south aI was born on the farm in Tzaneen in 1982 and spent most of my formative years there.  For this reason I am VERY well known to all the farm staff and their vast nets of relatives.

In 1994 when Apartheid ended a land claim was made against the farm.  This meant that we could do NOTHING to the farm and definitely not sell it until the claim was settled by the Land Claims Court

In 1998 my parents got divorced and my mom and I moved to Johannesburg.

One of the farm workers asked that we hire his daughter as a maid and take her to Johannesburg with us.  Which we did.

We moved to a house in Kensington where we provided accommodation for the maid, her daughter and her young son.  We housed, clothed, fed and paid school fees for them

In December 2000 I was involved in a terrible accident and, in order to care for me, my Mom had to leave her long time career with Sun International and take a part time job.  We were very short of money and advised the maid that we could no longer afford to keep her.  She took this very badly.  She took my mother to the Labour Relations Court and lost her case.

She, and a bunch of people from Tzaneen, squatted in a vacant house next door to us.  We advised the owners of the house what was happening but they were unable (by law) to evict the squatters and they began the long, expensive court process to get rid of them.

They hooked into our electricity and water and cost us a fortune every month – we were totally unable to get the municipality to correct this for us.

They parked in our driveway so that we were unable to get into our premises without going to ask them to move.  They intimidated and scared us constantly – we called the police on numerous occasions for violent parties and drugs at their house.  They threatened to kill us should we do this again.

Shortly after this strange things started happening.

My Mom’s car was trashed, tires slashed, windscreen broken, dashboard torn out.

Our garage was broken into and all our goods stored there were trashed.

My mom and I had bricks thrown through the windscreen on three occasions when leaving for work.

We finally moved to another address, but things got no better.

Our vehicle was broken into, the house was broken into while we were sleeping and our cell phones stolen.  When we phoned the phone a black male answered and told us that we should back off as he knew where we lived and would certainly be happy to kill us.

We moved yet again.  We had 8 foot walls topped with electrical wire and electronic gates, but this did not stop the rocks thrown through our windows, the laundry stolen off the wash line, the dog poop thrown in the swimming pool etc.

At this time I was walking home from church at around noon when I was attacked by two of the Tzaneen boys from the squatter house.  They beat me with metal pipes and tries to get my cell phone.  I bit one of them and had to be on anti retro virals for 6 months to ensure that I did not get Aids.

We also suffered from endless threatening phone calls at all hours of the day and night and we were literally terrified to be alone in the house or to go out at night.

In 2009 we moved to a gated community in the northern suburbs.

At this time my aunt was raped by 4 men who were waiting in her garage for her to come home.  She moved to Australia and is still being treated for mental problems.

My uncle, a policeman, was dragged through his car window in the middle of the day and beaten mercilessly – nothing was stolen.

My grandparents were attacked on the farm by 4 AK47 wielding men and my grandfather was badly injured.  My uncle was shot in the foot and may have to have his leg amputated.

I was pregnant with my first baby and at a stop sign a man tried to get into my vehicle.  Luckily it had central locking and I was able to drive off (through a red light) before he could harm me.

Our vehicles and house walls were painted with the name of the maid and “remember Tzaneen” – we will be back – and other things.

In 2011 we and two other houses in our complex were broken into and our possessions trashed.  Nothing was stolen but the walls were painted with threat.

We came to the US to visit my mom and her husband and to introduce our youngest daughter to them.  We had every intention of returning home.

While here, some relatives of ours, the de Reuck’s were attacked and murdered near the farm and our friends were brutally murdered and their 10 year old son boiled to death.  Nothing was stolen.

This caused us to apply for asylum here as we are terrified to go back.


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