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.
News24, 09 March, [online], Available at www.news24.com
[Accessed: 12 December 2013]
• 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]