SA fugitive sent home to face the musicBy: DENVER KISTING
THE South African fugitive arrested by Interpol at Cape Cross on New Year’s Eve was sent back to Kuruman last night.
Louis George Rademeyer, a right-winger from the Northern Cape province, was transported to his hometown by Interpol to go and serve a ten-year prison term.
Days before he and his seven co-accused were scheduled to start serving their culpable homicide sentence, the 60-year-old businessman fled to the United States of America.
Rademeyer boarded a connecting flight to Walvis Bay at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg without being detected.
He entered Namibia in December.
According to him, he decided to come to Namibia because he missed his children, whom he had not seen in four years.
Rademeyer also doubted whether Interpol really was on his trail. “I flew to England and the Virgin Islands a couple of times. So if Interpol wanted to catch me, they would have.”
Rademeyer made a brief appearance before Magistrate Ruth Herunga in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court yesterday. He was represented by Petrie Theron, while Public Prosecutor Bornface Konga dealt with the State’s case.
Rademeyer will have to do his time alone, as all his accomplices were released on parole last year.
The former prominent businessman from Kuruman in the Northern Cape and seven others were convicted on charges of culpable homicide and public violence in 2004.
This came after Gaoretelwe Adam Brown, a South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) member, died during a clash between Samwu members and Rademeyer and his gang.
However, Rademeyer yesterday denied that he had anything to do with the fatal riot.
He said he was just a bystander. “In the past, I took my hiding like a man if I did something wrong. But I am innocent.”
He added: “But do you know why I am going back? Opposing it could take months or even years. This entire thing [returning] is voluntary. I just want to get it behind me.
It will help me in the future.”
Earlier, Colonel McIntosh Polela, spokesperson for the South African Police Service’s special investigation division, the Hawks, said Rademeyer’s “brush with the law began when members of the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) marched in Kuruman in 1995. A group of white citizens of the town decided to hold their own march, resulting in clashes with Samwu members.
The clashes resulted in the death of a Samwu member.”
According to Samwu spokesperson Tahir Sema, Rademeyer’s arrest brought “to an end a nasty chapter in the country’s history. The killing of our member in Kuruman, an innocent South African, is completely unacceptable and was indeed a sad day for the union.
At the time of the incident, the union detested the racially motivated act and called for the law to deliver an appropriate punishment for the heinous crime.”
Sema referred to Rademeyer and his accomplices as a “mob who killed, injured and attacked respected fathers, mothers and brothers of the community”.
Regarding parole for Rademeyer, Samwu said it would fight this possibility tooth and nail.
Sema said: “We will mobilise our membership in defence of those who had been murdered and injured in Kuruman.
We want the court to send out a strong message to the country that crime does not pay and that you cannot hide from the long arm of the law. It is about time that we deal with criminals and murderers using the full extent of the law.”
Rademeyer yesterday sang the praises of the Namibian correctional authorities, saying they took good care of him.