Man shoots boss, himself

2016-05-26 11:55
Police and Health Department officials removed Vossie Vorster’s body from Malcolm Anderson’s home. The sculpture outside the house is one of many on Anderson’s Minerva Museum and Nature Reserve in Byrne Valley. Vorster shot Anderson on Wednesday before turning the gun on himself.

Police and Health Department officials removed Vossie Vorster’s body from Malcolm Anderson’s home. The sculpture outside the house is one of many on Anderson’s Minerva Museum and Nature Reserve in Byrne Valley. Vorster shot Anderson on Wednesday before turning the gun on himself. (Ian Carbutt, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - The peaceful Byrne Valley settlement was rocked by a tragic murder and suicide on Wednesday that left a well-known museum owner and his colleague, who carried out the fatal shooting, dead.

Malcolm Anderson, who was the owner of popular Richmond tourist destination Minerva Museum and Nature Reserve, was shot by colleague and friend “Vossie” Vorster, who then turned the gun on himself.

Anderson, 70, was rushed to the MediClinic hospital in Pietermaritzburg in a critical condition, but later died. Vorster was declared dead at the secluded farm house where the shooting occurred.

The incident left Richmond and Byrne Valley residents in despair, but mostly shocked that Vorster had committed the crime.

Strained relationship

Residents told The Witness on Wednesday that Vorster was believed to be destitute and on the brink of suicide when Anderson found him more than a decade ago, after which Anderson employed and took care of him.

It is believed Vorster left behind a suicide note, detailing a strained relationship between him and Anderson.

Anderson is widely known for establishing the Minerva Museum, which boasts a rare collection of several thousand pieces of antique memorabilia ranging from machinery and equipment to engines and vehicles.

The museum was declared a Natural Heritage Site and is situated on Minerva private nature reserve in Byrne Valley, where Anderson lived.

He also had several business interests in the Richmond area.

According to KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane, the shooting occurred at Anderson’s home at about 07:00 on Wednesday.

ER24’s Werner Vermaak said Vorster, who is believed to also be in his 70s, was lying dead on a couch with a gunshot wound to the chest.

Vermaak said paramedics rushed to treat Anderson and took him to hospital.

Anderson’s family could be seen on Wednesday waiting in the hospital, anticipating feedback from doctors treating him in the intensive care unit.


In a telephonic interview, Anderson’s son, Angus, described his father as an introverted man who had a passion to rejuvenate old objects.

“He had the ability to fix just about anything and he was committed and loyal to every project he pursued.”

Describing his father’s relationship with Vorster, Angus said Anderson found Vorster walking on the roadside 14 years ago.

According to Angus, after his father asked Vorster where he was going, Vorster replied that he was destitute and would drown himself in a nearby lake.

Anderson reportedly urged Vorster to get into the car and took him back to his nature reserve home where he gave him a job.

Vorster has reportedly been working side by side with Anderson at the museum ever since.

“Vossie was a manic depressive and was very temperamental. He left behind a letter, you can call it a suicide note, that said he was tired of the way my father treated him,” Angus said.

In 2012, Anderson’s son, Roy, who managed the family’s timber business, was murdered at his Richmond home during a botched hijacking.


Speaking to The Witness on Wednesday, residents, who asked not to be named, said they could not believe what had happened.

One described Anderson as a kind man who would help those in need by providing them with jobs.

“Hardly anybody knows very much about Vossie though. He was very temperamental towards guests and could snap at any time. We never expected this to happen though,” the resident said.

Angus said the family are still in the process of making funeral arrangements.

Another close source said Vorster had been very sickly.

Approached for comment, Vorster’s son, Morné, said the family were unable to comment yet.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime

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