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KZN Countryside Murders – In Review

KZN Countryside Murders – In Review

The murder of any human being is unthinkable and in our country with it’s 60 million residents, we have one of the highest murder rates worldwide.  The VCAT (Violent Crimes and Technology) unit deals with many cases at any given time, providing different kinds of support where needed. In the Burgen Thorne (50) matter, the

The murder of any human being is unthinkable and in our country with it’s 60 million residents, we have one of the highest murder rates worldwide. 

The VCAT (Violent Crimes and Technology) unit deals with many cases at any given time, providing different kinds of support where needed. In the Burgen Thorne (50) matter, the case is continuing as a collective, after the arrest of one suspect. Burgen was stabbed in the spine during the attack and if it was not for the compassion of an unknown donor who is covering the medical cost, he would never walk again. We expect months of recovery for him, but many more years to come of emotional recovery. THANK YOU to everyone for your support. Burgen, to you especially, keep going on your long walk to freedom; the path you are on is tremendous but you are not alone in this, and Chantelle, nor are you.

In the armed house robbery which resulted in the murder of Trish Taylor (64), very few items were taken and the vehicle was later recovered.  SAPS, Crime Intelligence, various station heads and members are working hard on these cases and at this stage, there is NO link between them or any of the other cases in the area. 

The scale of violence is very high when attacks occur, and of course, this is very disturbing. The territory of an investigation into such crimes is something that comes naturally to me, and I am intimately involved in each case with family members and the specialised teams. In fact, we had met with SAPS just before lockdown to discuss each case including some of the older, outstanding matters. SAPS are working tirelessly on each and every case and can be commended for their relentless effort on these cases. Every tick-box on the list is being attended to or has been completed. Unfortunately, fighting crime is not as simple as “who did it – instant name – instant conviction”. 

This year we are still showing the lowest figures for any province for farm murders and our farmers have incredibly good relationships with their staff, which is a critical factor. We have learned over time that the majority of serious rural crimes occur when the relationship breaks down and that victim and perpetrators almost always know one another. We also believe this is in part why attacks are more violent as there is a deeper emotive meaning behind the attack than just a robbery. Of course, like the wind, this could change but I highly doubt it. Known relationships/connections will likely be found in Trish’s case and that of Edi Neumeister (67) in Balgowan. 

In KZN we have the most resources invested by the farmers and have been doing this since 2010 with direct and indirect strategies to help build support for each other and to our nation. We also now have the Specialised Victim Support (SVS) set up, which arose out of the Sandra Moonsamy case and which has been activated in most of these matters to provide further support. We are working towards getting the site populated with all the cases we have assisted with for the last 10 years. You can visit www.togethersacan.org.za to see these.

Naturally, we always need to push to get to the magic number of zero cases, but as leaders, we must understand exactly where we are, otherwise, we will not know what our next steps should be and what to invest in to give us the highest level of productivity for our rand soldiers. 

Remember the goal we have set for ourselves is a maximum of five farm murders for the province with a clear understanding that these will likely be relationship-driven crimes. If these statistics change we can then say with accuracy that the wind is changing direction and that we need to adapt accordingly to these new challenges.

Keep these families, association leaders, members, media partners, SAPS members, emergency service teams and those in all government structures who are working hard towards our country in your positive thoughts.

Have a magical day ahead!

You can have a look at the latest media release from East Coast Radio around the recent spate of incidents here:

“Police say the Nottingham Road resident was attacked with a bush knife at home by unknown suspects.”

“Two months ago there was an incident in the Rosetta area where the victim was brutally killed, and two months prior to that, there were two incidents in the Mooi River area where the one victim was left paralysed.” 

“We also have a huge problem when it comes to stock thefts on farms in the area as well,” says Mnikathi.”

https://www.ecr.co.za/news/news/midlands-man-killed-in-home-attack/

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