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Whites Charged in Black Man’s Murder

October 1, 2000

KIMBERLEY, South Africa (AP) _ Five whites, including a police sergeant, have been charged with murder after they allegedly beat and kicked a black man and poured boiling water over his limp body, media reports said Sunday.

David Pule Louw, a 53-year-old cattle herder and single father of two, died in the hospital Sept. 24, the morning after the beating outside the Rand Motel, the Sowetan Sunday World reported.

``He was killed like a dog,″ said Connie Seoposengwe, provincial minister for safety. ``They just left him to die. I will follow this case very closely,″ she was quoted as saying.

One of Louw’s friends, Abel Vries, told the paper he was present on the night of the attack, which took place near Kimberley, a mining town 290 miles southwest of Johannesburg.

Vries said Louw was among a group of few friends who, before the attack, had been drinking outside the motel and then in the room used by the motel gardener.

Five whites approached Louw as they were leaving and hit him in the face, knocking him to the ground, Vries said. They then beat and kicked Louw, and one fetched a jug of boiling water and poured it over him, Vries said.

``A car drove up and two shots were fired,″ he was quoted as saying. ``We were very scared. I jumped over the fence and ran home.″

A neighbor, Johannes Blouw, said he heard moaning and found Louw in a field near the motel, which was closed for the night. He said he called police and waited for two hours before they came. He said he then waited another 25 minutes for the ambulance to arrive.

Police Sgt. Johan Kriel, motel manager Elizabeth Esterhysen, her son Jaco, a minor, and Adrian Kriel have been charged with murder, Tony Modise, a Northern Cape police spokesman, told the paper. It was unclear whether the Kriels were related to one another.

The five were released on $140 bond, and their court cases are scheduled for Nov. 16. No pleas have been entered. Police spokeswoman Rita Crafford said Sgt. Johan Kriel has been suspended from his duties.

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