'Everything I believe in one word: Hope' - Piet Byleveld's CV

24 May 2017 - 18:26 By TMG Digital
subscribe Just R20 for the first month. Support independent journalism by subscribing to our digital news package.
Subscribe now
Retired top cop Piet Byleveld.
Retired top cop Piet Byleveld.

Piet Byleveld's Curriculum Vitae show the achievements the super sleuth felt worthy of highlighting. Interestingly‚ he includes investigations into two unsolved cases.

This was presented soon after his retirement from the SAPS when the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry into police inefficiency and the breakdown of relations between police and the community called for representations from experts.

IN HIS OWN WORDS - His CV follows here:
Retired Brigadier PEJ van S Byleveld

Personal Details:
Full Names: Petrus Erasmus Johannes van Staden
Rank: Retired Brigadier

- I was the longest serving murder and robbery investigator in the South African Police Service (“SAPS”).
- I have acted as the Commanding Officer of the Murder and Robbery Unit as well as at the Serious Violent Crime Unit‚ Johannesburg on numerous occasions for extended periods of time.

  • South Africa's super sleuth Piet Byleveld has diedVeteran former police detective Piet Byleveld has died in Johannesburg. 

- As a result of my reputation‚ success rate‚ experience‚ expertise and proven record of credibility in the Regional and High Courts of South Africa‚ I was approached on a regular basis to either conduct investigations or assist in the following instances:
* Investigation of serial killer cases; * Official co-ordinator and investigator of all serial killer cases in Gauteng Province; and * Tasked with special investigations by both the Provincial and Area Commissioners.
- Assisted the Scorpions (the Directorate of Special Operations of the National Prosecutions Authority) with an investigation in Cape Town involving a murderer who had fed the bodies of his victims to white sharks off the Cape coast.
- Involved in the taking of confessions‚ the pointing out of scenes of crime‚ as well as the conducting of identification parades in high profile cases.

  • Top crime-buster Piet Byleveld's family told there's nothing more doctors can do for himDoctors monitoring critically ill ace detective Piet Byleveld are said to have told his family that there is nothing more they can do for him. 

- As a result of my successful investigations and subsequent prosecutions of the accused‚ the Director of Public Prosecution allocated an office to me at the High Court of Johannesburg. This has not only led to better communication and co-operation with the Department of Public Prosecutions; it has also enhanced the successful prosecution of criminals as a whole.
- Internationally recognised for my investigative expertise. In this regard‚ members of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”)‚ the London Metropolitan Police (Scotland Yard) and the Canadian Police and the Israel Mossad came to South Africa to seek guidance on the investigation into serial killings.
- Assisted the international expert on serial killings‚ Robert Ressler of the FBI with his research into serial killings.
- Referred to by Dr Micki Pistorius‚ former profiler of serial killers‚ in her books on serial killers.
- Participated in numerous radio and television interviews.
- Featured in various articles published locally and internationally.
- Dynamic career reflecting extensive experience in:
* Criminal Investigation;
* Evidence and Legal Procedure; and
* Liaison with Government Departments‚ Media and Local Communities.
- Substantial leadership qualities‚ set direction and influence aspirant detectives to follow a shared vision.
- Possesses strong analytical and assessment skills to identify and solve problems and issues. Result driven‚ practical individual‚ enjoys high volumes of work and copes well under pressure.
- Maintains trusting relations with colleagues‚ both internally and externally.
- Dedicated and thorough Investigation Officer who will leave no stone unturned to bring offenders to book.
- Successfully concluded investigations in the shortest period of time with a team of only five members.

Employment History:
July 2008

- Appointed as a non-executive director on the board of ABSA (Amalgamated Banks of South Africa). I will be using this leverage in the private sector to help strengthen companies and individuals efforts against crime.

- Promoted to the rank of Director.

1996 – 2007
- Concentrated solely on the investigation of serial killing cases.

- Promoted to the rank of Lieutenant after successfully completing a Candidate Officers’ course in Paarl in the Western Cape.
- Promoted to the rank of Captain when the rank of Lieutenant was dispensed with when the new rank structure was implemented.

- Tasked by the then National Commissioner of the South African Police (“SAP”) (the predecessor organisation to the SAPS) to investigate serial killings in South Africa. My main brief was to concentrate on the co-ordination of these investigations in Gauteng.

1990 – 1993
- Re-enlisted in the SAP and was again assigned to the Brixton Murder and Robbery Unit.
- Specialised in the investigation of Police Murders after a trend was identified in the Gauteng area. I had a 100% success ratio in the solving and conviction of these cases.
- Became involved in the investigation of serial killings.

1988 – 1990
- Resigned from the SAP to join my family in an existing agricultural venture. - After considerable pressure from the Director of Public Prosecutions I decided to return to the SAP.

1981 - 1988
- Promoted to the rank of Detective Warrant Officer.

1977 – 1981
- 1 June 1977 I was transferred to the Brixton Murder and Robbery Unit after being nominated by my superiors as a result of many successful criminal investigations and subsequent convictions.
- Whilst at the Brixton Murder and Robbery Unit I was appointed to concentrate on armed robberies committed at Financial Institutions. I played a significant role in the solving of the notorious Stander Gang case; André Stander being‚ in fact‚ an ex-colleague of mine.
- At a later stage I was appointed to specialise in the investigation of House Murders with the assistance of Detective Sergeant Phineas Gcumisa.
- During the above period I had a success ratio of 80% as far as the solving of crimes and subsequent convictions and many accused were sentenced to pay the highest penalty by the High Court.

1974 – 1977
- Successfully completed a Detective Course at the SAP. College and continued service at the Hillbrow Police Station.
- Promoted to the rank of Detective Sergeant.

1972 – 1974
- Transferred to the Detective Branch at the Hillbrow Police Station.

1970 – 1972
- Enrolled with the SAP on 24 January 1970
- Performed duties at the Rankin’s Pass Police station as a Student Constable.
- Commenced training at the SAP College at the beginning of July 1970.
- Transferred to the Hillbrow Police station in December 1970 after successfully completing training at the SAP College.
- Assigned to the Enquiry Branch where I conducted investigations into motor vehicle accidents‚ assault and malicious damage to property cases.

Key Investigations:
April 2006 – Retirement
Club Bouncers and Drug related Issues
- I was appointed by the Director of Public Prosecutions of Johannesburg to investigate the burgeoning crime problem involving club bouncers and associated drug dealings. My team and I have arrested 90 people‚ including kingpins‚ we have closed two clubs and discovered and closed a laboratory where methcathinone (CAT) was being manufactured. CAT and cannabis to the value of R 37 million ($ 5 million) was seized.

February 2006 Sheldean Human Murder
- In February 2006‚ 7-year old Sheldean Human was last seen alive close to her home in Hercules‚ Pretoria.
- Shortly after her disappearance a suspect‚ Andrew Jordaan‚ was arrested. However‚ after two weeks in detention he hadn’t admitted to any involvement with her disappearance.
- I was contacted by the Hercules Police Station who informed me that they had found newspaper and magazine articles covering the trial of the murderer of Leigh Matthews (see below) at the home of the suspect. I decided to interview the suspect my office.

During the interview he admitted to hero-worshipping me. After further questioning he became very emotional and admitted that he had murdered Sheldean. He also led me to the scene of the crime where her body was found. In June 2008 he was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment.

2004 Leigh Mathews Abduction and Murder
- After the initial investigation into the abduction of Leigh Matthews was unsuccessful‚ I was appointed as the Investigating Officer. As the result of a thorough investigation‚ I obtained information that let to the arrest of Donovan Moodley. Moodley subsequently confessed to the abduction and the murder and lead us to the abandoned body. In August 2005‚ Moodley was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment.

2003 Johannesburg Mine Dump Serial Killer
- Sipho Dube was arrested by the Child Protection Unit for the murder of one minor. The Area Commissioner appointed me to take over the investigation and after intensive investigation the accused was also linked to several other murders‚ rapes and incidents of sodomy committed on mine dumps on the outskirts of Johannesburg and in Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal. In 2006 Sipho Dube was found guilty and handed ten life sentences.

2003 Crossbow Murder
- In May 2003‚ I was appointed by the Area Commissioner to take over the investigation of the so-called “Crossbow Murder” in which an adult female had been shot in the neck with the bolt of a cross-bow after the initial investigation proved unsuccessful. After three months of intensive investigation I apprehended the husband of the deceased. The accused was eventually acquitted as a result of insufficient testimony.

2003 Hillbrow Serial Rapist
- I successfully assisted in the investigation of several rape cases committed by Fanwell Khumalo.
- Khumalo was found guilty on 42 counts of raping minor children and sentenced to 42 life sentences and 263 years imprisonment.

2001 - 2002 Bruma Lake Serial Killers
- After intensive investigation I arrested Simon Majola and Themba Nkosi who were subsequently found guilty of 8 counts of murder and 26 other charges. Majola and Nkosi were sentenced to terms of imprisonment of 700+ and 400+ years respectively.

1997 - 2000 Wemmerpan / Hammer Serial Killer
- I initially arrested Cedric Maake in connection with incidents of murder‚ robbery and rape committed in the vicinity of Wemmerpan‚ Johannesburg. Subsequently‚ I linked him to similar crimes committed by the so-called “Hammer Killer” who beat his victims to death with a hammer. Maake was subsequently found guilty of 27 murders and 122 other charges and was sentenced to a 2‚ 214-year term of imprisonment.

1996 - 1997 Kranskop Serial Killer
- I was appointed by the Office of the National Commissioner‚ to take over this investigation. Bongani Mfeka was found guilty of eight murders and sentenced to a 112-year term of imprisonment.

1996 Langlaagte Serial Rapist
- Acting on information received‚ I acted on my own initiative and identified 41 cases of rape‚ which have likely been committed by the same perpetrator. No arrests have however been made to date and the investigation is still continuing.

1996 - 2002
- Nasrec Serial Killer - Lazurus Mazinkane was found guilty of 16 murders and was sentenced to 17 life sentences plus 780 years imprisonment.

1993 Knysna Serial Killers
- Tony Wessels and co-accused Havenga were found guilty of three murders. Wessels received the death penalty and Havenga‚ who was a minor‚ was sentenced to 35 years imprisonment.

1977 Shotgun Gang
- I was appointed to assist Captain Van Wyk in the investigation of armed robberies. One of the gang members‚ one Dougie Scheepers‚ was eventually convicted and was the first white person to receive the death penalty for armed robbery.

- Received a commendation from the Divisional Commissioner for outstanding investigation of a culpable homicide case whilst serving at Rankin’s Pass as Student Constable in 1970
- Awarded as the best student of Troup 41 in the SAPS College‚ Pretoria during the passing-out parade in December 1970
- Received numerous commendations from:
* National Commissioner of the SAPS;
* The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions;
* Presiding magistrates in Regional Courts;
* Judges of the High Courts of South Africa;
* Provincial and Area Commissioners of the SAPS

- I have been nominated in the past amongst the top ten “Heroes Category” and as one of the “Top 100 Newsmakers of the Year” published in The Star newspaper.

The following Medals have been rewarded to me in the by the South African Police Service:
* SA Police Medal for Combating Terrorism
* SA Police Medal for Faithful Service
* SA Police Star for Faithful Service
* SA Police Service Thirty Year Loyal Service Medal
* SA Police Seventy-Fifth Anniversary Commemoration Medal
* SA Police Service Commendation Medal (One of only seven policemen to have received this medal)

May 2010 - Received an Award from International InterPol and InterPol South Africa – exceptional service rendered to the South African Police Service
May 2007 - Rainmakers Award South – West Gauteng Colleges
September 2006 - Security Association of South Africa: Personality of the Year Award
May 2005 - Toast Masters International: Leadership Communications Award
2003 - South African Broadcast Television (SABC2): Judicial Newsmaker of the Year (shared with Advocate George Bizos SC)
2002 - Star Newspaper: The Star’s Newsmaker of the Year Award – Category Heroes
2001 - Star Newspaper: The Star’s Newsmaker of the Year Award – Category Heroes
1998 - Serious and Violent Crime Head-Office: The Best Serial Killer Investigator of South Africa Award.

Serious and Violent Crime Unit
Received the Suiker Britz Floating Trophy: Commissioner Britz‚ generally considered to be one of the finest detectives in the SAPS‚ often spoke about “Ysters”‚ the term in which he referred to his specialized detectives.

This was a term of endearment and absolute respect for the detectives that were prepared to go the extra mile; detectives who had dedication‚ loyalty‚ initiative‚ and would carry on until they had literally exhausted every possible avenue in an investigation. In the words of Commissioner Suiker Britz:

“Byleveld is such a man‚ a man with a passion for the job”.

Presented during my career various lectures at the following Institutions on topics involving areas of expertise:
* South African Police Training Centre in Hammanskraal‚ Pretoria and Paarl
* Department of Criminology University of South Africa (UNISA) and University of Pretoria
* Department of Public Prosecutions‚ Johannesburg regarding identification parades
* Community services on the East Rand

In my capacity as Superintendent‚ Director and General Spokesperson for the SAPS‚ I addressed audiences ranging from schools and churches to corporate companies and societies‚ including MENSA on topics such as drug prevention and serial killer profiling.

* 1968: Nylstroom High School Grade 12
* 1969: Free State: Bethlehem and Kroonstad Completed South African Defence Force service in the Engineering Corps
* 1970: Pretoria South African Police College Legal Grade 12
* Courses: Psychological Motivation / Interrogation

Being a policeman has been my mission and my passion for the past 38 years‚ and spreading the message of justice will remain my vision for the rest of my life. If I had to summarise everything I believe and hopefully represent and symbolise in one word‚ it would have be: HOPE.

subscribe Just R20 for the first month. Support independent journalism by subscribing to our digital news package.
Subscribe now