Delmas murders: SA flag burnt, trampled

2012-05-31 22:37
Protesters are seen outside the Delmas Magistrate’s Court where two suspects appeared in connection with the murder of a day mother and a 5-month-old baby. (Deaan Vivier, Beeld)

Protesters are seen outside the Delmas Magistrate’s Court where two suspects appeared in connection with the murder of a day mother and a 5-month-old baby. (Deaan Vivier, Beeld)

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Delmas - Protesters burnt and trampled the national flag in Delmas on Thursday as two suspects in the murders of a day mother and a 5-month old baby appeared in court.

About 150 people took to the streets where Enock Mbele, 44, and Lazarus Mabena, 54, were appearing in the Delmas Magistrate's court on charges relating to the murder of Margrietha de Goede, 66, and baby Wiehan Botes.

Outside the court, protesters burnt and trampled the national flag during the march organised by members of the Volksraad Verkiesing Kommissie (VVK), who were protesting against violent crime against women and children.

They handed over a memorandum to local police. VVK chairperson Paul Kruger said the memorandum was an effort to communicate with the government in order to create a homogeneous ethnic state in South Africa for his nation.

During the protest, the group reportedly hurled slurs at black people.

According to African Eye News Service (AENS), they sang racial slogans and displayed posters bearing the words: "Black cowards – leave our women and children alone", "Besteel, verkrag, vermoor: Ons is klaar met swart Suid-Afrika" (Rob, rape, kill: we are finished with black South Africa) and "Barbare los ons kinders uit" (Barbarians leave our children alone).

Truth

Kruger defended the group, saying all the placards and the songs that were sung were nothing but a reflection of truth.

"The fact of the matter is that white people are being killed by black people in the country," he said.

Kruger said although not all blacks were murderers, most white people were dying at the hands of black killers.

He was responding to questions from AENS after the Democratic Alliance (DA) in Mpumalanga released a statement condemning the protesters’ use of racial slurs.

He insisted that the DA was in denial of reality.

"We wrote that black cowards should leave our women alone because they always attack women and children. It is rare that they attack white men.

"The DA is trying to downplay the racial basis of these killings in the country. We believe that should government heed our call for a separate state or republic for the Afrikaner community, there will be harmony in the country and the killing of our people will come to an end,” Kruger said.

DA provincial leader believes VVK’s approach is totally wrong.

"The DA condemns, in the strongest terms, the racist remarks, slogans and posters at the march… This barbaric act of murder is condemned and should rightly outrage every South African,” said DA provincial leader Anthony Benadie.

"However, it is uncalled for and unfortunate that the Afrikaner Volksraad Verkiesing Kommissie (VVK) chose to reduce such a tragic event to a racial slur.

"According to the DAs current information, no report has yet provided any evidence to suggest that the attack and murder was racially motivated.”

He said crime and murder affects all race groups in the country.

"VVK is conveniently disregarding this fact to justify their racist behaviour. More so, the DA believes that the VVK is opportunistically exploiting this tragedy in an attempt to add credibility to their organisation.

"By turning this double murder into a race-related issue, the VVK is in fact not only driving a wedge between race groups, but also attempting to undermine the efforts of all South Africans who are dedicated to fighting crime,” said Benadie.

He said over the past few weeks, several incidents in South Africa had compromised race relations in the country.

"They placed the unity of South Africa under severe strain. The actions of the VVK entrench those divisions and serve only the interest of those who wish to keep South Africans divided. There is no place for them in our society,” said Benadie.

Wanted

According to provincial police spokesperson Colonel Leonard Hlathi, the suspects were arrested in Delmas on Wednesday and charged with each charged with double murder possession of stolen property.

They are accused of murdering 5-month-old Wiehan and De Goede on 23 May in Delmas.

"We found the woman and the baby’s body showing signs of being strangled to death. The woman's body was found hidden at the back room of the house - a daycare centre - and the baby's body found stashed underneath the bed," said Hlathi.

He said the suspects were found in possession of jewellery and a cell phone, which police believe belonged to the woman.

"We are still looking for Themba Ephraim Mahlangu, who was working as a gardener at the deceased's house to come forward.

"We believe that he can assist us with our investigation," he said, adding that no motive for the murders had been established yet.

Mbele and Mabena were not asked to plead when appearing in the Delmas magistrate's court on Thursday.

They were remanded while police continue investigations.

Read more on:    da  |  anthony benadie  |  margrietha de goede  |  mbombela  |  racism

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