Artist's body burnt beyond recognition

2011-03-10 08:12

Pretoria - Artist Cornelius Bosch, who went missing two weeks ago, was shot in the head and then burnt so badly that dental records had to be used to identify him, police say.

Bosch family spokesperson, Lee Lerm, said police had told them on Wednesday that Bosch's body had been positively identified.

Bosch, 55, who lived in Buffelsdrift in northern Pretoria, disappeared without a trace on February 24.

Gauteng police spokesperson Captain Katlego Mogale said a passer-by had found a burnt body near the Zambezi Mall in Derdepoort in the Kameeldrift area northeast of Pretoria, last Tuesday.

"A post-mortem was held. It was found that the body had a gunshot wound to the head.

Dental records

"With the help of Bosch's dental records, it was confirmed that the body was Bosch's."

The dental records corresponded 99.99% with the remains of the body.

Bosch's white double cab bakkie with the registration number XJC 187 GP and his cellpone are still missing.

Lerm said none of Bosch's works which were still in his possession can be sold.

"Police are still closely monitoring the trade in Cornelius Bosch's paintings.

"It is normal practice when an artist dies. If something disappears now or is sold, it is theft."


Bosch was best known for his expressionist paintings of flowers and dramatic and classical landscapes.

For more than five years up until 2009, he donated a painting which was auctioned for charity at the annual Beeld Children's Fund's Valentine's Dinner.

Alice Bester of the Alice art gallery in Roodepoort, Johannesburg, said Bosch was the kindest and gentlest person.

"He was hopelessly too young to go, but he went straight to heaven," said Bester.

The police said a case of murder is being investigated, but it is not yet clear what the motive could have been.

Anyone with information can call Warrant Officer Steven Joubert on 082 565 6887.

  • Stella - 2011-03-10 08:22

    How absolutely very sad it is to lose an outstanding citizen and human being in such a tragic manner once again. When will the violence ever end? May God be with the family through this difficult time.

  • 40 Something - 2011-03-10 08:30

    Sending condolences and prayers to his family. This county is becoming more barbaric by the day. I am not proudly South African. There is nothing to be proud of.

      john - 2011-03-11 10:44

      Fully agreed. Any idiot who thinks cricket or rugby results, or hosting a World Cup means we should be proud is just clueless. As long as this undeclared genocide of innocent victims continues, we are the most barbaric nation on the face of the planet. That is cause for utter shame, not pride. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to bother a large chunk of the population at all.

  • Jorg - 2011-03-10 08:34

    A time of re-conning will come for all those servants of warned...there are angels among us....we will find you...cowardly demon scum...

  • Ngomo - 2011-03-10 08:35


  • BRONZE - 2011-03-10 08:36

    I may be looking too much into this but it doesn't sound like a normal robbery/hijacking to me. Hijackers will shoot but going the extra mile of burning a body on top of that is unusual. A hit maybe? Whichever way nobody deserves to die that way. May his soul rest in peace and may his family get answers soon.

      Craig Illman - 2011-03-10 09:39

      Yes Bronze you are looking into it to much. I love South Africans. Try to justin this carnage every day by seen something sinister. The guy is an artist, not CIA. It is plain savage murder for a cell phone and a car. Insane!!

      Totman - 2011-03-10 10:24

      Craig all he is doing is speculating on what he think the modus operandi of a hijacking is. He does want to see something sinister. What he said is that some-one burned his body. Why will you do that. It is time consuming and could draw attention. You will only do this if you have a purpose with that. Like delay the possible time that it takes to identifying the body. Seeing that he is an artist and on conformation on the death no-one is allowed to trade in his creations until further notice. So, yes there are a valid point for his comment. There are more things happing in this country, as if it is the norm, that was done with the intention to look like it,.....but that was not my point.

      Vedi - 2011-03-10 13:17

      A murder of this nature is almost always indicative thereof that the perpetrator had some sort of personal connection with the victim;From my experience, suspect number 1 would be someone who lived on the farm with him.

      Peter - 2011-03-11 07:24

      I agree. Almost sounds premeditated. Condolences to the family.

  • Slapper - 2011-03-10 08:37

    Another example of absolute Savagery, in a country where human life has zero value to some of the most despicable savages on the Planet. Condolences to his family and friends.

      Luce - 2011-03-10 08:57

      I agree with you completely!! - 2011-03-10 09:16

      Agreed! Dear Lord! Such horrors occur daily! Sincere condolences to family and friends.

  • gen.mewmew - 2011-03-10 08:37

    he must have been hijacked. the motive is stupidity.

      gen.mewmew - 2011-03-10 08:38

      and disregard for other life. disgusting, God help us all!!!!

  • Kevin King - 2011-03-10 08:38

    @ Kevin King: we know two people have been torched days apart but stop your negative comments and look at the bright side!

      Hein - 2011-03-10 08:47

      What bright side do you see, Kevin? How tragic that any life has to be lost in such a manner.

      Grazy - 2011-03-10 09:11

      Kevin King, what bright side do you see? The light of the fire or what?

      Kevin King - 2011-03-10 09:14

      I'm asking other readers, they know who they are.

      Rina - 2011-03-10 09:17

      @Kevin - "look at the bright side" please enlighten us on the bright side of savagery.... The ciminals have more hunam rights than the law abiding citizens. Bring back the death penalty

      DW - 2011-03-10 09:32

      I think you all missed the boat - Kevin seems to be making a sarcastic comment here that he thinks others will make to him when he makes negative comments. He sees nothing bright or optimistic about this

      Kevin King - 2011-03-10 09:39

      DW: Well done. After writing my letter "A shocking day", I never imagined that yet another Saffa would be subjected to this kind of brutality. We either speak out (in which case what's positive about this?) or we just imagine we didn't just read about this. The latter seems to be a popular suggestion by some which I struggle to believe is right.

      Grazy - 2011-03-10 17:01

      OK Kevin, I'm slow on the uptake. Did not read your letter.

  • Nice Guy - 2011-03-10 08:38

    Someone must be trying to increase the value of his paintings by ensuring no more paintings are made

      Slapper - 2011-03-10 09:38

      Your Effing Kidding... aren't you?

      paulmandlankosi - 2011-03-10 09:53

      Always stupid comments from you

      Brenda - 2011-03-11 10:03

      hope ure not this insensitive in person.and stop calling urself nice guy cause ure quite the opposite:-o

  • Shashi - 2011-03-10 08:43

    Enough with the killings.those who kill should be killed 2.

  • Tantrum - 2011-03-10 08:44

    "not yet clear what the motive could have been." He had a cellphone and a bakkie - there is the motive. Human life in this cesspool of country is not worth R20.

      amagwadi40 - 2011-03-15 09:26

      uhmm hope u heard it was actually a hit - a Mr Potgieter arranged for him to be killed.

  • Shashi - 2011-03-10 08:47

    Enough with the killings.those who kill should b killed 2.bring back the rope pls.tired citizen.we cannot go on like this!

  • Perfume - 2011-03-10 08:52

    Condolences to his family and friends during this time :-/

  • sandi.s.ranwell - 2011-03-10 08:53

    And his murderer will get off with a slap on the wrist and become Minister of Arts and Culture in a short while... God help us all in this cesspool of a country that South Africa has become!

  • Kim - 2011-03-10 09:00

    I don't mean to be facetious or belittle his families loss in any way, but if a body was found and nobody knew whose it was, how did they find his dentist in order to identify the body with dental records? I'm asking this becaue I genuinely want to know.

      tracykruger007 - 2011-03-10 09:12

      They probably filed a missing persons case & when the police informed of an unidentified body they informed the family & got the dentists details. Compared his records to that of the body & bob's your uncle.

      CharlSkeptic - 2011-03-10 09:12

      I am not in law enforcement, but my common sense tells me that the police match reports of missing persons with bodies found, and investigate matching those by doing an autopsy (which includes taking xrays of dental area) and comparing it with the missing person's dentist. The family obviously told the police who the victim's (at that stage missing person) dentist was

      CharlSkeptic - 2011-03-10 09:13

      comparing autopsy xrays with the dentists xrays, of course..

      burtfred - 2011-03-10 09:15

      Duh - because the police knew he was missing and they found a body that might match the missing person, so they wnt to Bosch's dentist and asked about his dental records, which matched the body. There you go, Sherlock.

      Kevin King - 2011-03-10 09:16

      We was reported missing a couple of weeks ago so when the body showed up near his smallholding it wasn't too hard to suspect it was him.

      Grazy - 2011-03-10 09:17

      Kim, I'm not sure myself but I believe suspicioun on who the body might be help there, and then it is easy to follow up trough medical aid records and/or starting with dentist in the area that the person might have used. I don't know myself exactly, but I think it is sort of a smooth sytem by now. I'd like to read some knowlegable comments on your question myself.

      Kim - 2011-03-11 08:46

      Aaah, thanks, that makes sense. It's just that so many unidentified bodies appear all the time and so many people are reported missing I just wondered if arbitrary dentists were approached to compare records in the hope that someone's teeth would be a match.

      gvdmvdm - 2011-03-11 12:44

      @Kevin: Buffelsdrift and the Zambezi Mall are at least 14km apart. I live here.

  • sbriedenhann - 2011-03-10 09:04

    I am so broken hearted over this. What a terrible end to a talented man :( Condolences to his friends and family. I hope the police can solve this horrible and unnecessary crime.

  • Lynette - 2011-03-10 09:10

    I really have NO words for the scum that are walking this earth! May they rot in hell. Sincere condolences to the family! Mr President catch a serious wake-up! Your country is a mess!

  • Pete OJ - 2011-03-10 09:23

    Another life that made a contribution to SA, snuffed out by idiots who have nothing positive to add. How long!!??

  • n s - 2011-03-10 09:58

    obviously the motive was the car and the cellphone. things like these makes this country a sad case, well done ANC, let the blood of this country be on your hands.

      amagwadi40 - 2011-03-15 09:28

      not so obvious now hey!His assistant hired the killers

  • Phineas - 2011-03-10 09:58

    What a shame, ANC Administration is a joke! Next time you vote, please cast your ballot for someone with best interest of the Country and her people at heart. ACDP is the ONLY answer. May God heal our land in Jesus Name, AMEN.

      paulmandlankosi - 2011-03-10 14:38

      ACDP, never

      Warren - 2011-03-10 20:11

      @ paulmandlankosi: Why are you always so negative? You never have anything positive to contribute, always being a pain in the tooth! Are you a MISERY ADDICT? I think you enjoy reading about other's suffering. Maybe that's why you are a dentist!

  • Mr Hobbit - 2011-03-10 10:05

    South Africa is dying, every day, black & white, pink & brown, old & young. General Cele - forget the Public Protector - please protect the public.

  • Orca - 2011-03-10 10:09

    How can they say they dont know what the motive is for heavens sake...since when do "they" need a motive...they slaughter you for your ph or bakkie like in his case...makes me sick they do!

  • Unquiet - 2011-03-10 10:14

    This is shocking beyond belief. A very sad loss to the art world .

  • emmamimie - 2011-03-10 10:49

    Another sd day in the South Africa. How can the police say "a case of murder is being investigated" the man certainly did not hide his bakkie and cellphone and then commit sucide? Tis is a murder perpetrated again by the so called humanbeings of SA.

  • cila.decaprio - 2011-03-10 11:03

    Condolences to the family. This is shocking indeed. I don't believe this is run of the mill car-and-cell-phone scenario. I believe there is a very interesting and twisted plot about to be uncovered here.

  • Mari - 2011-03-10 11:17

    WE are all devastated. What a terrible end to such a very talented artist. This is such a loss to all art lovers, friends and family. Condolences to his friends and family.

  • Johann - 2011-03-10 11:34

    Ja Boet, these senseless killings will not end, or even decreased unless the DEATH PENALTY is re-introduced ..............oh but hang on, these murderes scum have the right to life, not so !!!!

  • Tchaik - 2011-03-10 11:40


  • Cathy Finch - 2011-03-10 12:00 she would be able to solve this case - 2011-03-10 16:21

      oh, yeah? Then we await her brilliant findings.

  • Cathy Finch - 2011-03-10 12:02

  • paulf - 2011-03-10 12:32

    An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, bring back the death sentence!!!!

  • alousav - 2011-03-10 13:00

    BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY PLEASE!!!! I don't care if it's not a deterent, at least these barbarians will be taken off this planet permanently!

  • Snoopy88 - 2011-03-10 13:22

    Lucky Dube and now Cornelius Bosch. Our national treasures, our artists are being stolen from us by heartless criminals. What a waste. Every death because of crime is a tragic, tragic waste of precious life.

  • IanJ - 2011-03-10 14:01

    SA is on a slippery downhill slope and the 'majority rule' brigade just don't see or care about it. Where does all of this eventually land-up ? What a pity.

  • Stephan Visagie - 2011-03-10 15:51

    Cornelius, you were the reason for me picking up my very first paintbrush and going mad with buying canvasses and paint. Your inspirational work will be sadly missed and my condolences to your family and friends. Just one more person that saw the beauty in SA and wanted to stay here and make it work, unfortunately our barbaric fellow citizens decided how long your life here should be. Sad day indeed God speed.

      Hesta - 2011-03-11 12:22

      Willie Bosch, Cornelius' brother, is married to my sister. I just phoned Wille and read him your post. Thanks.

  • HowardX - 2011-03-10 15:52

    Disgusting. Another savage act of ethnic cleansing. Wonder if they used a police pistol?

      amagwadi40 - 2011-03-15 09:31

      Ethnic cleansing....... uhmmm a Potgieter actually hired the killers

  • Sarcastic - 2011-03-10 15:56

    I wish I knew more about art. I googled his paintings and they are absolutely beautiful. Your talent will be missed Sir.

  • Bill Xhosa - 2011-03-10 16:23

    Yesterdays article used SAPA as the source and was almost useless. Todays article was by Hilda from the Beeld and is complete. The difference in quality is shocking. Yesterdays article wouldn't be fit for a high school journalism class. Supposedly violent crime statistics are dropping. IS that because they are running out of victims or the numbers are manipulated.

  • Vernon - 2011-03-10 16:24

    What a sad end to a life! Condolences to the family.

  • Hugh - 2011-03-10 17:26

    Now that is an SA murder with all the usual trimmings. Don't they just love to mutilate. Propabily shot in the head while being burnt alive.

  • Heini - 2011-03-11 08:30

    PEOPLE SHOULD NOT BE AFRAID OF ITS GOVERNMENT, GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE AFRAID OF ITS PEOPLE. We need to stand up and demand law ENFORCEMENT coupled with the death penalty...... This is the only way forward.

  • preshengovender69 - 2011-03-11 08:47

    In the USA artist go for Comedy Roast and in South Africa the just get Roast

  • Ramaupi - 2011-03-11 09:00

    people who are responsible for this mischivious thng should be sent to jail for life

  • Sword&Cross - 2011-03-11 09:11

    zanu-pf making further inroads in SA?

  • SPECIALIST - 2011-03-11 09:49

    Soo sad that this has happened, thoughts are with your Family, Mr Bosch, rest in peace.

  • sons.roche - 2011-03-13 12:40

    Bosch, you will be dearly missed in the art world. Loved your work. R.I.P.

  • Gordon - 2011-03-14 19:34

    Another good soul gone. When would these idiots who run our country learn that these sensless killings are becoming the norm. It;s time for change and time for leaders who can lead and leaders who can protect us...

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