No love lost in Parys

27 May 2016 - 09:17 By Shaun Smillie

Norma Jubeba is waiting for news today. She will be sitting in her room on a floor that smells of urine, waiting for her daughters to tell her what happened in court. She would have gone herself, but her legs can no longer carry her.She hopes there will be new information that will help her understand how her grandson, Simon Jubeba, died on January 6.She said: "I just want justice to be served, I don't blame anyone."Today, seven of the men accused of murdering Jubeba and Samuel Tjixa are appearing in the Parys Magistrate's Court.Yesterday three new suspects were identified, bringing the total number to 10.Alon SkuyOne of the 10 is Parys police captain Henk Prinsloo, a well-liked man in the town whose voice is regularly heard on the local community radio station Koepel Stereo, where he has a slot on Thursdays, discussing crime-related issues in the town.The captain's arrest has shocked the community."Henk is not that kind of guy, he is the kind of guy that walks the extra mile," said friend Nols Coetzee, who has been helping to raise money for Prinsloo's defence.Coetzee, like Jubeba and a lot of the townsfolk of Parys, are unclear about what happened on January 6. It is a tangle of rumours and half-truths.But, according to the Hawks, Jubeba and Tjixa arrived at Lodewikus van der Westhuizen's farm in Weiveld district near Parys, and demanded R20000 from him at gunpoint.Van der Westhuizen, said the Hawks, was able to fight his attackers off and press a panic button. Farmers in the area later found the two robbery suspects about 8km from Van der Westhuizen's farm.The two were badly beaten and later died in hospital.Then there are the rumours: That the two labourers had arrived looking for money they were owed, that Van der Westhuizen was injured, not from a pistol-whipping but from a broomstick he collided with while chasing the two; that warnings had gone out in the Weiveld district that there was going to be trouble two days before the incident.Neighbourhood watch organiser Ryno Lindeque said the town first reacted to the deaths with shock, "but now there is empathy for everyone involved".Parys rarely encounters serious crime, he said."It is petty stuff like dogs going missing. I don't even lock my house, I feel that safe," Lindeque said.When the accused first appeared in court, police had to separate EFF, ANC and white supporters with razor wire. Some white supporters flew the Vierkleur, the flag of the Old Transvaal Republic.Parys residents said these supporters were from out of town. For Renee Hartslief, a game farmer and a long-time ANC supporter, the demonstrations polarised the community."We had so much hope," she said. "This is the worst I have seen in 22 years of living here."In the township of Tumahole, 4km from Parys, Simon Jubeda's family do not know how they will cope as he was the only breadwinner in the house, earning R300 a month as a labourer. Now the family of six survives off granny Jubeda's pension. "Last night we slept with nothing to eat," Jubeba said.The town is bracing for a drawn-out investigation and court case."People are saying this and that, but in the end we must remember two people died that day," said Lindeque.

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