A year after a violent gang-attack in which a young Afrikaner woman’s face was slashed, their dog shot and a litter of kittens was murdered, the provincial police commissioner has finally managed to end the fraudulent conditions at the Hartbeespoort police station…
21 Jan 2010 – RIETFONTEIN, Hartbeespoort - Pieter Raath is angry. A cruel attack last year, in which his wife Corrie’s face was slashed and their dog and a litter of kittens were murdered by four illegal migrants from a local squatter camp, has still not brought any justice, writes Dolf Dreyer, editor of Madibeng Pulse newspaper.
The attack against the Raath family on the night of 26 January last year was extremely racist and malicious, with the four berserker attackers screaming: ‘you must all die’. Clearly, said the victims, these four squatters were only out to kill and maim them: they stole nothing whatsoever – but carved up Corrie Raath’s face, (picture); shot dead their beloved white German Shepherd Terry, and even killed a litter of tiny kittens. It was mindless, cruel violence.
Raath said the first team of investigators which were put on the case from the Hartbeespoort police station had mismanaged the case in a very disgraceful manner: not only was the couple forced to flee for fear of reprisals, but at one stage a state-prosecutor, he said, was allegedly even bribed to drop the case and the leader of the four-man attack team was released on a mere R500 bail by the Brits magistrate’s court. This infuriated the local community so much that they even threatened to take matters into their own hands…
“They would have killed us”…
Pieter Raath said the four attackers would have killed them if the flashing blue lights of an arriving security-vehicle hadn’t made them flee. Nothing was robbed and during the vicious attack, the four men were abusive and hysterical, screaming: ‘you all have to die’. The Raath couple moved to Pretoria and didn’t want their address published for fear of reprisals.
Shortly after the attack, Pieter Raath had identified one of the attackers, an man identified only by his first name, “Piet’ – yet this man, who was described as the gang leader, was released on bail on 15 February. One of the other arrested gang-members identified only as “Prince’, also is a well-known felon who has been arrested many times and also granted bail numerous times – in fact Prince and Piet were out on bail when they attacked the Raath family, writes Dreyer. Raath said when he enquired about the case, he heard to his deep dismay that the case had been closed because ‘the file was empty and the investigative detective did not hold an identity parade.’ “He also never fetched forensic photographs from the police-forensic department, and all four suspects were eventually let go’. In November 2009, he was asked to attend an identity-parade after Piet had been arrested again, on another violent crime. And again, he recognised Piet as the leader of their attack gang.
The case was reopened because the local station commander and investigating detectives were transferred because the local community forum, Pieter Rautenbach, launched a community campaign to rid themselves of fraud at the police station.
“It now looks as if the case is getting on track, because on Friday Superintendent Jannie van der Walt visited us with a detective and took another statement from us to reopen the case. Their visit followed after my enquiry two weeks earlier. Dreyer writes that the community forum’s campaign to end corruption at the Hartbeespoort police station appears to be won, with NW provincial police commissioner Beethe undertaking in personal talks with forum members Rautenbach, Johan Pretorius and Ahmed Jalalpor that he would personally make sure that the investigating detective and other detectives named in connection with fraud at the station, would face investigations and if necessary, be charged. The new SAPS commissioner Bheke Cele also said the same thing in December, writes Dreyer.
One matter which still raises deep concerns among the police and the community is the fact that so many violent criminals still get bail far too easily and set at very low bail-costs, after which they can simply stroll out of jail and continue their criminal career immediately. Commissioner Beetha also undertook to pay urgent attention to this problem. Read the rest of the article: http://www.madibengpulse.co.za/?Task=system&CategoryID=28789&HeadingText=News+210110+corrie+raath