Gonubie killer's descent into madness
Fritz Joubert left a trail of terror in the lead-up to the senseless murder of his friend Anele Hoyana
When Fritz Joubert cocked his gun and held it to Mohammed Allarakha’s chest in a Bloemfontein KFC parking lot last year, the teenager thought he was going to die.
“I am glad that he’s dead, I feel like people will be safer now,” Allarakha said this week.
Joubert, 45, was shot dead by a police officer last weekend, shortly after videoing himself beating traditional healer Anele Hoyana to death on his smallholding in Gonubie outside East London.
Police had responded after Joubert himself summoned them to the smallholding.
Joubert had two videos on his cellphone capturing the moments leading to Hoyana’s death.
The videos — which Joubert posted on Facebook before police arrived — have since gone viral.
In the first, shot by a neighbour, a volatile and rambling Joubert taunts Hoyana and threatens him with a stick, calling him the devil and saying he will kill him.
The second video, taken by Joubert, shows Hoyana lying helpless on the floor as Joubert beats his head repeatedly with the butt of a rifle.
Hoyana’s fiancée, Babalwa Lasi, screams in protest with every blow.
Shortly after the fatal beating, Joubert had locked Hoyana’s children, aged two weeks and two years, in a bathroom.
Joubert — father of three children who live in East London with their mother, who divorced Joubert about five years ago — was initially friends with Hoyana and helped Hoyana’s mother, who lived on a neighbouring property, with occasional chores.
Hoyana, Lasi and their children moved into a room in Joubert’s house two weeks before the killing.
Joubert has been described by those close to him as “unhinged” and “descending into madness”.
Allarakha this week described his own encounter with the “madman” Joubert.
“We had gone to KFC and my cousin had gone inside to order,” he said.
“Joubert was inside and told her she was going to make the place stink.
“She made a comment back, and he pushed her. When I confronted him outside, he called me a c**lie,” Allarakha said.
“He parked me in and walked over to my window. He cocked the gun and put it to my chest and took the keys.”
Allarakha laid charges and Joubert was arrested and detained overnight in a police cell. He had been due to stand trial next month for crimen injuria, robbery and pointing a firearm.
The Sunday Times has seen a letter Joubert sent to insurer Old Mutual in February, in connection with a claim under an income-protector policy, in which Joubert says he developed post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the nights he spent in the police cells.
The letter also said he had been in and out of psychiatric facilities since his divorce.
Joubert said he had admitted himself to Bloemcare, a psychiatric clinic in Bloemfontein, for treatment after he attacked a man he thought was his former wife’s lover. His former wife obtained the protection order against him.
He was very aggressive towards the end, but he was not a racist. He beat up white people more than black peopleAnonymous friend of Joubert
A friend, who spoke to the Sunday Times on condition of anonymity, said Joubert had stopped taking his medication earlier this year because “he got tired of waiting all day in a line to be seen by doctors”.
“He was drinking heavily and became increasingly violent. I had not seen him since May after an episode where he became aggressive in front of my children,” the friend said.
“In the last month no-one wanted to visit or be near him because he was so volatile.”
Another friend, who also requested his identity be withheld, said Joubert was quick to anger and prone to violence.
“He was very aggressive towards the end, but he was not a racist. He beat up white people more than black people,” he said.
“You would say one wrong thing to him and he would snap and beat you up.”
When the Sunday Times visited the Hoyana family in the Eastern Cape this week, Lasi was too upset to discuss the killing.
On Wednesday, in a solemn cultural custom to retrieve the spirit of Hoyana, his brother Olwethu Hoyana visited the spot on Joubert’s deck — still bearing bloodstains — where he had been attacked.
In the family kraal, a green stem of the umngquma (wild olive) tree was woven into the enclosure’s wall and Hoyana was introduced to the ancestors, in line with Xhosa custom.
“We brought his spirit home,” Olwethu said.
Hoyana was buried yesterday.
Olwethu said it was not like his brother to shy away from a fight, and that watching footage of him pleading with Joubert had left him shaken.
“I think he could sense the danger that was coming, and he was trying to protect his family.”
He said Lasi had rushed one of the children to the doctor on Wednesday after the child was having difficulty breathing.
“She told us Fritz had the child by the neck and was strangling him before the police came,” Olwethu said.
“Anele had been living with Fritz for two weeks before he died. Fritz was supposed to be his friend.”
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