sure they heard me. I noticed a black man whom I think is one of the illegal occupants, standing quietly about 30 metres from where Katherina was shouting. He made no attempt to help her and the farm dogs took no notice of him. I got to her as quickly as I could. She told me she was bitten and was going home. I told her to go to Dr Martin and that I would phone ahead for her. I telephoned the farm owner, Richard Theron, who undertook to make the necessary arrangements for her at Dr Martin. Richard Theron phoned back to report that Dr Martin was expecting her.
Katherina was bitten because:
She failed to carry out her instructions not to approach the farm house without an escort.
She failed to carry out instructions not to shout, scream and wave her arms in the presence of the dogs.
She showed aggression towards the dogs which responded by biting her
All employees on this farm are instructed on how to be with the dogs and are not bitten.
Albert, the farm labourer saw her on his way to work, and told us she was ok, he did not see any injuries, or blood. I asked if she was upset or in shock and he said that she was alright.
At about 16:45 Inspector Mokena(spelling??) from Magaliesburg Police Station telephoned me to say that Katherina had laid charges against me and that I must make a statement at the Police Station tomorrow morning at 09:00.
FROM: Estelle van Dyk
Notes on meeting with Peace Maba 07 November 2002, approx. 13H00.
When Peace Maba came to talk with me about the 'squatter' situation she was immediately rude and aggressive towards me, to the point where I considered asking her to leave the property immediately and not return. She could not bring herself to even look at me. When she arrived she refused to look at me and when chairs where brought outside for us to sit on, she moved her chair away and sat 3 metres away from me with her back towards me. She made it quite clear that she had already made up her mind as to what the situation was and let me know by her behaviour that I was some kind of disgusting, malicious person. I told her of my work with people in Soweto, namely Agnes Moncho and her family, the Concerned Soweto Youth and among the people living at Damhoek. After that she was prepared to look at me but she spoke with contempt to me and mocked every item I brought up.
One of the first items I brought up was that I was working with a lawyer that the Mohale Council used, one Nico van Rensburg. Peace Maba stated that she did not know this person, and that he never worked for Mohale/Magaliesburg. After reading his letter to the Unlawful Tenants, she stated that it was "a lot of rubbish" and was the "cause of trouble" with the Unlawful Tenants. When we contacted Nico, he was amazed at this information and stated that he had been trying to contact her this very morning and that he had worked with her in the past.
I produced the Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act which Peace Maba immediately scorned and stated that it was "old law" and had no validity.
When I pointed out that our property was continually being vandalised, she said that it was because of my attitude. That everything that was wrong with the 'squatters' was because of my attitude which made them steal and vandalise property, and to fail to maintain basic human sanitation standards, defecate anywhere on the property and litter acres of land.
She further stated that if a property stands empty, it is acceptable that people loot and vandalise it. She also pointed out that at the time of the looting and vandalising we did not own the property and therefore had no right to any claims whatsoever and no rights to ask the police to investigate the theft of the items that were taken from the house and are now in the possession of the unlawful occupants. She stated that these were very poor people to which I responded with the fact that they had removed up to R120,000 worth of thatching grass right under our noses, even when we asked them not to cut it, they continued to do so and then vehicles would arrive at their camp to load the stolen grass. When we called the police to stop them selling our grass, we were told "there is nothing we can do".
At the very beginning of our discussion I pointed out that I had a constitutional right to a safe environment, she disagreed and also stated that I did not have the right to earn a living on my own property, if it interfered with the squatters' rights for it was acceptable that they have all the rights, to walk anyway, be anywhere at anytime on our land and to vandalise and damage property, because of the white people's attitude.
The man with Peace Maba (whose name I did not get) informed me that the people walking at all hours of the night were, in fact, the police. I asked if he had proof of this, he said no. I asked him if he knew how many police persons were on duty at night and how many were on foot duty. He said he did not know and I informed him that Magaliesburg police station had only two (2) vehicles and up to four (4) persons available at night and did he really believe that the entire police force of Magaliesburg spent every night patrolling this farm. He said that he still believed it was the police on our property and not the unlawful occupants. We employed the services of a security guard who stopped people at night and ascertained that they were NOT the police and were from the Unlawful Occupants' camp.
Since Peace Maba's visit, people have again been walking anywhere at any time on this property and have once again started climbing over the fences between this property and our neighbours on the eastern side. It is a matter of time before the fence will be cut and taken down.
When we went to the Unlawful Occupant's camp, I showed Peace Maba the buildings that had been vandalised - window frames taken out, doors and frames removed and all roofing taken away plus the disgusting state of the surroundings, including months of litter and defecation both human and animal, she attacked me and accused me of tearing a school uniform for which I "will pay" and that "this will be the cause of another farm murder". She stated that the whites' attitude was the cause of farm murders. I take this as a threat against me life.
Regarding the torn 'school uniform', Peace continued shouting at me and refused to listen to the fact that these 'uniforms' were hung on barbed wire fences for days at a time and there had been two severe wind storms which could account for the damage.
At this point I realised that there was no reasoning with Peace Maba and returned to the house.
Tuesday, 28 January, at approximately 1415, I was outside the farm cottage when I heard a car hoot and saw a white police van at the gate, as well as a cream coloured sedan. As I approached the gate I noticed that there were 4 black persons in the sedan. A man in the usual blue/gray uniform stood at the gate, another man climbed out and without any introduction or identification the first man asked if Richard Theron was here, I said that he did not live here but came out at weekends. He asked me where Theron lived and I said that he lived in Dobsonville. I then asked what the matter was and he said that Peace Mabe and 'the media' were with him (presumably in the sedan) and did I want to talk with them.
I asked him if Peace Mabe had a legal right to be on this farm, the policeman said no; I asked if the media had a right, he said no. I pointed out that he had no right to be on this property and he agreed with me. I then insisted that Peace and her group leave this property immediately, which the policeman conveyed to them and they left.
I asked the policeman if it was fair and right for me, an elderly woman alone on a farm, to be visited by 6 (six) clearly armed policemen, that I felt frightened and intimidated by their presence, especially as it was illegal. He agreed with me that it must be intimidating for me and then went on to explain that he and the others with him where from Chamdor, a special unit for illegal eviction and could he come and see me tomorrow morning. I asked what for and he replied that it was necessary to negotiate with the squatters. I said that we had negotiated many, many times in the past and that on at least 4 occasions the unlawful occupants had offered to leave, which offer we accepted. I stated that a few weeks ago, these people had actually taken down their shacks and were packed and ready to leave, the 10 ton truck, arranged for by the unlawful occupants, had even arrived when Peace Mabe intervened and told them NOT to leave. The unlawful occupants then proceeded to sell off their shacks, which were collected by a tractor driven trailer. There was NO illegal eviction.
The policeman then went on to tell me that I must go though a lawyer and get a court order eviction. I asked why when they had offered to leave voluntary and if Peace Mabe and the police had not illegally interfered with the unlawful occupants' arrangements, they would have left and our staff would now occupy these houses. He had no answer.
At some stage while talking to the first man, I noticed a second and third man outside the police van and looked for their name tags - NOT ONE person had a name tag. Unfortunately, I was not only feeling very frightened but I also felt that if I asked for their names, they would seek revenge if any enquiry came to pass so I did not ask for names. Except for the policeman talking to me, they all looked like rough thugs, an observation shared by one Ealza Kasselman who passed them on the farm road.
I went on to tell policeman no. one that the unlawful occupants had threatened to kill me, that they had stoned me, set their dogs on me and my staff, especially when we were exercising the horses and that when I called for police help I was told either there was nothing they could do to assist me or that when I was murdered I could call them or, to point out the person who threw the stone/s. He expressed his dismay at this lack of help on the part of the police. He tried to explain that the police used the law called ESTA. I said that ESTA was NOT THE LAW, that it was an interpretation of several different laws. He agreed with me that it was NOT THE LAW.
At this point I said that he should telephone Theron for Neels Oosthuizen's telephone number and that any further communication regarding this matter should be dealt with by Oosthuizen and Theron and to leave me alone.
I then left the gate and the police van proceeded off the property.
That same night at 22H00 a police van passed by and went to the uo area. I phoned the Magaliesburg police and was told that a complaint had been laid by Johannes Molefe. I asked for more information and was told that all they had was a complaint. I pointed out that Johannes Molefe had been dead for a year or two and the policeman suddenly stated that perhaps he had the name wrong.
I saw a police van at 22H00, 23H00, sometime after midnight and at least one more time during the early morning (I was woken by the flashing lights).
When I ask for police assistance I get NOTHING, but a dead squatter manages to get a constant police patrol.
Thursday 30th January 2003.
At 13H00 a police van arrived at the gate. I was first at the gate and noticed that it was the same policeman who was here (illegally) on Tuesday with Peace Mabe and the media. Today he was with another policeman, one man in civvies and a blonde woman, neither of whom were introduced or named in any way.
He asked me if 'everything was alright' - at which I was speechless as I had gone into detail as to the illegal activities of the unlawful occupants on Tuesday. I said that nothing had changed and that the unlawful occupants were still on the land. He said that they WERE NOT unlawful, they were legal squatters as they had been on this land for 4 years. I asked him to give that information to me in writing and to sign it. He got very angry with me and said that he could not deal with me and turned away to get back into the van. At which point Theron arrived at the gate.
Theron asked for their names - Inspectors Hicks and van Reenen - of the stability unit - Chamdor Theron recorded that on Saturday 4th January the occupants had agreed to leave voluntarily as a result of negotiations, and that Clr Mabe and the Council Legal Advisor Shireen had arrived on his farm in the afternoon without permission and proceeded to inform the UNLAWFUL OCCUPANTS that they did not need to move and should stay put.
Theron also recorded the fact that he had copies of every Act involving occupation of land as well has having been a Johannesburg Metropolitan Councillor and having served on the Constitutional Committee would not under any circumstances allow himself to be accused of "illegal eviction" of occupants.
Hicks went on to point out that they (the Stability Unit) were there for us. Estelle disagreed with him and stated that on Tuesday there were six of them, fully armed and accompanied by the media, who went straight to the unlawful occupants area - they were there for the unlawful occupants and NOT for us. Hicks stated that on that day they were instructed by Peace Mabe to accompany her party. Estelle then said that Hicks and van Reenen were here again on Mabe's instructions. Hicks, inter alia, questioned Estelle on how we had ascertained the length of the unlawful occupants occupation of our land. Estelle refused to answer his questions and said that he was gathering information for Mabe.