Skerpskutters skiet plaas-aanvallers dood - Beeld en Sapa
Bloemfontein - Twee aanvallers is na ’n twintig uur lange gyselaardsdrama buite Petrusburg in die Vrystaat deur skerpkutters van die polisie doodgeskiet, het paramedici gesê.
Gerhard Venter is vir byna twintig ure op die Abrahamskraalpad, 20 km buite Bloemfontein, in sy bakkie aangehou.
Lloyd Krause, ’n ER24-woordvoerder het gesê die drama het omstreeks 10:00 gisteroggend begin toe ’n plaas in die Petrusburg-omgewing aangeval is.
Gerhard Venter (ongeveer 50 jaar oud) en sy broerskind, Gerdus Venter (iets in die dertig) het ’n ander boer in die omgewing te hulp gesnel het nadat hulle gehoor het van ’n aanval op hom.
Die aanvallers het Flip Kotzé van die plaas Uitvlug, sowat 20 km buite Petrusburg, aangehou, sy arm gebreek en hom van sy geweer en selfoon beroof.
Dit was die tweede aanval binne vyf jaar op die plaas.
Die Venters het omstreeks 10:00 naby Kotzé se huis op die twee aanvallers afgekom. Die mans het groot sportsakke by hulle gehad en het beweer hulle is op die plaas om te help om aartappels uit te haal.
Die Venters het die mans egter beveel om saam met hulle in die bakkie te klim.
Die boere het vermoedelik ’n radio by hulle gehad waarop hulle gehoor het van die aanval op Kotzé. Na verneem word is daar oor die radio ’n beskrywing van die aanvallers gegee kort nadat die Venters die mans opgelaai het.
Die vermoede bestaan dat die twee plaasaanvallers dit gehoor het, waarna hulle die Venters met Kotzé se rewolwer oorval het. Die aanvallers het die boere se vuurwapens afgeneem en hulle beveel om in die rigting van Bloemfontein te ry.
Gerhard Venter het toe glo aan sy broerskind gesê om uit die bakkie te spring as hy kan.
Supt. Annelie Wrensch, polisiewoordvoerder, sê Gerdus Venter het dit reggekry om te ontsnap en om hulp te gaan soek. Twee skote is glo op hom geskiet, maar hy is nie getref nie.
Die gyselaarsdrama op die Abrahamskraalpad het omstreeks 14:00 begin toe die polisie die bakkie opgespoor en dit omsingel het.
’n Gyselaar-onderhandelaar het omstreeks 16:00 met die aanvallers begin onderhandel om Venter van die plaas Oranje te bevry. Wrensch sê hulle het daarop aangedring dat ’n padversperring oopgemaak word sodat hulle kan wegkom.
Die polisie se spesiale taakmag van Durban se hulp is intussen ingeroep.
Taakmaglede het teen 18:15 op die toneel opgedaag nadat hul vlug na Bloemfontein twee keer vertraag is weens gure weer.
Tientalle lede van die polisie, onder wie adj.komm. Erick Nkuna, adjunk-polisiehoof van die Vrystaat, was ook op die toneel, waar omstandighede deur reën en hael bemoeilik is.
Lede van die nooddienste en die gemeenskap het intussen sowat 1 km van die toneel begin saamdrom, waar die polisie ’n padversperring opgestel het.
Teen gisteraand omstreeks 20:00 het die aanvallers die bakkie se matte geneem en die voertuig se vensters daarmee toegemaak om te voorkom dat buitestanders kan sien wat binne die bakkie gebeur.
Kos is ongeveer 21:00 die aand na die bakkie gestuur.
Die onderhandelings het tot ongeveer 07:00 Dinsdagoggend geduur toe die twee aanvallers deur taakmaglede doodgeskiet is, het Krause gesê.
"Albei aanvallers het op die toneel gesterf. Venter is kort daarna na die hospitaal geneem vir verdere behandeling. Hy het slegs matige beserings opgedoen."
Mariëtte van Jaarsveld -SERVAMUS
Ever wanted to be a Special Task Force member and get your "wings"? For some it remains a dream and for others it's a dream come true! But to make this dream come true, your mind-set must be right -
MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY.
The Special Task Force is a highly qualified and specialised TEAM. A team, because in their type of work, teamwork is of the utmost importance. To become part of this elite unit, you need to have qualities such as stamina, persistence, knowhow to handle and solve problems under pressure and you MUST have the ability to work in a team. Strength and fitness play a vital role, but mental fitness is equally important. Being super fit won't guarantee that you will make it. If you are not mentally strong, you will never get your "wings". Before you can become a member of the Special Task Force, you have to undergo the Special Task Force selection course - and that is only the beginning. During this selection course it depends on you and you alone if you are going to make it!
I remember when I first started my career in the SAPS, most of the guys who joined the police wanted to be a "Takie". Why? Simply because the Special Task Force is an elite unit - it is for the more adventurous, the one who can't settle for normal police duties and the one who loves an adrenalin rush. With the Special Task Force 21st selection course something of the past and the next one planned for April 2001, I decided to have a chat with Supt J J Blom, the Commander: Training and Research.
If you are considering to become part of this elite unit, here are all the ins and outs you need to know.
Do you still get enough applications for the Special Task Force?
Yes, we received 225 applications for this year's Special Task Force Selection Course No 21.
There were 175 members who reported in February 2000 but only 22 members passed "Vasbyt" What is "Vasbyt"?
It is a period of 84 hours during which a person is tested for the necessary qualities to become a Special Task Force member. This is an 84-hour period during which your stamina, teamwork, persistence, and problem-solving under pressure are tested to the ultimate.
How did it happen that only 22 of the 175 candidates made it successfully through "Vasbyt"?
We held a pre-selection and during this period the majority of 83 members withdrew out of their own free will, a few picked up injuries. Seven members couldn't swim, 12 weren't medically fit, 50 members didn't pass the psychometric tests and finally only 22 of the 23 that started made it through "Vasbyt".
You said that seven members couldn't swim. Does this mean that members need to be good swimmers?
No, they don't need to be good swimmers who can swim lengths and lengths, but they must be able to help themselves in the water. Otherwise they could be a danger to the other members as well as the instructors.
What procedures must a member follow to apply for the Selection Course?
Send in a written application, on the prescribed application form, available from the Special Task Force Offices.
How old must one be and until what age can one qualify for the Selection Course?
No younger than twenty-one years and not older than 30 years, with a minimum of two years' experience in the SAPS. Very important: Only members with ranks ranging from constable to inspector can apply for this course.
What happens then?
The members are tested and evaluated on provincial level. They undergo psychometric and medical tests. Their fitness as well as swimming skills are tested. After that, the successful candidates report in Pretoria.
What does the training include?
A "Vasbyt" period
Advanced weaponry training
Training in rural operations
Training in urban hostage release operations.
After this phase, which is a period of + three and a half months, the successful candidates are transferred permanently to the Special Task Force.
Are they then fully trained?
No, that is just the beginning, advanced training starts immediately after that for a period of + two years.
What does this advanced training period include?
The release of hostages from captured aeroplanes, trains and vehicles
Training in parachuting
The guarding of very important persons
If you are a member of the Special Task Force your work comes first.
How many members passed this year's Special Task Force Selection Course?
Seven completed it successfully.
Why only seven?
Statistics showed that more than 75% of all who passed "Vasbyt", go all the way and become "Takies". The candidates of the last two selection courses lacked the determination to push on to the end of the course.
How many people fall out during the "Vasbyt" period?
During the previous four courses only two didn't make it. There was one in 1998 and one in 2000.
Why did only seven of the 22 members who made it through the "Vasbyt" period complete the course successfully?
Some were injured (four members), some just didn't have the strength or motivation to go on and gave up. Some had old injuries that gave them trouble. Then there were those who were overweight. Others weren't well-prepared mentally or physically.
Can a member be fit enough to pass the selection course easily?
It helps to be fit, but even super fit members didn't make it, because their mindset wasn't right.
"Vasbyt" is: 70% Mental preparation
30% Physical fitness
Is it your job to train the guys to become fit?
No, there is no time for that. It is expected of them and it is their own responsibility to be well-prepared - physically and mentally, the day they arrive in Pretoria.
What preparations can be done before going on this Course?
You must be fit, do regularly exercises - like swimming and going to the gym. You must work with weights to build up some upper body strength. Cardiovascular exercises are very important. Go on walks, but not your normal walks - walk with weights, so that you can build stamina.
Is the training that difficult?
Not really, but the standard is very high.
Why is the standard so high and wasn't it adjusted to accommodate more members?
No, definitely not. The Special Task Force's primary task is the handling of hostage situations. This is a highly specialised and very delicate operations. We are and can only be working with members of the highest quality and standard - this is the only way to make a job successful.
Is your unit still very busy?
Yes, incredibly so, especially with the constant escalation of crime in the country. The Special Task Force also works with other specialised units of the SAPS on anti-crime operations such as kidnapping situations.
The Special Task Force is an elite unit, consisting of highly skilled, qualified and specialised members. If you are a member of the Special Task Force your work comes first. It doesn't matter where or what time it is, they are so dedicated to their work that they'll always be where they are needed. Every situation they handle demands commitment, discipline, skill and teamwork - and they've got it all!