Police begin Durban beach exca

Image Credit – fokus

Police begin Durban beach excavation to find paedophile Gert van Rooyen’s victims

Horrors of the past have resurfaced in the North-East.

Police begin Durban beach exca

Image Credit – fokus

The police believe that van Rooyen and his then-girlfriend were responsible for the disappearance of six girls in the 1980s. Their search has taken them to Blythedale Beach to hunt for their remains.

Tracey-Lee Scott-Crossley, 13, Fiona Harvey, 11, Joan Horn, 13, Anne-Marie Wapenaar, 12, Odette Boucher, 12 and Yolanda Wessels, 12, disappeared through August 1, 1988, and November 2, 1989. Since then, there has not been a single trace of any of the girls.

Van Rooyen and his partner Joey Haarhoff terrorised children around Pretoria through the 70s and 80s. Initially jailed in 1979 for the abduction and sexual assault of two girls (aged 10 and 13,) he served just three years of a rather lenient four-year sentence.

They are both believed to have been involved in the disappearance of the missing girls but was never arrested for it. In January 1990, van Rooyen shot his partner before turning the gun on himself, after one of his victims had escaped.

Read:  Fact Check – Is it true a child is raped ‘every three minutes’ in South Africa?

Alet van Rensburg Wright is the executive producer for SABC’s investigative team Fokus, who have studied the case for the last 15 months and pinpointed a storm water drain on Blythedale Beach as a potential site of interest.

Van Rensburg says the ‘strength of the information’ has compelled the police to carry out the excavations.

Van Rooyen’s son Flippie – who has been found guilty of both the murder of a teenager and perjury – has made many conflicting statements to police about the missing six.

Leaving no stone unturned, the van Rooyen’s house in Capital Park was demolished as part of the search. In April 2007, police launched a painstaking search on Umdloti beach after storms had upturned skeletal remains.

This was where he and Joey had their holiday home, but police concluded the bones were less than ten years old and therefore, could not be of the girls they are suspected of killing.

Fokus will broadcast a special report on the Durban excavations on SABC2 on Sunday at 19:00