Maketta victims recount reign of terror

Original Permalink

By MATT MEDVED

When Sally Van Niekerk awoke on the night of November 19, 2005 to feel someone’s hand on her throat, she instinctively reached up and recoiled at the touch of the man’s closely cropped hair.

“I realised it couldn’t be my husband,” said Van Niekerk, a 37-year-old worker at the Honey Hood Farm in Philippi.

“He has nice hair and this man’s was rough. I shouted and he said he would kill me if I shouted again. I told him he could do anything, just please don’t kill me.”

The intruder proceeded to rape her before escaping through a broken window. Van Niekerk had been locked in her house by her husband Frans Martinus Baneswa for safety and when he did not return to let her out, she climbed through the same window and alerted her neighbour Marie Isaacs.

Isaacs recalled: “I was getting ready for church when she came and said a man got in from the roof and raped her. I sent a friend to check if her husband had come back.

“I never made it to church,” she said. “My friend came running back in tears.”

Baneswa’s body was found in a nearby shack, evidently dragged inside after he had been killed by blows to the head with a blunt object.

Van Niekerk identified the rapist as Jimmy Maketta, who yesterday pleaded guilty to 47 charges – including 16 of murder and 19 of rape – in the Cape High Court.

Maketta terrorised the Philippi farmlands for months, beginning his bloody spree in Grabouw between March 1996 and December 1999 before moving to Philippi in 2005. He was arrested in Constantia on December 20, 2005.

Victims and Philippi community members demonstrated outside the Cape High Court yesterday with placards which read: “He raped our mothers and sisters” and “Bring back the death penalty now”.

Skiday Petersen slumped against the side of the High Court building, silent amidst the protest din.

The same morning that Baneswa’s body turned up, the naked body of his wife Jennifer was found in a dam on the Geduld Farm in Philippi.

Marie Isaacs said: “I saw her skirt and panties scattered on the ground.

“I had to find Skiday and tell him his wife was in the dam. The rapist killed her.”

“After the attacks, we had to sleep four families to a house,” said Abraham Fransman, chairman of the Philippi Farmworkers Informal Settlement Urban Development Council. “We were terrified; no one knew when he might strike again.”

The murders of Baneswa and Petersen came less than two weeks after a previous attack in the area.

On November 9, 2005, Johannes Willemse, 62, said he awoke in confusion to his wife’s screams coming from the back of their house on the Klein-gesorg Farm.

He rushed in to see Maketta throwing his wife out of a window after he had finished raping her. Willemse tried to assist her, but Maketta bludgeoned him on the side of the head with a pole and knocked him down. He struck him on the head repeatedly and stole food and wine before fleeing.

After spending six months in the hospital, Willemse, whose wife also survived her ordeal, can barely walk and one s ide of his face appears sunken in, damaged by the blows.

Willemse stared sadly at Maketta when he was brought into court in chains yesterday. Clad in a green checked shirt and black jeans, Maketta smiled at the gathered farm workers.

“Maketta is sick. He murdered the old and weak. He raped old women,” Fransman said.

Isaacs said she did not think a life sentence in prison was ample justice.

“We cannot get our people back,” she said, with a steely glare.

“I feel very hurt seeing him in court, dressed nicely and being taken care of. This man murdered our people. He killed them like dogs.”

Advertisements

~ by Matt Medved on May 3, 2007.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s