Padeophile Gert van Rooyen and his mistress, Joey Haarhoff, commit suicide in Pretoria while being pursued by the police.
Paedophile Gert van Rooyen and his accomplice and lover, Joey Haarhoff, were linked to the disappearance of five girls between 1988 and 1990. They allegedly kidnapped Joan Horn (13), Odette Boucher (11), Anne-Marie Wapenaar (12), Yolande Wessels (12) and Fiona Harvey (12). The girls have never been found. Their last victim escaped from Gert van Rooyen's house at 227 Malherbe Street, Capital Park, Pretoria. Gert killed Joey and committed suicide during a police chase on 16 January 1990, less than a week after the escape.
Flippie van Rooyen, the son of Gert van Rooyen, has alleged that the girls were killed as part of satanic rituals and that their bodies had been burnt with acid, or that they had been taken to the Middle East. He has also alleged that three former National Party (NP) ministers were involved in a child smuggling network with his father that involved selling girls for cash.
In 1996 Absa Bank donated Van Rooyen's former house to the police for the purpose of investigating the girls' disappearance further. It was believed that the victims had all been taken to the house after their disappearance. On 13 May 1996 the police began demolishing the house in the hope of finding clues as to the girls' fate. First the roof was removed and vacuumed for traces of human hair and nails, after which the walls were demolished and the kitchen and main bedroom scoured with sonar equipment for secret compartments. The soil was sifted and forensic specialists determined that the bones found at the scene were from animals.
In 1989 police had excavated Van Rooyen's garden and swimming pool, but no evidence was found. Police had also investigated the possibility that the girls' bodies may have been buried near the Zandfontein cemetery in Hercules in northwest Pretoria, but no evidence was found to confirm this allegation.
• Uitenhag Bussiness Hub, (2009), One who got away tells of her kidnap by Van Rooyen, from Uitenhag Bussiness Hub, 23 November, [online], Available at uitenhage.org.za [Accessed: 12 December 2013]
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