TIMELINE | How the net closed in on 'Jimmy' and how he fled

2019-11-21 08:03
Willem Breytenbach. (Instagram)

Willem Breytenbach. (Instagram)

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November 7 

Deon Wiggett and News24 co-publish the first of four weekly podcasts in which Wiggett investigates a man who allegedly raped him in 1996 when he was a 17-year-old pupil at Paul Roos Gimnasium.

Wiggett calls the man "Jimmy" for the time being and begins his investigation by establishing Jimmy's whereabouts.


MY ONLY STORY | A podcast series and live investigation into a sexual predator


He tracks Jimmy down via social media and visits his home and office in Cape Town, but does not confront him.

Wiggett indicates that he would be dedicating his time to finding other alleged victims of sexual abuse or rape in order to build up a strong case against Jimmy and expose him publicly. 

November 11

"Jimmy" closes all his social media accounts. He announces to his staff that he would be closing his company "for financial reasons". Two days later, he closes shop completely. Nearly 30 people lose their jobs. 

November 14

Wiggett reveals in his second podcast that "Jimmy" was a teacher at Grey College in Bloemfontein in 1989 and 1990.

This forms part of "seven lost years" that "Jimmy" had omitted from his CV.

Wiggett visits the school in disguise in an attempt to find other victims.

After a long and frustrating investigation, Wiggett makes a breakthrough when he is contacted by a former pupil who is willing to reveal incidents of a sexual nature involving pupils at the school.

While a former colleague, Ingo Machts, recalls "Jimmy", he does not recall any complaints against him nor the circumstances under which he left the school.

Former headmaster Dr Michau Heyns does not recall "Jimmy" at all. 

November 19

In anticipation of the unmasking of "Jimmy", News24 attempts to contact him. His cellphone has been disconnected and he does not reply to electronic messages. 

Calls and messages to his life partner and close colleagues go unanswered. 

News24 calls "Jimmy's" mother who passes the phone to a man who claimed to be his brother. The man tells News24 that "Jimmy" had left for Port Elizabeth on November 15 for meetings. He could not supply a contact number or provide details as to his whereabouts. 

November 21

Wiggett, in his third podcast, reveals "Jimmy" to be Willem Breytenbach, a former Media24 executive who started his career at Die Burger in Cape Town.

Before founding his own companies, Lumico and Lightspeed Digital Media, Breytenbach headed the digital division of Media24 magazines as well its weekly magazines division.

Prior to that, he headed up business development for Naspers in India. He started his career with the company as an education reporter at Die Burger, before becoming business editor and later news editor.

He also headed the Naspers national school newspaper project.

Warrant Officer Rowan Andrews is the investigating officer in the case.

He has confirmed to News24 that the criminal investigation into Breytenbach is ongoing and has asked members of the public with information that can assist the case to contact him on 082 729 8155 or 012 590 1001.

  • Warrant Officer Rowan Andrews is the investigating officer in the case. He has confirmed to News24 that the criminal investigation into Breytenbach is ongoing and has asked members of the public with information that can assist the case to contact him on 082 729 8155 or 021 590 1001.
  • News24 is continuing its investigation into Breytenbach. If you have information about him or his whereabouts, send an email to tips@24.com.


The final episode of My Only Story will be published on November 28.

Before founding his own companies, Breytenbach headed the digital division of Media24 magazines. He also headed the Media24 weekly magazines division. Prior to that, he headed up business development for Naspers in India. He started his career with the company as an education reporter at Die Burger, before becoming business editor and later news editor. He also headed the school newspaper project.

News24 is owned by Media24, a division of Naspers.


Read more on:    willem breytenbach  |  deon wiggett  |  rape  |  my only story
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