Police dig up KZN beach looking for Van Rooyen’s victims

Police began excavating a site on  Blythedale Beach‚ believed to be a burial site for girls kidnapped by paedophile Gert van Rooyen in the 1980s. Picture: Jackie Clausen

A team of police investigators on Wednesday began excavating a site on Blythedale Beach‚ outside of Durban, believed to be a burial site for girls kidnapped by paedophile Gert van Rooyen in the 1980s.

Using an earthmover‚ police forensic services officers moved tons of sand from above a subterranean storm water drain.

Van Rooyen and his girlfriend Joey Haarhoff were accused of a spree of child kidnappings over 30 years ago. They are thought to have abducted and murdered at least six young girls between 1988 and 1989.

The bodies of his victims have never been found.

In 1979 he abducted two girls aged 10 and 13 and forced them to perform sexual acts but released the two a day later in Pretoria.

Gert van Rooyen and Francina ‘Joey’ Haarhoff Picture: Sunday Times archive

He was arrested shortly thereafter and convicted on charges of abduction‚ sexual assault and common assault of the girls. He served three years of his four year sentence. Van Rooyen shot Haarhoff before turning the gun on himself when police were closing in on them in Pretoria after one of their victims escaped.

This is a developing story.

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