‘When I identified Anele I counted 10 very deep gashes on his face. The butt of the rifle was lying broken next to his body’
Fritz Joubert first tried to hang Anele Hoyana’s three-week-old baby with a rope and put him [Anele] and his three-year-old toddler in a bathtub before they were rescued by the police.
Anele, an East London sangoma, was killed by Joubert a week ago.
This is the chilling account given by Anele’s emotional brother, Olwethu Hoyana, at his funeral yesterday in Kwelera, East London.
Olwethu said his brother cared deeply about his family and had died trying to protect them.
Olwethu was the first member of the family to see Anele’s lifeless body at Joubert’s home in Kwelera.
Speaking to hundreds of mourners at the funeral at the family smallholding yesterday, Olwethu said his brother did not deserve to die the way he did.
Anele’s fiancée, Babalwa, was at Joubert’s house with their three-week-old son and their three-year-old son when Anele was killed.
She told Olwethu what happened.
He said he had received a call to go to identify the body of his young brother just across the valley from their smallholding.
He told mourners how his younger brother had died.
“Anele had been here at home for the past four months expecting his now three-week-old son.
“In the four months he was home he befriended Joubert and they grew close. Joubert was someone known to the family, particularly to my mother because whenever she had an electricity problem she would ask Fritz to fix it,” Olwethu said.
He said Joubert wanted to start farming game, a project they worked on with Anele.
“Two weeks ago as they [Anele and Joubert] were working on the game reserve project, Anele managed to canvass his network and contacts from the tourism department to arrange a site inspection.
“And, because he was spending a lot of time at Fritz’s place working on the project, he took his family to stay there. He wanted them to be in the same place instead of having to arrive home late at night or leave early in the morning to work with Fritz,” said Olwethu.
On November 27, on the day of the site visit, things went smoothly and there were no problems.
Olwethu said reports suggesting that his young brother was teaching Joubert to be a traditional healer – an isangoma – were false.
Olwethu said last Friday night he and Anele attended a function in the village together. It turned out to be the last time he saw his brother alive.
He said Babalwa told him that when Anele returned to Joubert’s place, he told Joubert that, since they had finished preparations for the game reserve site visit, he would be returning to the Hoyana homestead across the valley.
“At this point Fritz ignored Anele. But they had a number of arguments during the course of the evening. Anele had called Fritz out about his behaviour which had become quite erratic that evening.
“It’s difficult to say outright that Fritz was a racist but he did have racist tendencies and they came out in how he addressed Anele and other locals and that is what played out that night on a number of occasions,” Olwethu said.
He said the videos that were circulating on social media in which Joubert was talking about disrespect were related to the fact that Anele had called him out on his behaviour.
“He [Joubert] is a person who had a superiority complex that would flare up from time to time,” Olwethu said.
He said Joubert first assaulted Anele that night using a knobkerrie.
“Anele survived that blow and went outside, leaving his fiancée and children inside the house, and tried to call the police.
“At one point Fritz threatened Anele’s partner, Babalwa. Fritz also tried to hang Anele’s three-week-old baby with a rope and put Anele and the three-year-old boy in a bathtub before they were rescued by police.
“Anele tried to defend his family and begged Fritz to stop what he was doing. Babalwa went to pack their belongings but Fritz called her and told her to ‘come and see what I have done’.
“Anele was lying on the floor at that time,” Olwethu said.
He said at that point his brother was still alive and as Babalwa went to his side to try to help him, Joubert stopped her, and started to assault Anele again, this time with the butt of a rifle on his face.
“When I went to identify Anele I counted about 10 very deep gashes from the rifle on his face. The butt of the rifle was lying broken next to his body.
“I am not sure what kind of anger and hatred possesses a man to bludgeon somebody like that,” Olwethu said.
When police arrived Anele had already died and Joubert had put both the three-year-old boy and three-week-old-baby inside the bathtub.
“Two police officers tried to negotiate with Fritz but he resisted. They tried to distract him and, once they did so, a police officer took the children.
“Fritz had tried to disarm another police officer and they wrestled. The police officer shot Fritz in self-defence and he died,” said Olwethu.
Mourners included Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane; the Deputy Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Inkosi Phathekile Holomisa; the Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Bhuti Manamela; and businessperson Luthando Bara.
Hundreds of others, dressed mostly in black, sang and danced as they celebrated Anele’s life.
The family had set up a marquee on the grounds of the family smallholding in Kwelera.
Less than a kilometre away from the garden of the family home was Joubert’s house.
Anele, a devoted rugby player in his heyday, leaves behind his parents, father Xhantilomzi and mother Tenjiwe, and his siblings, Olwethu, Unathi and Iviwe.
Also known as Ncibane – his praise name or “MC”, his nickname – Anele is survived by his fiancée, Babalwa, and three children, Simamkele, Lithongo and Hlumani.