The Daily Representative 1926 2 April - June
January – March missing.
Thursday, April 1, 1926
Sterkstroom Murder Charge
Farmer Fatally Injured by Native
Accused Sent for Trial at Queenstown
The Courthouse at Sterkstroom was crowed to overflowing on Friday and Saturday on the occasion of the preparatory examination of the native Niewjaar MESELA, who was charges with the murder of his master Johannes KRUGER, a famer of Vosloo’s Rust. Mr. J.D. PREISS was on the bench.
Sergeant ROY, of Queenstown, acted as Crown Prosecutor, and accused was undefended.
The first witness called was Detective Head Contable GRANT, of Queenstown, who put in a sketch plan of the scene of the alleged crime.
Acting-Sergeant M. LEWIS stated that on receiving a report of he [sic] affair he, together with the District Surgeon (Dr. LOUW), proceeding to the farm in the early morning of the 8th March to investigate. He went to accused’s hut, the man being asleep at the time, and arrested him. Subsequently accused pointed out to him the spot where the assault took place, and he found portion of the stick used, which was splintered and broken off.
Attorney Dan DE WET, a Justice of the Peace, stated that the accused made a voluntary statement to him, which he took down. In this accused said that deceased quarreled with him because he came late to his work to get the horse into the stable. His master smacked him in his face. He got angry then and struck the deceased with a stick over the head. Deceased fell to the ground, and accused gave him some three or four more blows. Feeling sorry for what he had done to the deceased he stopped the beating. Deceased then got up and walked towards his house.
Dr. LOUW, the District Surgeon, stated that deceased was unconscious when he examined him. There were wounds on the head, the skull being fractured and penetrated to the brain, in addition to minor injuries. The laceration of the brain was sufficient to cause death.
Mrs. KRUGER, the widow, said that late on Sunday afternoon, March 7th, she heard a noise outside the house, she went out and heard the deceased tell the accused to go home. Accused had a stick in his hand and appeared by be very insolent. She went up to deceased and told him to leave the accused and come in. They both went inside. Towards dust her husband went to the kraal. Hearing some native children shouting she went to the front of the house and saw deceased come staggering towards her. Witness walked up to meet him and saw accused just behind him. Accused said: “Jou Boer se hond, ek sal jou reg maak.” She took deceased inside and sent for assistance to a neighbouring farm. Accused then left for his hut.
Miss Johanna OELOFSE corroborated. She went to the assistance of the last witness, who was holding deceased by the arm and leading him to the house. She saw accused, whose wife was holding him back, when he shouted the derisive words.
A native lad Kleinboy MANKAY, in the employ of deceased, said that he happened to be in the lands cutting some mealie stalks for the horses. Whilst doing so he heard a noise some distance down the land. Looking up he saw accused beating his master over the head and body with a stick, and deceased running towards the wire fence with accused in pursuit. Deceased got through the fence, accused continuing to beat him.
Accused, who had no questions to ask on the statements read, reserved his defense and accepted short service for the next Circuit Court at Queenstown.
Passed away, at the Lady Dudley Nursing Home, Johannesburg, on Sunday evening, 28th March, 1926, Annie E. WELCH, beloved wife of C.V. WELCH, Queenstown.
Interred at Queenstown, Wednesday, 31 March, 1926.
Local & General
The Late Mrs. C.V. WELCH.
The funereal of the late Mrs. C.V. WELCH took place yesterday afternoon, from her residence in Grey Street. There was a large attendance, and the service was conducted in the house by the Rev. G.H.P. JACQUES, O.B.E., assisted by the Rev. J.W. McGAHEY…
Tuesday, April 6, 1926
WEIMANN.- At Duncan Vale Nursing Home on 5th April, to Mr. and MRs. Nat. WEIMANN, of Mpotula, a Bonny Daughter. Both well.
STROH.- At Frost Street on the 4th April to Mr. and Mrs. T.S. STROH, a son.
SEARLE-TROUNCE.- Married at St. Michael and All Angels’ Church, Queenstown, on Monday, 5th April, by the Rev. W.A. GOODWIN, M.A., Walter David Westgate, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. C.L. SEARLE, to Lilian Evelyn (Lylye), elder daughter of Mrs. And the late Mr. Thorman TROUNCE.
ORREN.- Died of enteric fever at Germiston, Monday April 5, Everton SINCLAIR, third son of Mr. and Mrs. F.P. ORREN, of Westbourne, Queenstown, in his 23rd year.
Sadly missed by mother, father, sister and brothers.
Thursday, April 8, 1926
BROWNLEE-CHEEK.- At St. Dominic’s Church, Queenstown, on April 6th, 1926, by the Rev. Father GATELY, William BROWNLEE, elder son of Mrs. WHITNELL, of Queenstown, to Edith Mary, younger daughter of Mrs. CHEEK, of Queenstown.
Friday, April 9, 1926
ELLIOTT-McCOMB.- Married at the Presbyterian Church, Queenstown, on Wednesday, the 7th April 1926, by the Rev. R. RUSSELL, M.A., Douglas Bruce, son of Mr. and Mrs. P.W. ELLIOTT, of “Oakleigh,” Queenstown (late of Cathcart), to Nola Athie, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. F.C. McCOMB, of “Rathwick,” Queenstown.
WILMOTT.- Passed peacefully away on the 8th inst., at his residence, Ebden Street, Edward Frank WILMOTT, in his fifty-third year.
Saturday, April 10, 1926
KLERCK-KORSTEN.- Married at All Saints’ Church, Plumstead (Cape), on the 3rd instant, by the Rev. LIDDELL, Gladys, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J.R.A. KORSTEN, of Queenstown, to Herbert, youngest son of the late Mr. KLERCK and Mrs. KLERCK, of Capetown, brother-in-law to Mr. CHIAPINNI, former Trades Commissioner to the Union Government in London.
Monday, April 12, 1926
SIMMS-DU PLESSIS.- Married at Tarkastad on the 5th April, 1926, Hester, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C. DU PLESSIS, of Tarkastad, K.A. Wiles-SIMMS, of Queenstown.
Monday, April 12, 1926
Local & General
The funeral of the late Mr. A.M. STILWELL took place from Wesley Church yesterday (Sunday) afternoon, and was conducted by the Rev. G.H.P. JACQUES, O.B.E., assisted by the Rev. C. PETTMAN. Deceased’s sons, Charles and Percy, from the Free State, Eric (grandson), Mr. Stanley DOLD (son-in-law) and Mr. G. FOX (son-in-law) were the chief mourners.
Thursday, April 15, 1926
GARDINER-BROWN.- Married at the Baptist Church, Queenstown, on the 14th April, 1926, by the Rev. Clifford J. NEWELL, Anthony Christopher GARDINER, second son of the late J.B. GARDINER and Mrs. GARDINER, of Tiger Klip, Kamastone, to Maria, younger daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William N. BROWN, Merino Walk, Queenstown.
SUMNER.- Passed away at the Hospital, Durban, Natal, on 7th April, 1926, George Henry, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Geo. SUMNER, of Sterkstroom, aged 41 years 10 months. Deeply mourned.
Local & General
The engagement of Dr. MALAN (Minister of the Interior) to Mrs. VAN TONDER is announced.
Strange Shooting Tragedy.
A terrible shooting tragedy occurred in the Heidelburg district this week by which a young married woman lost her life. It is stated that a family who live at a small homestead on a part of the farm “Poortje,” Mr. and Mrs. STRYDOM, and a daughter-in-law were in the garden picking beans when the unmarried son came out of the house with a gun in his hand. He fired, it is alleged, at his father, but missed him and hit his sister-in-law. He is said to have reloaded and fired again, but meanwhile the father seeing him reloading told the others to lie down, and did so himself, and the second shot hit nobody. The wounded woman was brought into Hiedelberg [sic] Hospital, where she died, the same night. The man who shot her has been arrested, and the hearing of the case is put down for April 19. The name of the accused is Pieter Frederik STRYDOM, of “Blinkpoort,” 32 years of age.
Saturday, April 17, 1926
ROSS.- Died at the Frontier Hospital on the 16th inst., after an operation, Kathleen McArthur ROSS, third daughter of the late Henry ROSS, of “Fairfield,” District Queenstown, aged 68.
Tuesday, April 20, 1926
Estate of the late Gavin MacFarlane FERNIE. No. 9127…
Attorneys for Executrix Testamentary.
Estate of the Late Petrus Gerhardus JORDAAN. No. 10820…
Attorney for Executrix.
Estate of the late Myoya XOXA. No. 10546…
Attorney for Executor Testamentary.
Wednesday, April 21, 1926
TROLLIP-LISTER.- On April the 5th, at Queenstown, by the Rev. G.H.P. JACQUES, O.B.E., Kate LISTER (widow of Rev. C.W. LISTER) to Harry TROLLIP, of Dagga Boer.
In the Estate of the Late Maggie MacGregor FAIRWEATHER, born KIRSTEN, of Queenstown. No. 8860…
Attorneys for Executor Testamentary.
Local & General
A Determined Suicide.
Seldom has more determination to commit suicide been shown than was evinced by Jan OOSTHUIZEN, a farmer at Goederwacht in the Parys district, who was found dead on Saturday night, hanging in an outlying well. About three weeks ago OOSTHUIZEN attempted to commit suicide by hanging himself from the rudder of a 25 ft. high windmill, but deeming the rope short he added a length of thin wire and when he jumped off the wire broke and he fell heavily to the earth, but uninjured. He immediately tried again with a thicker wire and was more successful in that the wire held and he was duly suspended, but his actions were seen by a neighbor, who rushed to the rescue and cut him down before life was extinct and with medical aid he was resuscitated. When brought back to consciousness OOSTHUIZEN expressed himself as very annoyed with those who had revived him. On Friday he left his farmstead, going in the direction of his farm boundary. On the adjoining farm about two miles from any homestead his brother has recently had a well sunk, and the pulley beam still remained over the well. He evidently first adjusted the rope over the beam and round his neck, then he tied his hands behind his back by an ingenious slip knot over his thumbs and jumped down the well. He was found on Saturday when a search was made. OOSTHUIZEN was 50 years of age, married and had nine children.
The Board regretted deeply to have to record the decease of three members, Messrs. W. BOWES and E.F. WILMOTT, of Queenstown, and Mr. J.W. MUIR, of Lady Frere. They also directed that a special letter should be addressed to Mr. C.V. WELCH, J.P., No. 633, expressing their sympathy in connection with the recent death of Mrs. WELCH, whose loss as an active organizer in various philanthropic and other useful associations in Queenstown would be deeply felt for a considerable period.
Thursday, April 22, 1926
LEWIS.- Passed peacefully away at his residence, Lombard Street, Sterkstroom, on Friday, 16th April, 1926, James Henry LEWIS, aged 68 years.
The family wish to tender their sincere thanks to Mrs. SCHRAADER, senior, and Sergeant H. ROWELL for assistance and all kind friends for the floral wreaths and sympathy in their sudden bereavement. – M. LEWIS (widow), M. LEWIS and V. LITTLEFORD (son and daughter.
Notice to Debtors and Creditors
In the Estate of the late Hans Jurgens LOMBARD, of Queenstown. No. 10821…
P.J. VAN ZIJL,
Friday, April 23, 1926
In the Estate of the Late John SHEARER and surviving spouse Bertha Elizabeth Anne SHEARER (born KROPF), of Queenstown. No. 166/812…
Attorneys for Executor Dative.
BRUNSKILL.- Died suddenly at Rosmead on the 22nd inst., Kivas Richardson BRUNSKILL, only son fo the Rev. T.R. and the late Mrs. BRUNSKILL, of St. Mary’s Rectory, Dragheds, County South, Ireland. Age 24 years.
Local & General
Death of Young Settler.
Mr. K.R. BRUNSKILL, a young settler who came to this country under the auspices of the 1820 Memorial Settlers’ Association only ten months ago, died under extraordinarily sad circumstances yesterday. He was farming in the Tarka district, but for health reasons he came to Queenstown towards the end of March. A position was found for him on the editorial staff of the “Daily Representative,” but his health was such that the doctor advised BRUNSKILL to return without delay to his people in Ireland. It was a sad blow for the young man, but never for a moment did he lose his cheerfulness, and he was convinced that he would soon return to the friends he had made in this country. He left Queenstown by the Cape train in the early hours of yesterday morning, and all went well till the train was nearing Rosmead. He was seized with a heart attack, and the doctor had him removed to the home of the Stationmaster, where he passed away at one p.m. The sad news was immediately telegraphed to Queenstown, and came as a great shock to his circle of friends here. Mr. EDMONDS, the organizer for the Eastern Districts of the Settlers’ Association, arranged that the remains should be sent back to Queenstown, and a service will be held in St. Michael’s Church at 9.30 to-morrow morning, after which the cortege will leave for the cemetery. Kivas Richardson BRUNSKILL, 25 years of age, was the only son of the Rev. T.R. BRUNSKILL, M.A.R.D., St. Mary’s Rectory, Drogheda, Ireland, and was educated at Campbell College, Belfast, and Dublin University. He was studying medicine at Trinity College, Dublin, just prior to coming to South Africa. Since his arrival in Queenstown just a month ago, he has made many friends, and by kindly nature, his cheerfulness and good humour, his brightness and sincerity he endeared himself to all. In Queenstown he found a home from home with Mr. and Mrs. WALLACE, Livingstone Road, friends of his family in Ireland. To his father and sisters we tender the sincere sympathy of all in their sad bereavement.
Saturday, April 24, 1926
Birth.- At Stitchell on 23rd April to Mr. and Mrs. Clive FINCHAM, a daughter.
Mr. Hugh ROSS wishes to thank all his many relatives and friends who were so kind to his sister, Miss Kate ROSS, during her sickness, and for sympathy in his sad bereavement. Also for the many beautiful wreaths.
Tuesday, April 27, 1926
In the Estate of the late Gwendoline Phelps BROWN, born BERRY, of “Penryn,” Cyphergat, District Molteno. No. 9834…
Attorneys of Executor Testamentary.
Thursday, April 29, 1926
Mev. DU PLESSIS, van Glen Grey, weusch hier mede te bedank alle vriende en kinders en dokters wat zoo getrouw gehelp het, met die siekte en dood van haar man, Jan DU PLESSIS.
Saturday, May 1, 1926
In loving memory of my dearest wife, and our dear beloved mother, who died on May 2nd, 1924, at the Frontier Hospital, two years tomorrow so sad to recall.
Inserted by her loving husband and children.
Wednesday, May 5, 1926
In loving memory of my beloved wife, Isabella BREETZKE, who died three years ago.
Inserted by husband, Eric and Douglas.
In loving memory of our dear sister, Isabella BREETZKE, who died 5th May, 1923.
Inserted by Harry and Annie ROBERTS.
Thursday, May 6, 1926
Local & General
Congratulations to Nurse BERRY, popularly known as “Granny” on to-day celebrating her 87th birthday. “Granny” BERRY enjoys fairly good health and is still able to carry out her own household duties. She takes an active interest in all current events. She is the recipient to-day of a host of congratulatory messages from her children, grand-children and great grand-children as well as from her many friends. We join them in hoping that this wonderful old lady may celebrate many more anniversaries of this happy day.
Friday, May 7, 1926
In the Estate of the late George Edward JARVIS and subsequently the deceased spouse Sarah JARVIS (born TROWER), of Queenstown. (No. 164/374)…
Attorney for Exors. Test.
98, Robinson Road, Queenstown
In the Estate of the late Sarah JARVIS (born TROWER), widow of the late George Edward JARVIS, of Queenstown. (No. 8550)…
Attorney for Exors. Test.
98, Robinson Road, Queenstown
Dramatic Trial at Grahamstown
Court Sequel to Train Tragedy
Sister Gives Witness Against Sister
Did Not Suspect Foul Play at First
Continuing her evidence to-day against the man DE BEER and her sister on a charge of murdering the former’s wife, Gertina HEATH said there was a glass only in the compartment, and Lenie went outside for water when she mixed the salts. Lenie did not take the salts out of the compartment and return with them. Only Mrs DE BEER took the salts, although Lenie might have had some. Witness did not take any. She admitted feeling dizzy after dinner. She did not remember Mrs. DE BEER say she was thirsty after taking the salts, but she asked for tea. DE BEER handed her 2s. for the purchase of two cups of tea. Accused did not go out of the compartment in connection with the giving of salts. She did not see DE BEER drop anything into the glass.
You told the Magistrate you saw him drop something into the glass, is that statement false?
I don’t know. When DE BEER pushed HEATH towards the corridor he had to turn round and he saw witness and must have known she heard him say, “You must give it to her.” She did not see white foam in the glass. She followed HEATH into the compartment. She was with Mrs. DE BEER when she had the first attack. She did not call DE BEER to help, she did not say “Oh God, Mr. DE BEER, help,” she only asked Lenie to come and help.
In cross-examination by Mr. HODGE, K.C., on behalf of the accused HEATH, witness said she heard a conversation in the corridor between the two accused, but Mrs. DE BEER could not have overheard it, as she was in her compartment. When Mrs. DE BEER was taken ill three women came to her assistance from another compartment.
The Solicitor-General said that these people could not be traced.
Re-examined, witness said that her sister wrote to her parents expressing her wish to be home again, and when this was read in court both witness and the female accused broke down. She closed her letter with the words: “God be with you till we meet again.” Witness did not know the exact date of her sister’s arrest. She again stated that Attorney BOTHA said she must say nothing even if arrested and put into gaol.
Replying to the Judge-President, witness said she did not know anything was wrong when Mrs. DE BEER died. She thought she died from natural causes, she did not remember when she first got the information that there had been foul play. She
NEVER SUSPECTED ANYTHING WRONG
In reference to the episode she had related about DE BEER putting his hand over the glass.
Thomas HEATH, the father of the female accused, looked wistfully at his daughter as she cried in the dock before he took the oath. He said that his daughter had board and lodging with the DE BEERS, and as paid £2 a month. He knew nothing of the statement made by his daughter the accused.
Cross-examined by Mr. LEWIS, witness said Gertruda appeared to be quieter after the journey to Cookhouse, and was strange in her manner. She was depressed. When he interviewed Mr. BOTH he knew he was acting for the defence, but he did not know that accused had made a statement to BOTHA. The latter had told him that the female accused was putting the blame on DE BEER. Then no mention was made of the ginger ale. BOTHA said that his daughter had made a statement but it was all wrong, as she was
PUTTING THE BLAME ON DE BEER
he told BOTHA that Gertuda had been unable to sleep because she had made a wrong statement. BOTHA told her that she must keep quiet and must not speak about the subject, and neither she nor the witness must go to the police. BOTHA also said that if she had to go to court he would tell her what to say. On February 8th witness had an interview with the police. He knew then that his daughter was in trouble.
Sydney BRADFORD, Sub-Inspector of Police, said that Gertruda HEATH mad a statement on oath to him on February 6th. She made another one on February 8th, and that was first made public in the Magistrate’s Court at Fort Beaufort.
Magdalina DE BEER, the eleven-year-old daughter of the male accused, said that her mother and father were happy until HEATH came. After that her father was not the same to his mother, and she had seen them quarrelling. During those quarrels she did not hear any other name mentioned. She had seen her father and HEATH in his office. She did not remember seeing a bottle in his or her hand. The fruit salts referred to were taken in the compartment and she thought that HEATH took them out of the basket. Witness then gave evidence about her mother being taken sick and what followed.
Cross-examined by Mr. LEWIS, K.C., witness said that she had often been in her father’s office and the strychnine bottle was there.
Edward DEPOWER, a steward on the train, gave evidence as to the number of drinks which accused had on board. He saw another steward in the pantry lying on the table, and he appeared to be sick. He had had the ginger ale glasses. In the dining room DE BEER appeared to be
ON FAMILIAR TERMS WITH THE ACCUSED HEATH.
Witness served DE BEER with a French brandy. He saw Mrs. DE BEER on a bench on the Cookhouse platform, and the male accused said “The Lord knows I am to blame for this.” Later he asked for a bottle of brandy to wash his head with, which he did not get.
Albert THAW, acting chief steward on the train, said that DE BEER, who had a few drinks, said to him “Come and see what your b- stewards have done.” Witness saw HEATH hanging on the out gate, and DE BEER continued to shout “Look, look.” Witness then saw a woman up against the window, holding on to the rail. Later accused said “It is your b- ginger ale that has poisoned her.”
Jacob KROUCAMP, pantry boy on the train, said that he obtained the empty ginger ale glasses. There was some liquor in one. He emptied it and then felt ill. The taste of the drink was bitter, and he had cramp in his hands and legs. He then drank a cup of coffee and was sick.
Leslie LEWIS, of the South African Railways, Bloemfontein, said that DE BEER introduced HEATH to him as his wife. He had known DE BEER in Bloemfontein. DE BEER came into the saloon later on and said, “What have your stewards done to my wife?” After Mrs. DE BEER had been placed on the Cookhouse platform witness heard the male accused say,
“GOD WILL PUNISH ME FOR THIS.”
At the time DE BEER was standing by the coach.
Cross-examined: DE BEER was groaning and mumbling, and there was a crowd round him.
Gideon DELPORT, of the S.A.R., said that he was on the platform at Cookhouse when DE BEER said to him “I feel guilty of giving the ginger ale, as she did not want it. I only gave her half and the rest to the children.” Dr. McLEAN inquired if his wife had fits before, and DE BEER replied, “Heaps of them.” When Mrs. DE BEER said “Oh, God, I am dying” DE BEER was moaning and was lead away.
By Mr. LEWIS: DE BEER appeared to be genuinely in distress, and he broke down when witness gave him the death certificate of his wife. The doctor saw symptoms and examined her and came to the conclusion that she was in an epileptic fit. He said he could not do much beyond giving her chloroform. The doctor remained with Mrs. DE BEER until she died.
The court then adjourned for the day. – Reuter.
News was received last week that a former townsman, Mr. Evelyn RILEY, had passed away in Port Elizabeth after a long illness. He was about 70 years of age and a printer by trade. He will best be remembered by his old confreres in the early days of the printing industry, when as a “comp.” he was associated with the older-established printing houses on the Border and Natal, among whom were the “E.L. Dispatch” and the “Rep.” Before coming to Sterkstroom he started a printing business at Indwe and became the publisher and editor of the “Indwe Times.” He sold this and settled for some time in Sterkstroom. About 20 months ago he and Mrs. RILEY left for Port Elizabeth, hoping that a change would benefit his impaired health.
Fort Beaufort Murder Charge
Remarkable Evidence at Grahamstown
DE BEER states that his wife suffered from fits
Doctor Admits Mistaken Diagnosis
There was again a large crowd outside the Supreme Court to witness the arrival of the prisoners Cornelius DE BEER and Gezina HEATH, his housekeeper, who are charges with causing the death of Mrs. DE BEER by administering strychnine in ginger ale. The public, however, saw nothing of the accused, who were driven rapidly into the yard at the back of the court in closed taxis.
Langley STEWART, a transport porter of the S.A.R., deposed that he heard a cry for help and saw DE BEER trying to lift his wife. Others were assisting him. When Mrs. DE BEER was on the platform witness heard DE BEER say, “Oh, God what have I done? I only gave her a glass of ginger ale.” He also heard DE BEER tell the doctor that his wife had had fits before.
The witness DELPORT, recalled, said that the thirty minutes elapsed between the arrival of the train and the appearance of the doctor.
A woman named Mrs. GEYER stated that Mrs. DE BEER had three fits on Cookhouse platform. Witness’s child had had fits, but Mrs. DE BEER’s were different from those of her child. The latter did not speak for two hours, whereas deceased spoke. Dr. MACKLEAN saw all the three fits which attacked Mrs. DE BEER. The male accused said that his wife had had fits before without being questioned on the subject.
H. FRANS, who was on the Cookhouse platform, said that he heard DE BEER say several times,
“I AM GUILTY, I GAVE HER GINGER ALE.”
DE BEER was very distressed at the time.
John FRANS, a blacksmith, said that he saw Mrs. DE BEER vomiting on Cookhouse platform.
Dr. MACLEAN, of Cookhouse, said that he had been in practice for 20 years. When he arrived at Cookhouse station he found Mrs. DE BEER there. He examined her and found her in what he thought was an epileptic seizure. He procured chloroform and administered it to her. She relaxed, and he thought that she had recovered. He left for the tea room and was re-called. Mrs. DE BEER was then sitting up, and she spoke incoherently about the children. Lockjaw supervened and she died. He gave a death certificate for epilepsy.
Cross-examined by Mr. LEWIS, K.C., Dr. MACLEAN said he had never seen a patient die of strychnine poisoning, and he did not remember anyone on the platform suggesting that the woman had had fits previously. Until the police came he had
NO SUSPICION THAT THERE HAD BEEN POISONING,
And he thought death was due to natural causes. It was possible if one-seventh of a grain only of strychnine were recovered from the body after a careful analysis that that was all that was taken. Witness agreed that vomiting was not a usual symptom [sic] of strychnine poisoning. Witness had altered his opinion after issuing the death certificate because he had been influenced by the rumours of poisoning. If the woman did not die from epilepsy she died from strychnine poisoning.
Witness told the Judge-President that there was a similarity in the symptoms.
By Mr. LEWIS: Although strychnine was found in the body it was possible that he was correct in his original opinion that that the woman died from an epileptic seizure. His present opinion was that Mrs. DE BEER died from strychnine.
The Judge-President: you made and incorrect diagnosos?
Dr. BOUWER, of Fort Beaufort, said that he attended Mrs. DE BEER for the first time in June, 1925, and saw her about six times, the last occasion being in December. He had never seen her in an epileptic fit. If one-seventh of a grain of strychnine was found in the body more must have been given. The ginger ale produced a white form. Mrs. DE BEER had suffered from pains in the stomach. On the day that the two accused returned to Fort Beaufort under arrest it was common knowledge HEATH mad a confession about the ginger ale, and that the male accused was supposed to have put something into it. He had experimented with strychnine and ginger ale.
The court was again full when the hearing of evidence was resumed after lunch, the public gallery being occupied mainly by women in summer attire, throwing into relief the dark-clothed prisoners who were immediately in front of them. Before the Judge-President came into court they chatted and laughed as though waiting for the curtain to be rung up on a comedy.
Charles BEGBIE gave evidence of receiving a coffin on January 15th and its exhumation for a post mortem ex-amination by Dr. MILLER.
Dr. MILLER, the Railway Medical Officer, explained his post mortem ex-amination. The was in a state of rapid decomposition. He attended Mrs. DE BEER in the early part of 1925. She suffered from chronic dyspepsia and constipation, but otherwise she was in fairly good health. The bottle produced in court were supplied to DE BEER. None of them had contained strychnine. A half to two grains would cause death, and a less quantity had been known to be fatal. At the post mortem he found
FEATURES IN AGREEMENT WITH STRYCHNINE POISONING.
The clinical picture was of strychnine poisoning, and it was not compatible with epilepsy. It was proof positive to them that more than one-seventh of a grain of poison had been taken, and the remainder of the poison must have gone through the body with the blood stream.
Cross-examined, Dr. MILLER said that he attended Mrs. DE BEER prior to June last. She never complained of fainting fits. When he heard of her death he had his suspicions of strychnine poisoning. He did not analyse the brain or the spinal cord and the analysis was silent on points which might support the case that Mrs. DE BEER died of epilepsy. A complete analysis of the body might have revealed all the strychnine taken. If strychnine were found in the liver and kidneys it must be clear to every reasonable person that it had been circulated throughout the body.
By HODGE: Witness said he had known HEATH from childhood. She was a good, modest girl and he had known nothing against her character before she went to DE BEER’s.
Detective-Sergeant HATTINGH said that he had seen accused out together at cafes, the bioscope and at church. He had never seen HEATH out with Mrs. DE BEER. On January 28th he searched DE BEER’s house and found a paper bag containing letter boxes and pieces of paper. This was in a washingstand cupboard, and
ONE BOTTLE WAS LABELLED “STRYCHNINE-POISON.”
The letters were addressed to DE BEER and Miss HEATH. He found another bottle containing Lysol and a packet of silver of lead. He opened a trunk on February 5th during a second search and found a bottle labeled strychnine, which was sent away for analysis. He took over the accused at Bloemfontein. On the way to Fort Beaufort HEATH said that she wished to make a statement. Witness said she must do that to a Magistrate in Cradock and she then made the statement, which witness gave to Sub-Inspector BRADFORD. Witness did not divulge the contents to anyone. At Rosmead DE BEER said he could stand it no longer and he wanted to make a statement. He did this at Cradock.
Cross-examined, Detective-Sergeant HATTINGH denied that he had tried to induce either DE BEER or HEATH to make a confession. He swore on his oath that he brought no pressure to bear on either of the accused. DE BEER did tell witness that his attorney had advised him not to confess. DE BEER wrote three letters to his people, one incriminating HEATH. These were not delivered, but were detained.
By Mr. HODGE: Witness did tell HEATH that the charge was one of poisoning.
H.C. COLLEDGE, Assistant Government Toxicoligist, said that he examined the intestines, the liver, and kidneys and found traces of strychnine, which, in all probability, was a fraction of the poison taken by Mrs. DE BEER.
The court rose at a quarter past five for the day. – Reuter.
Monday, May 11, 1926
Tragedy in a train
Woman accuses DE BEER
She Says That He Put Poison in the Glass
Notes Exchanged in Gaol
The hearing of the evidence in the Fort Beaufort case, in which Cornelius DE BEER and Gezina HEATH, his housekeeper, were charged with causing the death of the former’s wife, was resumed this morning before the Judge-President (Sir Thomas GRAHAM).
Mr. Johannes VLOK, Magistrate at Cradock, gave evidence concerning the statement made by HEATH before him. The following extract was read from the statement by the Solicitor-General. In it HEATH said DE BEER “told me to get two glassed of ginger ale. I brought the ginger ale and DE BEER told me I must give it to my sister and his daughter, and he held the other glass in his hand. Then just as I opened the door he put his hand out on the glass and I saw a white foam on the top of the glass. He said to me, here ‘Give this to her’ (meaning Mrs. DE BEER). I took it and he
PUT POISON IN THE GLASS
At the time he put his hand on it. Mrs. DE BEER swallowed all the ginger ale that was in the glass, and a few minutes afterwards she got some sort of convulsion. My sister shouted ‘Oh, God, help.’ DE BEER was on the balcony at the door, and he came in and asked Mrs. DE BEER what the matter was. She answered ‘Oh, God, DE BEER, I am going to leave you all,’”
Another extract read by the Solicitor-General was: “I also want to say that in July last I saw a bottle of poison on the shelf in his office.”
C.J. BRITS, VUUREN, said that the two accused visited his farm in the Free State and they slept in the same room in a double bed.
Police-Sergeant BEUKES said that he arrested accused and placed them in separate cells. DE BEER sent for him, telling him that he had a heart attack, and asked for a doctor, who came and examined the man, afterwards declaring that his heart was sound and his nerves alright. When found DE BEER was on the floor of the cell.
A native witness named Wycliffe explained his
TAKING NOTES FROM DE BEER TO HEATH
And from Heath to DE BEER while they were in gaol. One note said: “Dear, you must say you never stopped me when you brought the ginger ale, but she was seen before taking something out of her hand bag but no one knows what.” A second note contained the following: “Not frightened this morning. Ask God to go with us and stand for us. He will help. Stick to your words. How are you, bye bye.”
The court rose at one o’clock until Monday. – Reuter.
Tuesday, May 12, 1926
Dramatic Murder Trial
Woman’s death on railway platform
Male accused’s own story
Entire denial of charge
Seven hours’ ordeal in witness box
In the Supreme Court this morning further evidence was taken in the case in which Cornelius DE BEER and Gezina HEATH are accused of causing the death of the wife of the former by administering poison in ginger ale on a train between Fort Beaufort and Cookhouse.
At the outset the Judge President said that the witness, Gertruda HEATH, would go to the railway station with the Assistant Registrar and point out where the two accused and herself stood when the ginger ale episode took place. Their positions would be marked on the plan before the court.
DE BEER was then called by Mr. LEWIS, K.C., to give evidence on his own behalf. He said that he was married in 1912. His life with his wife was happy and he and the children were fond of one another. His wife as a weak woman, and an accident previous to marriage troubled her and caused pain and bleeding. She suffered from fainting fits when the pain was severe, and rigidity set in, producing unconsciousness. His relations with HEATH were, in the first instance, perfectly innocent, but afterwards he had immoral relations with her. He was sorry for this and he
YIELDED TO TEMPTATION,
But he did not wish to blame HEATH for this.
Mr. LEWIS: The charge against you in this case is that you murdered your wife?
Accused: The Lord knows I did not murder her.
Continuing, accused denied that he was a party to his wife’s death in any way. He was absolutely innocent of the charge of murder, and he swore that he was not guilty. He admitted being found in his office with HEATH on his knee and in a river bed with her on another occasion. He denied that he purchased the bottle of strychnine. It was in the house when he went there, and it was on a shelf in his office among others. He had never used the strychnine for any purpose. On one evening he saw the bottle in HEATH’s hand in his office, and he denied the suggestion that he said in her presence “If things do not go better with you I will take this poison.” He put the bottle back on the shelf.
The remainder of the evidence of the accused was more or less a general denial of the allegations made against him by the preceding witnesses. DE BEER, who spoke in Dutch, although he said he knew English, appeared to be calm and self-possessed. In his own mind, he said, the
GINGEA ALE MADE HIS WIFE SICK.
While he was with her in the corridor she exclaimed “Oh, Lord, man, why did she give me that ginger ale?” and Gezina HEATH said “You asked for it.” The train then drew up at Cookhouse, and he called out for a doctor. At that time he thought that his wife would die at any moment, and her last words to them were that it was the ginger ale. It was not true that he said “God will punish me for this.” There was no reason for him to say that. When he knew that the police were enquiring for HEATH and himself in the Free State he thought it was for the money which he had not paid for his wife’s costly funeral.
Continuing his evidence after lunch DE BEER said that while at supper under arrest at Dealesville Gezina HEATH
SUGGESTED TO HIM THAT HE SHOULD SAY HE HAD KILLED HIS WIFE
And that she could remain and look after the children. The police told her to say this. DE BEER then said: “My Lord, you want me to tell you I did it.” When the sergeant passed the cell door he summoned him and said that the girl HEATH had told him something. He could not bear it, and asked for a doctor, as his heart was bad. Arriving at Cradock he made a statement before the magistrate, which was the same as he had said the girl told him at Dealesville. He would not have made a statement at Cradock had not Sergt. HATTINGH pressed him to do so. He saw HEATH’s statement on the office table of the Magistrate’s Court lying upside down.
NOTES IN GAOL.
He recognized HEATH’s signature, and saw that his name was mentioned several times. He admitted that a native lad conveyed in prison eight notes from him to HEATH, passing them through a water drain pipe under the partition wall. HEATH sent him six replies, in the third note he asked HEATH whether she had seen anything wrong on the train on the journey to Cookhouse. To this HEATH replied that she had seen nothing wrong, but she had seen Mrs. DE BEER take something from her hat box. In another reply HEATH wrote that she put in the statement before the Magistrate at Cradock that as she passed him in the corridor of the train DE BEER stopped her and put something in the ginger ale. He replied that she must say she was never stopped by him when she brought the ginger ale, but that she saw her (Mrs. DE BEER) take something from a hat box, but no one knew what. She did not. Witness added that he destroyed the notes referred to which passed in gaol.
Mr. LEWIS: You are charged with the murder of your wife. The direct evidence is that of two HEATH’s. You say it is absolutely untrue?
Witness: Absolutely untrue.
Turning to the Judge he swore that the evidence was absolutely false.
The examination of witness lasted for four hours.
Cross-examined by the Solicitor-General, accused denied the evidence of numerous witnesses, including those of the police at Dealseville. He did not deny his little daughter’s evidence. He had already admitted that his wife and he had at times had some words and some small quarrels. The statements of the HEATH’s were false, and it did appear that there was
A GREAT CONSPIRACY AGAINST HIM.
He could give no reason why this should be so, and he was surprised at the statements made against him. He had at first no idea that his wife died anything but a natural death. The first he heard of poisoning was when the police mentioned it on the way from Bloemfontein, and when Gezina HEATH mentioned it in court.
The Judge-President: This woman accused you of poisoning your wife. You had evidence and a note in your own possession which exculpated you entirely. Why did you not keep those notes?
Accused: She promised that she would tell the truth in court. If she had acknowledged in one of the notes that she had done something wrong I would have kept the notes and sent for the police.
The Solicotor-General: In one note you say “God will stand for us.” Why ask God to stand for you if you are perfectly innocent?
Accused: I was charged with murder, and felt absolutely finished.
Questioned as to HEATH’s condition and health, he said that a letter was sent to the doctor at his wife’s request. He swore to that.
The Judge-President: And she is not here to contradict you.
“TAME” WITH EACH OTHER.
DE BEER denied that he said: “God will punish me for this,” and other observations which witnesses for the Crown alleged that he had uttered. He never loved the accused HEATH. They were friendly and very “tame” with each other.
The Judge-President: Did you never intend to marry HEATH?
Accused replied in the negative. He admitted that he had immoral relations with her during his wife’s lifetime.
The Judge-President: Then in one respect HEATH did take your wife’s place.
By Mr. HODGE, K.C.: He admitted giving presents to HEATH, including a wristlet watch.
Accused said he did not wish to put the blame on HEATH, and he did not suggest in his Cradock statement that she was guilty.
Accused left the witness box after having been under examination for over seven hours, and the Court rose at 6.40. – Reuter.
Friday, May 14, 1926
Local & General
Many happy returns of the day to Mr. Henry WHITE, of Bolotwa, who celebrates his eighty-first birthday to-day. His hosts of friends throughout the town and district rejoice in the fact that he is still hale and hearty, and is as interested as ever in current events. Here’s to many more of these anniversaries!
Saturday, May 15, 1926
“Mia-Mia,” 5, Haig Avenue, Queenstown, 12th May, to Mr. and Mrs.
Hubert EDKINS, a daughter.
The engagement is announced of Miss Kathleen TAINTON, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A.C.M. TAINTON, of Haddon, Kei Road, to Mr. R. GORDON TURNER, eldest son of Captain and Mrs. H. GORDON TURNER, of Lady Frere.
Monday, May 17, 1926
ADDLESON.- At the
Duncan Vale Nursing Home on Sunday, 16th inst., to Mr. and Mrs. A.
ADDLESON, of “Tel-Aviv,” Horne Avenue, Queenstown, a son, both well.
In the Estate of the Late Edward Frank WILMOTT, of Queenstown, Cape Province… W.P. CURRIE, Manager, Executor Testamentary.
In the Estate of the Late Andreas Jacobus du Plessis GROBBELAAR, of Queenstown. No. 8112… F.A. VISSER, Attorney for the Executrix Dative.
Wednesday, May 19, 1926
The little homestead at Hukuwa was the scene of an exceptionally pretty wedding on the 12th inst., when Evelyn, the eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. F.E. ROBERTS, was married to Douglas, son of the late Mr. MAITLAND and Mrs. Sam HAYES (of Poplar Grove)…
Friday, May 21, 1926
I regret that another well-known resident has died, after an operation, in the person of Mr. Fred. THOMPSON, who was stationed here as an engine driver on the S.A. Railways. The sympathy of a large circle of friends will go out to his widow and two children.
In the Estate of the late Elizabeth Ivy MARLINGHAUS, born JAMES, of Whittlesea, in the district of Queenstown. No. 8710… N.L. GOLDSCHMIDT, Attorneys for Executor Testamentary.
Local & General
The Late Lord MILNER.
As has been mentioned, last Sunday was the first anniversary of the lamented death of Lord MILNER, to whom South Africa owed so much, and an eloquent address on the subject was preached by the Rector (the Rev. W.A.
GOODWIN) at St Michael and All Angel’s Church.
Tuesday, May 25, 1926
HARDING.- Passed away
at Frontier Hospital, Queenstown, on the 23rd May after a short illness, William Henry HARDING, age 71 years 11 months 17 days, beloved husband of Mrs. W.H. HARDING, Bushell Street.
Wednesday, May 26, 1926
THOMPSON.- In loving
memory of our dear mother, Emily Rosina THOMPSON, who passed away on the 26th May, 1925, at Queenstown.
Accidently killed on the Railway May 26th, 1922, Willie, eldest son of Max and Laura MULLER. Born September 2nd, 1905, aged 16 years 8 months. Mourned by Dad, Mum, Sisters and Brothers.
Thursday, May 27, 1926
the D.R. Church, Queenstown, on the 25th inst., Johannes COETZEE, of Standard Bank, Tarkastad, to Annie WENTZEL, of Queenstown.
Saturday, May 29, 1926
Pretty Local Wedding
A very pretty wedding was solemnized at the Dutch Reformed Church at Queenstown on Tuesday last, when Miss Hester Ann WENTZEL, daughter of the late Mr. J.P. WENTZEL and of Mrs. J. GOODMAN, was married to Mr. Johannes COETZEE, eldest son of the late Mr. J.L. COETZEE and Mrs. ERASMUS, of Tarkastad. The Rev. P.J. DU PLESSIS was the officiating clergyman…
Tuesday, June 1, 1926
Set of false teeth. Reward. Return to W. MARSHALL, 26 Cathcart Road.
GREEN.- In everloving memory of Leslie Charles GREEN, who died of wounds in G.E.A. May 31st 1916.
Wednesday, June 2, 1926
A Molteno Wedding
A very pretty Jewish wedding was solemnized in the L.O.G.T.Hall at Molteno on Sunday, the contracting parties being Janie, elder daughter of Mr. and Mrs. M.C. SCHNEIDER, of Molteno, and Louis, elder son of Mr. And Mrs. M. STEIN, of Dordrecht…
Notice to Creditors
In the Estate of the late James Henry LEWIS, a pensioner, of Sterkstroom (No. 10982)… Dan J. DE WET, Attorney for the Executor Dative.
P.O. Box 6,
Notice to Creditors
In the Estate of the late Johannes Philippus Andreas KRUGER, a farmer of “Vosloos Rust,” in the District of Sterkstroom. (No. 109501)… Dan J. DE WET.
Attorney for the Executor Dative,
P.O. Box 6,
Died.- At Queenstown
on the 2nd June, 1926, Friedrich Carl Rudolph VON LINSINGEN, aged 59 years. The funeral will take place from the house, Ebden Street, at 11 a.m. to-morrow (Thursday).
Death of Sir Frederick SMITH
Ex-Mayor of Capetown
The death occurred this evening of Sir Frederick SMITH, the ex-Mayor of Capetown. – Reuter.
Thursday, June 3, 1926
Notice to Creditors
In the Estate of the late Petrus Johannes DE WET, of Driehoek, Queenstown. No. 11274… F.A. VISSER, Attorney for the Executor Testamentary.
In loving memory of our dear husband and father, Willie BRENET, who died on the 3rd June, 1923.
Inserted by his sorrowing wife, daughter Bessie and sons Leo and Cyril.
Friday, June 4, 1926
Local & General
We join the many friends of the worthy veteran, Mr. J.J.
KELLY, of Lady Frere, father of Colonel J. Sherwood KELLY, V.C., in congratulating him on reaching to-day his 76th birthday.
Wednesday, June 9, 1926
Local & General
The marriage of Miss May Doris HURT, elder daughter of Mr. J.R. and the late Mrs. HURT, to Mr. A.J. BRYCE, of Johannesburg, is announced to take place at Queenstown on June 21st, says “The Star.”
Thursday, June 10, 1926
At 15 Porter Street, to Mr. and Mrs. Chris. LANDMAN, of Oak Grove, Imvani, on the 9th June, a son. Both well.
We regret to record the death of Mr. Douglas GODDARD of “Nettlegrove,” Tarkastad district, on Tuesday last. Deceased, farm manager for Eric HALSE, of Carnarvon, who has gone to England, was taken seriously sick in town, and died after four days’ illness. His remains were conveyed to his parents’ farm for interment.
Friday, June 11, 1926
KLETTE.- In loving memory of our dear mother who passed away at King Williamstown on June 11th, 1925.
Estate of the late William Henry HOWELL, who died at Ashfield, N.S.W., on 16th June, 1925. (No. 8884)… ELLIOTT Brothers, Attorneys for Executors Testamentary, Hexagon, Queenstown.
Saturday, June 12, 1926
Mr. H. STRIPP and Family desire to express their appreciation of the many tokens of respect and esteem sent to them in remembrance of Mrs. A.M. STRIPP, who passed away June 10th at Duncan Vale Home.
Monday, June 14, 1926
WIGGILL.- Passed away
peacefully at Cathcart on 11th June, 1926, Sarah Dolly, beloved wife of Francis Edward WIGGILL and eldest daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Cornelius MAYTHAM, of Queenstown, age 78 years 8 months. Deeply mourned.
BARNES.- At Oxton on Friday, the 11th inst., Elizabeth (nee JEFFREY), wife of G.H.BARNES, of Oxton, aged 79 years and 9 months.
Venerable German Pastor
Death of Rev. H. GUTSCHE
King Williamstown, Mon.
The death occurred on Saturday night of the Rev. Hugo GUTSCHE, a German Baptist pastor, who came to this country in 1867 to minister to the German settlers in Kaffraria. The venerable pastor, who was in his eighty-fourth year, retired from active work a few years ago. He did remarkable work amongst his people, and was held in veneration by the entire community. Mrs. GUTSCHE predeceased him some months ago. He is survived by four sons and a daughter. The former being Dr. H.
GUTSCHE, of the Transvaal Education Department, Dr. Phillip GUTSCHE, King Williamstown, Mr. Justice GUTSCHE, of Windhoek, and Dr. J. GUTSCHE, Somerset West. – Reuter.
Tuesday, June 15, 1926
HADNOTT.- At Shama
Hospital S. Rhodesia, on 6th June, 1926, Herber Roland, dearly beloved and only son of Mrs. And the late George HADNOTT, of blackwater fever, aged 25 years and 10 months.
Deeply mourned by his sorrowing mother and sisters.
Thursday, June 17, 1926
Alleged Poisoning of Wife
Traces of Strychnine Found
The trail of the young farmer NORTJE and the woman Dirkie DU PLESSIS, who are charges with the murder of the former’s wife, was continued here to-day. Jan Adrians DU PLESSIS, the father of the dead woman, gave evidence about the circumstances of his daughter’s death. She had been quite well that day. NORTJE told them that the attack was so sudden that he had no time to call them. Answering Mr. WESSELS, counsel for the defense, witness said that he had seen nothing immoral between NORTE and Dirkie. Jacobus Marthinus MALAN, J.P., said that in course of his duty he conducted an inquest. Dirkie and NORTJE had made unsworn statements, and the latter said that there had been no quarrel between he and his wife. She ….
Statement made later by NORTJE to the detective in charge of the case, Jacobus DU PLESSIS, said that the trouble between he and his wife started on birthday, when he kissed Dirkie six times. In this statement it was suggested that Mrs. NORTJE poisoned herself.
Detective DU PLESSIS said that he searched the house and grounds. Near the house a strychnine label was picked up. They also found near there a burnt cork and pieces of a cardboard carton. There were portions of broken glass and traces of vomit that had been carefully covered. When he arrested Dirkie and searched the house she rushed at a tin on a table and grabbed some papers. She said that they were letters from her best boy. Witness forced them from her and found that they were in NORTJE’s writing and were on the lines of his statements to the police.
William Campbell COLLINGE, Government Analyst at Johannesburg, said that he extracted from the stomach 1-10 grains and from the liver 1-36 grains of strychnine. He also received a substance which might have been vomit but looked more like dry milk. There was strychnine in the substance. It was possible that any strychnine in it would have been washed out.
Relatives and friends of the two accused were then called to give evidence of the relations between NORTJE and Dirkie. – Reuter.
Saturday, June 19, 1926
The late Mrs. G.H. BARNES
The passing of the late Mrs. G.H. BARNES, which sad event took place at her home at Oxton on the 11th inst., removed an old and respected resident of the district. Eldest daughter of the late Mr. E.C. JEFFREY, of Kamastone, who was the first superintendent and for many years had control of the Kamastone and Oxkraal Locations, she and Mr. G.H. BARNES were married at Kamastone in November, 1867, by the then resident minister, the late Rev. William SHEPSTONE, and had she been spared another year Mr. and Mrs. BARNES would have been able to celebrate their diamond wedding. The first nine years of their married life was spent at Donnybrook, after which they moved to the farm Oxton, where they have lived ever since. Mrs. BARNES was a good woman and mother of the true old type, and had seven children. She was of a quiet and un-assuming nature, unselfish and hospitable, and always placed first her duty towards her husband and children. The declining few months of her life saw a general breaking up, and, without illness of any kind, she gradually drifted towards an end which is not the privilege of many to attain, and quietly and peacefully passed into her last long sleep in her 80th years.
To the bereaved husband, who has been deprived of the companionship of his helpmate after fifty-nine years spent together, and to the family, the sympathy of their many friends goes out in their great loss.
Case for the defence at Rustenburg
Widower’s Pointblank Denial of Guilt
Suspicion of Suicide Disclaimed
The trial was continued to-day of Johannes NORTJE and Dirkie Marie DU PLESSIS, who are charged with the murder of the former’s wife by poisoning her with strychnine.
Sarie DU PLESSIS, Dirkie’s other sister said that she slept with her in the house were NORTJE was alleged to have stayed until the early morning. The male accused did not visit there at night, and it was impossible to look through the plank window, as one of the police alleged.
Dirkie’s mother, Johanna Hendrina MALAN, said that she had never seen the two accused make love to each other. When NORTJE came to them one day and told them he was going away, Dirkie asked him to WRITE DOWN THE SCANDAL Otherwise she would forget it. This evidence was in answer to a question about the long statement in NORTJE’s writing found in Dirkie’s possession when she was arrested.
Jan Christiaan NORTJE, the first accused, denied that he had ever bought poison or even medicine from the chemist at Koster, BEILES. The statement in his writing found in Dirkie’s possession was written because she asked him to write down the scandal, as she wished to consult her solicitors about it. He had visited Dirkie occasionally when she lived nearby after the death of his wife, but he denied visiting her every night. Alwyn MALAN and Dirkie were very much in love with one another. NORTJE denied looking at his house through field glasses when the detectives were searching there. Later, said NORTJE, he met a neighbour, OOSTHUIZEN, by chance. OOSTHUIZEN said he had heard the witness was arrested and was surprised to see him. Then witness told him that there was a scandal being spread about that he (OOSTHUIZEN) had given him poison to kill his wife. OOSTHUIZEN said he had not heard about the story. Witness said that in that case he would be glad if OOSTHUIZEN would keep quiet about the conversation, because the death was bad enough for him without the scandal. OOSTHUIZEN shook his hand, and said he would say nothing about it.
When NORTJE re-entered the box after luncheon interval he said that he knew nothing of the strychnine remains that were found near his house. If he had wanted to destroy the traces of strychnine he would not have done it there or in that way. As far as witness knew there had NEVER BEEN STRYCHNINE IN HIS HOUSE.
Recalling the identification parade that he did not attend. NORTJE said he was in his attorney’s office one day when a detective arrived to ask him to come and be identified. Nothing was said about a parade and his attorney told him that there was no reason why he should go. He never visited Hans MALAN’s house when Dirkie was there, and it was untrue that he ever seen her there. Witness was arrested at Nahobieskraal, and he was taken through Rustenburg to Koster. They were in a motor car in Koster next morning and stopped opposite BEILES’s shop. BEILES walked up to the car, opened the door, and looked straight at witness.
NORTJE flatly denied that he had ever made a confession to FERREIRA in gaol, or that he discussed his case with him. When FERREIRA first came to gaol he asked witness what he was in for and was told theft. FERREIRA said that that was a lie because Detective WANLISS told him that he and Dirkie were charges with poisoning his wife. FERREIRA tried to get witness to talk about his case, but he refused to do so. NORTJE then related the circumstances of his wife’s death. After visiting her parents’ house they returned home on Sunday. Witness, his wife and children and Dirkie and her children were there. On the way home Mrs. NORTJE said that she felt so bad and that she would not reach home. They did so, however, and deceased made the fire and they gave the children their supper and put them to bed. Deceased had asked Dirkie to spend the night with them. They had a meal, which was entirely served by his wife. The coffee was also made and poured out by her and she herself put the sugar in. She did not eat much and complained that she was feeling very bad. He carried her to bed. On the way she said that she felt so sorry for the poor children. Later she said: “I must go away,” and told him that, though he didn’t believe it, he would see. She was speaking incoherently.
NORTJE’s evidence in chief lasted for just over three hours, and after the tea adjournment he was cross-examined by Mr. BREBNER. He admitted going to BEILES’ chemist shop once, but he DENIED BUYING POISON There. HE could not explain the poison slip in BEILES’ possession. Witness denied in toto the evidence of those witnesses who said that he habitually visited Dirkie at her house. When the doctor called to see deceased witness could not tell him the symptoms because he was so upset. He knew that they had found no cause of death but they had not asked him the symptoms. In his statement to Detective DU PLESSIS he said that deceased made no noise of movement before she died. That was in answer to a question as to whether she screamed or tried to run away.
Mr. BREBNER: Give us some assistance. How do you thing the poison was administered?
Witness: I can give no idea of how it happened.
He added that he had never suspected, and did not now suspect, that his wife had committed suicide. – Reuter.
Dirkie in the Witness Box
The accused woman gave evidence last night. She denied that there was a love affair between herself and NORTJE. She was almost engaged to Alwyn MALAN. Witness had approached Mr. MEYER to get poioson [sic], with which she wanted to kill a dog that was eating her eggs. She admitted trying to keep the statement in NORTJE’s writing from detective DU PLESSIS when he arrested her. She did that because she objected to his searching her room and because she was frightened. On the papers NORTJE had written the scandal which had spread concerning them both. She wanted it written because she wanted to consult her attorney. – Reuter.
Monday, June 21, 1926
Dramatic End to Murder Trial
Both accused sentenced to death
Prisoners collapse in the dock
Frantic Assertions of Innocence
Dramatic scenes marked the conclusion last night of the lengthy trial of Jan Christian NORTJE and Dirkie Marie DU PLESSIS on a charge of poisoning Anna NORTJE, the wife of the first prisoner. Both accused were found guilty and sentenced to death. When he heard the verdict NORTJE made an impassioned appeal for mercy, but before he could finish his statement the woman prisoner fainted, and efforts to revive her failed. NORTJE also swooned, and the court had to adjourn for an hour before the sentence of death could be passed. The prisoners were brought in and led to two chairs in front of the judge’s seat and the capital sentence was passed, after which both accused again fainted.
Yesterday Dirkie DU PLESSIS was cross-examined by Mr.
BREBNER for the Crown. Something of a sensation was caused in court when, after the accused had repeatedly stated that she had several times washed some curtains which she always hung in front of her window, and that the colour if them had not faded. Mr. BREBNER dipped the curtain in some water and wiped it on a piece of blotting paper, which was stained. The woman was also closely questioned by Mr. Justice FEETHAM and the jury. Answering the jury, who pointed out that NORTJE had suggested that his wife had tried to poison her, witness said that on the night itself she suspected nothing. After thinking over the case in gaol she could say nothing else save that
MRS. NORTJE HAD TRIED TO POISON HER.
There was no reason for that except unfounded jealousy.
The case for the defence was closed and Doctor RADLOFF was recalled for the second time. He said that he had asked NORTJE what the symptoms shown by his wife had been and accused replied that he was to overcome with grief to notice.
At 11.20 Mr. BREBNER rose to address the jury. He said that the suggestion of suicide was eliminated because of the attempt to hide the traces. There was nothing to suggest it save the bare opinion of the two accused that she had tried to poison Dirkie and took the poison by mistake herself.
Mr. WESSELS then addressed the jury for the defence.
At 4.15 His Lordship proceeded to sum up. Referring to FERREIRA’s evidence of A CONFESSION IN GAOL, His Lordship stated that that was very undesirable. Evidence obtained in that way was very unsatisfactory. At the same time he did not think that the general attack on the police force made by Mr. WESSELS, in which he said that the whole case was overlaid by their disgraceful acts, was justified. The police had had a delicate task to perform.
At 7.10, after 55 minutes’ deliberation, the jury returned. In a steady voice the foreman said that there was an unanimous verdict of guilty.
MALE ACCUSED’S PROTEST AND APPEAL.
NORTJE said he wished to speak. “I would like to say a few words like a man. We know both that we are not guilty. There is one person also who knows we are not guilty. I hope he will feel what I am saying now. I was married seven and a half years. I had a pleasant life. Through the medium of the person who came in between us we are brought into this position to-day. I hope and trust that the conscience of that man will never rest, for that man knows we are not guilty.”
At this stage the female accused burst into tears and collapsed.
NORTJE continued: “And I want to ask the Judge if it is in any way possible that the Judge can let the second accused go. There is nothing she has done and she is as innocent as I am myself. And further, I ask for mercy.”
NORTJE collapsed as he finished his statement.
When the court resumed Dirkie said: “God says he is the judge of widows and the father of orphans. I want to say this – I wash my hands in innocency of that woman’s death.”
In passing sentence of death the Judge said he had taken note of what accused had said. – Reuter.
Wednesday, June 23, 1926
In the Estate of the late Elizabeth LANGA (born SHUBAMAZWIE), of Zangokwe, District of Queenstown. No. 11251… G.N. EBDEN, Attorney to Executor Testamentary.
Local & General
Motorist’s Tragic Death.
Mr. Anthony SCHOLTZ, of Scholtzberg, Modder River, died under tragic circumstances on Saturday morning. On Wednesday he was engaged in attending to his motor car and later was busy removing some grease marks from his clothing by the aid of petrol. Later he struck a match in order to light a cigarette and immediately his clothing became aflame. He sustained such serious burns that, in spite of everything that medical skill could do, he succumbed to his injuries.
Thursday, June 24, 1926
CASE.- Passed away in
her sleep at The Cottage, Donkin Street, Grahamstown, Ellen, the wife of the Rev. P.H. CASE, on Thursday, 17th June.
Friday, June 25, 1926
In the Estate of the late Adelaide Mary STRIPP (born McDOWALL). No. 11549… L.H. BRINKMAN, Attorney for Executor Testamentary.
The marriage of Miss Esther PILSKY, sister of Mr. Jacob PILSKY, of Peninsula, and Mr. Morris GAMSU was solemnized on Wednesday at the Queen’s Drive Synagogue, where there was a large congregation of well-wishers, and intimate friends…
Lady Frere Notes
The flavor for weddings has caught on, as the only daughter
(Maggie) of an old Lady Frere resident (Mr. Tom GOLDING) was married to Mr. DICKS, of Waku, in the Wesleyan Church on the 17th inst.
The final touch to the liquidation of the estate of the late Mr. J.W. GARRETT took place last week, when Mr. ROBERTSON, the Executor, visited Lady Frere.
Monday, June 28, 1926
Local & General
A Curious Marriage.
The marriage of Mr. Thomas B. STEARNS, a prominent Denver Capitalist, with his daughter-in-law is causing widespread comment. STEARNS is 76, and has been a widower for four years. His son, Bert, died in 1918. The wedding of the elder STEARNS with his son’s widow, who is 32, was celebrated at Sante Fe, New Mexico.
Wednesday, June 30, 1926
Queenstown on June 29th, W.H. BARTLETT, of “Home Park,” aged 63 years.
Wednesday, June 30, 1926
A Pretty Wedding
An exceedingly pretty wedding was celebrated in St.Michael’s Church yesterday afternoon when Lieut.-Colonel Christopher W.
HODGSON, of Marendellas, Rhodesia, youngest son of the Rev. A.T. HODGSON, of Norfolk, England, was married to Miss Jens DREVAR, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W.A. EDMONDS, of Modreeny, Livingstone Road, Queenstown. The Rev. Mr. RYOTT was the officiating clergyman, and the coir was in attendance, with Mr. J. Mavor NIVEN at the organ…
Local & General
The news of the death of Mr. W.H. BARTLETT yesterday afternoon came as a shock to his large circle of friends, and expressions of regret were heard on all sides. It is thirty years since Mr. BARTLETT came to this country, and he has spent the whole of that time in Queenstown or its neighbourhood. For a few years Mr. Harry (the name by which he was familiarly known) served with Messrs. Morum Bros., but during the South African War he joined the late Mr. C.R. ARNOLD, when they established a huge butchery business to serve the military authorities. Messrs. ARNOLD and BARTLETT prospered, and on selling the business near the end of the war, Mr. BARTLETT purchased the fine farm BLAAUWKRANTZ. By introducing business methods into his farming he soon established himself, and became known all over the country as one of the leading Friesland breeders. In 1902 he married Miss ARNOLD, who has shared in all his activities. A few years ago he sold Blaauwkrantz and came to live in town. Eventually he built their present beautiful residence, Home Park, on the boundary of the Queenstown Commonage. Apart from serving for some years on the executive of the Agricultural Society, Mr. BARTLETT took little part in our public bodies, but he was deeply interested in the welfare of the town and district, and a friend to many when friends were needed. He was 63 years of age, and has been in rather poor health for some little time, but it was never realized that the end was so near. An operation was performed on Monday morning, but complications set in, and the patient gradually sank. The greatest sympathy will be felt for Mrs. BARTLETT, and deceased’s brothers and sisters and other relatives. The funeral will take place this afternoon at three o’clock.
Estate late Petrus Gerhardus JORDAAN. No. 10820… L.H. BRINKMAN, Attorney for Executor Testamentary.