One of South Africa’s white ANC Members of Parliament, Sue van der Merwe, 58, is “recovering” after being attacked and strangled to unconsciousness in her luxury Cape Town home, police in that city have said.
Van der Merwe’s house was also ransacked. The two black males “assaulted and strangled her until she lost consciousness,” police Captain Frederick van Wyk was quoted as saying.
The attackers used a crowbar to force open the back door to the house in the upmarket suburb of Rondebosch while the ANC MP was inside. Her injuries included a fractured arm, cuts and bruises.
She was on the telephone to her son at the time when the blacks entered the house, and was able to tell him of the intrusion. He then called a private security company, ADT, not the notoriously inefficient black-run South African police, to come to her aid.
He then also sped to his mother’s house, and so doing probably saved her life. Upon his arrival, the criminals fled, leaving the far leftist MP lying unconscious on the floor. Had he been a few minutes later, it is likely they would have killed her.
A few items, including Van der Merwe’s car and bank cards, were taken.
Van der Merwe is a veteran leftist activist who, before the unbanning of the ANC in 1990, worked for one of its many front organizations inside South Africa. She was first elected as an MP in 1996, and served as deputy minister of foreign affairs from 2004 to 2009.
Cape Town has long been—incorrectly—regarded by many South African whites as a refuge from the crime of the northern city of Johannesburg. In fact, the crime rate in the southern coastal city, famous for its mountain ranges which look over the sea, has for many years had a far higher crime rate than Johannesburg.
In 2012, one black suburb of Cape Town, Nyanga, took the top spot for murders and crime in all South Africa, and was dubbed the “most dangerous place to be a South African” by a local newspaper.
The crime rate among the large numbers of mixed-race inhabitants of Cape Town’s suburbs is equally notorious, with the most violent gangs all centered on the region known as the “Cape Flats.” Policing is atrocious, and 84 percent of murder and attempted murder cases originating from five gang hotspots in the Western Cape end in acquittals because of botched investigations.
*The day after the attack on Van der Merwe, a Norwegian exchange student was raped and her boyfriend tied up by two nonwhite criminals on Signal Hill overlooking Cape Town.
- Van der Merwe announced her resignation from the South African parliament in 2014, saying that she was going to Scotland “to track her roots.”