Tuesday, November 24, 2015


There is a little seaside village called Knysna.  The only real income to keep the village going during out of season is the huge amount being spent by visitors and tourists to the village during the holidays; and in particular, during the Christmas holidays which usually covers six weeks.
The clubs and bars hum with business and the chink-chink of the cash registers. Booze is selling very well.  Everyone is happy.   At one of the night venues is a beautiful looking DJ who is always smiling.  He becomes the target of every young girl’s dreams.  To be seen hanging on his arm, or standing behind the turn-tables with this good-looking young fellow creates a competition between the young women.  He in turn reciprocates – they want to make love, he makes love.  What young man would turn away from beautifully shaped, stunning looking young women?

Suddenly, the holiday feeling and the peace of the village is shattered when a young girl is murdered and a month later, another is murdered.

The police are under tremendous pressure to put the murderer behind bars.  They are being pressured by all the businesses.  “People will stop coming for the holidays” the business owners scream.    A third person is murdered, but that person hardly features in the gossip and the speculation going around the town.  The murder of the girls is on everyone’s lips.

Meanwhile, earlier in the year, March 2005, Inge Lotz is brutally murdered in her Stellenbosch apartment.  The police are also under pressure to find and convict her murderer. They settle on her boyfriend, Fred van der Vyver who was arrested.  However, the Western Cape High Court acquitted him.  He was innocent.   The murderer is still at large ten years later.

Why am I discussing the murder of Inge Lotz when the subject of this article is Knysna and a good-looking DJ.   Wait … the reason will become evident.  Let us set aside the Stellenbosch murder for the moment.

In October 2005, Jessica Wheeler was found murdered in the church yard in Knysna.  The police were unable to identify a clear suspect and no arrests were made.  In November 2005 (just before the Christmas influx of tourists and holiday makers), Victoria Stadler was found murdered at the Noetzie forest at Knysna.   Both girls socialized at the same nightclubs, one being “Stones”, where the popular young DJ worked his magic with his music.

The third person murdered and seldom spoken about was Peter McHelm.  He was found on the same day and in the same vicinity as Victoria Stadler.  Aubrey Kamoeti and Byron Moses were arrested, charged and found guilty of the murder of Peter McHelm.   This is a glaringly obvious anomaly – why were these two people found guilty of the murder of Peter McHelm but not of Victoria Stadler?  It does not take a rocket scientist to realize that there is a huge problem here that was not addressed by the police. It is not logical for two people to kill Peter McHelm, but for someone else to come along and kill Victoria at the same time and in the same place.  One has to be a complete idiot to believe that.

Director A Trollip of the SAPS, Christhenus van der Vijver, the public prosecutor, and Superintendent S Otto from the SAPS forensics  were all involved in both the Lotz murder (where the accused was acquitted) and the Knysna murders.   Why did Director A Trollip and his team have to come from the Western Cape to Knysna, weeks after the murder and suddenly they had a suspect?  Why was the forensics negative until Director Trollip arrived, when suddenly they became positive?  The DJ was framed!  That good-looking, fun-loving Heinrich van Rooyen was found guilty of the murder of both girls, and sentenced to 30 years imprisonment without option of parole.  Leave to appeal was denied.

He has now been in prison for ten years.   His parents have sent 1.2 million rand on his defence.  Once the money ran out … who cared if one young man was put away for life?

We care and we will do whatever it takes to right this miscarriage of justice.  The murderer of Jessica Wheeler is still at large.  It is common knowledge that the murder of Victoria Stadler was committed by the same people who murdered Peter McHelm.

There has been no justice for Jessica Wheeler and no justice for Heinrich van Rooyen.   Let us all work hard to right a wrong.  Let us fight injustice with every ounce of our strength and with every breath we take.   “For what you do to the least of my brothers, you do unto me”.