2007-05-03 : Gang tortures woman with boiling water

http://www.star.co.za <br>
starletters@inl.co.za (was sma@star.co.za)<br>
Fax: 011 836 8398

Moderator: GenMod

2007-05-03 : Gang tortures woman with boiling water

Postby GOSA » Fri, 2007-05-04 12:04

Gang tortures woman with boiling water
Baldwin Ndaba
May 03 2007 at 04:50AM

Enraged when they could not find the guns they hoped were hidden in a house, callous robbers boiled water and repeatedly poured it over the 68-year-old woman homeowner.

Sandy Staats, of Craighall Park in Johannesburg, was so badly burnt in the torture that she died this week in Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital.

Yet, despite the sadistic nature of the attack, details were not released by police - even to the local policing forum.

Details emerged only when the news of Staats's death became known.

'They put something over their heads and tight ropes around their necks'
The attack took place on April 20 when Staats and a female colleague were in the house in Buckingham Avenue.

The armed robbers stormed into the house and demanded money and guns.

On Wednesday, Penny Steyn, a friend of the dead woman, said the robbers grabbed the two women and tied their hands behind their backs.

Their ankles were also tied before they were dragged to the bathroom.

"They put something over their heads and tight ropes around their necks. They then demanded money, guns and jewellery."

'I do not know if it ever happened in the past'

The gang apparently went berserk when they found bullets in one of the drawers in the house, after Staats said she had no firearms.

"Sandy told them she had handed the guns to the police and offered them her credit cards.

"She also told them where her jewellery was," Steyn said.

The men then boiled some water and carried it through to the bathroom where they repeatedly poured it over Staats, in full view of the other woman.

One of the neighbours became aware of the drama after hearing Staats's dog continuously barking.

"The neighbour tried to contact Sandy but did not get a reply on her cellphone. She then alerted the police before ringing the doorbell.

"Police arrived and surrounded the house. They noticed one of the robbers jumping over the neighbour's fence and arrested him," Steyn said.

Staats's colleague - whose identity is known to The Star - has chosen to remain silent about their brutal ordeal on the advice of the police.

On Wednesday, the survivor referred all inquiries to the investigating officer.

Police confirmed that one suspect was still behind bars and had made his second appearance in the Wynberg magistrate's court on Wednesday.

Police spokesperson Captain Cheryl Engelbrecht said the suspect was only facing a charge of housebreaking - a murder charge would be added once a postmortem on Staats was done on Thursday.

Police have withheld the suspect's name until an identity parade is held.

Engelbrecht said that in the past, police investigations in another case were put in jeopardy when the name of a well-known suspect was published before his involvement in the crime was confirmed.

However, police could not explain why they failed to report the attack to the media.

Earlier, Engelbrecht promised to inquire from her superiors what the reason was, but then failed to answer her cellphone.

Richard Dancer, chair person of the Parkview Community Policing Forum under whose jurisdiction Craighall Park falls, said it was the first time he had heard of such a brutal attack.

"I do not know if it ever happened in the past. These criminals resort to all sorts of tactics."

Asked why the matter was not reported to the media, Dancer said the job of the police was to arrest criminals.

"I am pleased that the police arrested somebody," he said.

Dr Johan Burger, of the Institute for Security Studies, said that torture as a tactic had been "frequently"used by criminals in the past.

The tactic was favoured "when they confront vulnerable victims, such as old people.

"It is a method they use when they want to force the victims to reveal where they keep their valuable things or keys to their safes," said Burger.

This article was originally published on page 3 of The Star on May 03, 2007
What have YOU done for YOUR rights today?
Site Admin
Posts: 1598
Joined: Sun, 2006-01-29 15:42
Location: South Africa

Return to The Star

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest