Raymond Buys ‘had attitude’

2014-12-01 14:46
Raymond Buys (File, Volksblad)

Raymond Buys (File, Volksblad)

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Vereeniging - Raymond Buys had "attitude" and would not listen when he arrived at a military-style camp, the man accused of his murder told the Vereeniging Regional Court on Monday.

"He [Buys] had an attitude, did not want to listen and was 'windgat' [a braggart]," Michael Erasmus testified. He was being led in giving his evidence-in-chief by his lawyer Chris "Dagga" Smit.

He told the court he acted as a drill-sergeant at the school owned by his co-accused Alex de Koker.

De Koker and Erasmus are charged with murder, child abuse, and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm. Buys, 15, died in hospital in 2011 following a stay at the Echo Wild Game Rangers camp.

The camp was designed to "turn boys into men".

Erasmus said he noticed Buys was losing weight after a few months at the camp, but De Koker brushed him off when he raised his concerns.

"Alex said it was probably Aids or another type of sickness," he said.

De Koker ‘a perfectionist’

He described the camp owner as a perfectionist who got upset when students did not listen and when they talked back to him.

"If you don't think like Alex you get hit. You become like a robot."

He said he had hit Buys but that it was on direct orders from De Koker, who said they should get Buys onto the "right path".

De Koker said Buys's mother had told him her son had threatened her with a knife, Erasmus said.
Buys's mother, sitting in the public gallery, said softly: "He is lying again."

Erasmus described how De Koker hit Buys's head against a wall, but could not remember what caused it.

"He [De Koker] took his head physically and hit it against the wall," he said, using his right hand to demonstrate.

De Koker often used a shovel and hit Buys to discipline the 15-year-old because it would be difficult to prove what weapon he had used, Erasmus said.

As Erasmus spoke, De Koker sat with his head down in the dock making notes.

Buys ‘severely emaciated’

Erasmus described how Buys lay on his back while De Koker hit him with a shovel.

"Raymond was on his back and tried to stop [him] with his arms and legs," he said.

He said Buys was lazy and did not want to work at the school.

According to the NGO Women and Men Against Child Abuse, Buys was severely emaciated, dehydrated, had brain damage, skull fractures, a broken arm, bruises, and cigarette burns all over his body, allegedly as a result of De Koker's actions and orders. Buys was allegedly forced to eat his own faeces.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime  |  child abuse

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