Hale-hunting in cyberspace

2009-07-31 00:00

THE search for Mike Hale has taken another turn with a growing Facebook group as the global community joins in on the worldwide web hunt.

More than 200 Facebook subscribers have joined the “Help me find Mike Hale” group by yesterday.

The group includes people who invested with Hale, people who are sympathising with Hale’s victims and those who are just taking a stand against crime. While the majority of members are South Africans, the hunt has spread from England to New Zealand, Australia, Scotland and Zimbabwe.

The group was started by a Pietermaritzburg man, Morne van den Eesenburg, whose mother escaped from Hale’s deceitful dealings.

Van den Eesenburg said his mother, who had taken policies with Hale, became suspicious and took action. A few months ago, she asked Hale to transfer all her policies to an insurance company.

Van den Eesenburg said that when he started the group, he believed Hale had taken his mother’s investments. “The group was created on Monday after The Witness broke the story. Both my parents were close friends with Mike for 38 years and my parents’ [investment policies] were in Hale’s care, but fortunately my late father’s policies had not been paid out by the time Hale skipped the country.”

Van Den Eesenburg said his mother received her policy documents from the insurance company soon after Hale’s disappearance.

“I was under the impression that my mother’s money was gone, but we were relieved when the documents arrived. I would hate to be in a position similar to all the people who lost their money.”

The group shares information and details about their experiences with Hale, but Van den Eesenburg said they are careful about how much they are revealing in the public space.

“We cannot state speculations about his whereabouts because we don’t know who is involved. Maybe one of his people can join the group and pick up what we know.”

He said he had a discussion with the police investigating officer to get guidelines as to what information should be withheld in order not to jeopardise the case.

A total of 15 complainants have opened cases with the police and the amount of money alleged to have been stolen by Hale is over R12 million.

 

SOME of the comments posted on the group’s wall include: “I read The Witness today, which suggests that he was involved in the Great Train Robbery!! I am shocked. Have his details been posted with Interpol and international airports? We don’t have too much information in New Zealand yet, but am willing to send information around just in case,” wrote Sandy Meiring in New Zealand.

“Ever been curious to see a modern-day picture of the devil himself, take your eyes to the top right of the page!! How can any man do that to another innocent person?” wrote Warren Tyrer.

Yolandi Scott wrote; “This man deserves to rot in hell, I hope he gets what he deserves!!!! What an a*****e, my sympathies go out to his victims.”

From Liverpool, Kim Coetzee wrote; “He did a BIG dirty on people that I know. They are also pensioners! Mike Hale — you dirty lying conman”.

Brenda Riggien wrote; “Mike was my teacher at Alexandra High the years of 82/83 and boarder master at the time, just knew he had something up his sleeve and very sleazy …”

“… Let’s unite an get this dude. He has a spot reserved for him in Alexandra Road police station sharing a cell with a 120 kg beast they call ‘Daddy’,” wrote Nicholas Holmes.

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