Kritzinger's death wish

2002-08-12 22:00

Pretoria - Alleged Pretoria bus-shooter De Wet Kritzinger was planning on getting killed by police during the bus attack, as he would have gone to hell had he committed suicide, in accordance with his extremist religious convictions.

Kritzinger (30), a convert of the Israel Vision, allegedly believes he did not shoot and kill people, as black people are not his fellow-man.

A statement by investigating officer Captain Bennie de Beer reads that Kritzinger repeatedly referred to black people as "kaffirs" in interviews with the police. He regards them as pagans, whom he does not love.

This statement was submitted to the Pretoria regional court before magistrate Kallie Bosch, who refused Kritzinger's bail application on Monday.

Bosch believes the public order would be disturbed should Kritzinger be granted bail and that his supporters could assist him in going underground.

Kritzinger stands accused on three charges of murder and four of attempted murder after the incident in Constantia Park, Pretoria, on January 12, 2000.

A man had boarded a bus to Mamelodi on the corner of General Louis Botha Drive and Douglas Scholtz Street, shot and killed the bus driver and opened fire on passengers.

De Beer said Kritzinger had explained exactly what his intentions had been in interviews with police.

"My wife divorced me. I could see that she wanted to continue with her life and possibly wanted to remarry. In accordance with my religious convictions, she could not remarry while I was still alive."

"I wanted to commit suicide but could not as I would go to hell according to my religious beliefs. I then decided to launch the attack on the kaffirs on the bus, to remain in the bus until the police arrived, and then to cause conflict so that the police would shoot and kill me.

"Things did not, however, work out that way, as the bus started moving towards an abyss after I had shot the driver and I did not want to be trapped in the bus with kaffirs," were Kritzinger's words to De Beer when asked why he had done it.

De Beer said Kritzinger clearly stated that it had not been a political attack, as he did not belong to any political party.

The statement reads that Kritzinger had hidden in the mountains at Patensie in the Eastern Cape for six months after the incident. He was able to survive in the "severely inhospitable environment" because there is an abundance of water and game.

De Beer said Kritzinger told him that he became lonely and decided to go to Nylstroom in Limpopo, where no one knew him.

Kritzinger considered giving himself up to police, but decided against it when his circumstances in Nylstroom changed for the better.

Kritzinger worked as handyman. He received a mechanical engineering diploma from the Technikon Pretoria with honours in 1996.

He was apprehended under the pseudonym Jan Pretorius in Nylstroom on June 14 after police received a tip-off.

De Beer said other supporters of the Israel Vision had told him that they would not betray Kritzinger like "Judas".

This group of people do not support the government, refuse to assist government officials and says the police's R100 000 reward on Kritzinger's head meant "nothing" to them.

Kritzinger's statement reads that he came to know several Nylstroom policemen. He had walked past the police station to his place of work every day from January up until the day he was apprehended, greeting several police officials.

He was seeking bail so that he could help his mother Ryna on their farm Smaldeel at Edenville in the Free State, is willing to be subjected to house arrest and has R40 000 for bail.

The case was postponed to October 4 so that a date for the hearing in the Pretoria High Court can be arranged.

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