Alleged torture recalled in Buys case

2014-12-01 15:47
Raymond Buys (File, Volksblad)

Raymond Buys (File, Volksblad)

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Vereeniging - Raymond Buys was stripped, tied to a chair, had water thrown at him, and was shocked with a taser gun after he ran away from a military-style camp, murder-accused Michael Erasmus told the Vereeniging Regional Court on Monday.

Erasmus recalled a day when Buys was tied to a flagpole between 16:00 and 17:00 and he was told the 15-year-old tried to run away for a second time.

"He looked very weak," Erasmus said in his evidence-in-chief, led by his lawyer Chris "Dagga" Smit.

He said his co-accused Alex de Koker had told him not to go to his grandfather, but to stay and help him.

Chair, chains, bucket

He was called after 19:00 and De Koker said he should get a chair, chains, a bucket, a pillowcase, and a taser, and no one should know what they were doing.

"I fetched him [Buys] and took him to the chalet. I undressed him and tied him on the chair. He had to sit and I tied his hands behind his back," Erasmus said.

"Alex told me to throw a bucket of water on him, put the pillowcase over his head, and he shocked him, then hit him, threw water on his head and kicked him on his wrong place. This went on for a while."

He said he then untied Buys and took him back to his tent, where he was tied to the bed with a chain.

As Erasmus spoke, Buys's mother who was sitting in the public gallery started crying.

De Koker had said Buys had to be tied to his bed every night because he wanted to run away, Erasmus told the court.

The court heard that Buys had to ask for permission to use the bathroom, which De Koker often denied.

‘Turning boys into men’

De Koker and Erasmus are charged with murder, child abuse, and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, relating to Buys's death in hospital in 2011, shortly after he attended the Echo Wild Game Rangers camp. The camp was designed to "turn boys into men".

On Monday, Erasmus told the court that during another incident, Buys had to sit in a bucket of water so they could "doctor" him, and that when he left the room he heard the teen scream.

When he ran back, Buys said another one of the boys had thrown hot water on him.

The court heard that Buys was "too dirty and not allowed in the house" to bath, and that Erasmus had to wash him with a scrubbing brush in a large bucket outside.

Remembering the "last night", Erasmus said Buys was in a tent with his roommate, and that he was in his own tent, which he shared with girls, when he heard a scream.

When he got into the tent, Buys was lying on the floor, unconscious. He hit him in the face to try and wake him.

"[The roommate] said Raymond walked backwards and fell, then got a fit. When we called Alex, he said Raymond was faking it," he said.

De Koker head down in the dock

He recalled going to the hospital and apologising to Buys's mother before returning to the camp.

Erasmus looked at photographs of Buys after he was admitted to hospital and recalled the injuries he could remember.

As Erasmus spoke, he stood with his hands crossed on the table in front of him. De Koker sat with his head down in the dock, making notes.

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

Buys was also allegedly forced to eat his own faeces.

On Monday, De Koker's mother and his wife were in court. His wife went to speak to him during a brief adjournment and the couple embraced.

Erasmus's parents and Buys's parents were in court, but sat on opposite sides of the public gallery.

When asked if Buys was ever denied food, Erasmus said he was not sure, but remembered a day when he had to take away Buys's food because De Koker said he ate too slowly.

The trial resumes at 10:00 on Tuesday, when Erasmus will be cross-examined.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime  |  child abuse

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