Looking back on year of living dangerously
High-profile crime dominated as underworld intrigue unfolded around a series of killings
WHILE police statistics released in 2011 showed a drop in the crime rate, several highprofile crimes were recorded across the country.
And 2011 was also a year in which rhino poaching soared in SA, with more than 400 poached so far. In the Western Cape two rhinos were dehorned at Aquila Game Reserve in August, one of which died. Two more were dehorned at Fairy Glen, near Worcester, at the beginning of this month.
In March, underworld boss Cyril Beeka was shot dead, allegedly by a gunman on a motorcycle, near Bellville. The driver of Beeka’s vehicle was also shot. He was recently identified as Serbian hitman and fugitive Dobrosav Gavric, and is set to fight his extradition to that country. Although no arrests have been made in connection with the murder, suspicion originally fell on Czech fraud accused Radovan Krecjir after his house was raided and a “hit list” bearing Beeka’s name was found there.
Beeka, an associate of slain strip club boss Lolly Jackson, was not the only person linked to Jackson to lose his life this year.
Mark Andrews, a former business partner of Jackson’s, and Jackson’s lawyer Ian Jordaan were murdered in Johannesburg in September. Andrews was found with his hands tied, with a single bullet wound to the head. Just days later, Jordaan’s charred remains were found in a silver double- cab bakkie. The two murder investigations have been linked, but no arrests have been made.
In August, Roz van der Vyver responded to a false advert on popular website Gumtree for a job at a supermarket as a casual stock taker. A horror ordeal, during which she was drugged and gang- raped, ensued. She suffered massive brain trauma and died the following month.
The next month, Johannesburg model Nom- fundo Tyulu was found dead in an upmarket guesthouse in Sunset Beach. Thabo Bester, also known as the Facebook rapist, who lured several mod- els from around the country, and who is serving a 50-year sentence after pleading guilty to two rapes in Durban, will stand trial for Tyulu’s murder in the new year.
In October, SA’S census kicked off, with several censusrelated crimes taking place across the country as criminals used the opportunity to gain access to the homes of unsuspecting South Africans.
In the Western Cape, the first census-related victim was a census worker whose bag was snatched by one of the people she was counting.
In November a spate of farm attacks occurred across the Western Cape. In one incident a Malmesbury couple was attacked and beaten for more than an hour. A Grabouw woman was shot in another attack, and in the third attack an elderly couple in their eighties was attacked in their Vredendal home.
Also in November, a young Pretoria mother was shot dead by a gunman on a motorbike moments after she dropped her five-year-old son at school. Two men, one a suspended police officer, have pleaded guilty to the murder of Chanelle Henning, and are serving 18-year sentences. Three other men have been arrested, but the mastermind behind the attack has yet to be revealed.
This month Hawks captain Esmerald Bailey, well known for her work on the Baby Jordon Leigh Norton murder case, was arrested for allegedly selling police uniforms and ammunition.
MURDER SCENE: Police on Modderdam Road where Cyril Beeka was shot and killed by an alleged gunman on a motorbike.
VICTIM: Cyril Beeka
FUGITIVE: Dobrosav Gavric