Byleveld. Dossier of a Serial Sleuth, by Hanlie Retief
The following murder case, Sodom in the Drakensberg, is part of Hanlie Retief's biography of Piet Byleveld: Dossier of a Serial Sleuth. Sixteen year old David Sehmel is standing at the roadside in Durban, trying to get away from the Excelsior Place of Safety, from which he has just escaped, A car stops. He gets in. This would turn out to be the biggest mistake of his life.
The two men in the car drive away from the city with their passenger, The younger man is attractive, well built, and with a refined appearance. The other one is big, bald and macho. They drive in the direction of Est court, towards the Drakensberg. Later they stop, unload camping gear, and walk deeper into the mountains with the boy. They climb a few grass-covered slopes and eventually pitch camp on the banks of a stream in a deep kloof, The younger man sodomises the boy, after which the bald one takes his turn. When it is over, they strangle David Sehmel. The two men are hungry. They slice some meat from the dead boy's buttocks and have a braai, as casually as if it is lamb chops that are on the menu. Months later, Piet Byleveld asks them what it felt like to eat a person after sodomising him. "It was just meat," the bald man says without a trace of emotion or remorse, It was just meat, and they were hungry. David Sehmel was just a child ... who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Piet Byleveld leans back in his chair, facing me. The jacket hangs loose on his frame. A copper bracelet, shiny with wear, is visible under the shirt cuff. In die sober, dark suit and white shirt (always the white shirt), his neck scrawny in the tight collar, he might have been a leading elder in a church. Or an undertaker. His upper lip sports a bristly grey moustache, his cheekbones are high and his short hair is cut straight across the forehead. His hands lie folded in his lap, relaxed, the ubiquitous cigarette held loosely between the fingers. A wisp of smoke drifts lazily upward. From under heavy eyelids he's assessing me, this civilian who is going to write his book. His eyes are dark, dispassionate behind smoky lenses. It's December 2006. We are sitting in the belly of a building somewhere in Randburg, in an empty office borrowed for the day from a friend. Everyone is celebrating Christmas; here it's just him and me and a few pigeons strutting on a windowsill. Piet casts his mind back to a Saturday afternoon in 1991. Like every other Saturday, smoke hung over the building of the Brixton Murder and Robbery Unit in Johannesburg, in the shadow of the Brixton Tower. The men were having a braai. Lamb chops and Tion lagers and a 9-mill on the hip. Earlier, they had searched the cells for firearms and sharp objects, to prevent any attempts at escape. All the bedding had been carried out and the cells hosed down. It was Saturday: cleaning day, inspection day. Piet was on standby. The telephone rang. On the line was a waiter at the Boksburg Hotel, who said that two men were sitting-there discussing a murder in Knysna. It didn't sound as if it was just the booze talking; something didn't feel right. "My interest was immediately aroused. I must say, I seldom ignore information from the public, but that afternoon I just had a feeling, so I rushed over there." [...]
This is an excerpt from the biography: Byleveld. Dossier of a Serial Sleuth, by Hanlie Retief.
Title: Byleveld. Dossier of a Serial Sleuth
Author: Hanlie Retief
Publisher: Random House Struik
Cape Town, South Africa 2011
ISBN 9781415201435 / ISBN 978-1-4152-0143-5
Softcover, 15 x 22 cm, 272 pages, many photographs
Retief, Hanlie im Namibiana-Buchangebot
This illustrated book is a photographic account on and urban portrait of Orania, a culturally homogeneous place of Afrikaner lifestyle in midst of South Africa.
Hierdie geïllustreerde boek is 'n fotografiese stedelike portret van Orania, 'n kultuur-homogene plek van Afrikaner leefstyl in te midde van Suid-Afrika.
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