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15-Year-Old Boy Tortured, Killed Because He Wasn’t Manly Enough

15-Year-Old Boy Tortured, Killed Because He Wasn’t Manly Enough
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A South African game-ranger training camp leader is on trial for murder after allegedly starving, burning and electrocuting a 15-year-old boy with learning difficulties.

Alex de Koker, now 49, a self-styled “general” with links to white supremacist groups, and Echo Wild Game Rangers staffer Michael Erasmus, 20, are facing charges in Vereeniging District Court of murder, child abuse and neglect, and two cases of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

Koker charged parents R22,000 (approximately $2,451 as of May 1, 2013,) to take their effeminate or troubled teenage boys and turn them into “men” at his Echo Wild Game Rangers camp, housed on land owned by Koker in Swartruggens, an hour south of Johannesburg.

Raymond Buys, the boy in question, entered the program in 2011 in perfect physical health.

He was two months into the 10 week camp program when he was admitted to a Vereeniging hospital. By then, Buys was painfully thin and severely dehydrated, doctors found evidence of brain damage, he had a broken arm and displayed bruising and cigarette burns up and down his body. Doctors told Buys’ mother that her son’s chances of recovery were “virtually zero” and, two weeks later, he died after being taken off life support.

Mrs Buys says she had hoped de Koker’s training camp could, as billed, help her son find a job in the wildlife trade and that it would help Jonathan, who had been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and had reportedly left school after struggling in that environment, to have greater prospects in life.

“I sent my son on this course to make him a better man, to give him a better future,” said Wilma Buys to The Telegraph. “I trusted Alex de Koker with his life.”

What de Koker and staff did to Raymond, if witness testimony is proved accurate, is nothing less than torture.

 

The Torture of Raymond Buys: Forced to Eat His Own Feces, Electrocuted and Beaten

Gerhard Oosthuizen, 19, shared a tent with Buys at the camp. He told the Vereeniging District Court that Buys was physically weaker than many of the other boys and therefore was not able to perform many of the tasks, such as manual labor and military style training, that were asked of him. For this, he frequently earned punishments from the camp’s staff.

Oosthuizen told the court during an April hearing that Raymond Buys was chained to his bed every night after attempting to escape the camp. During that time, Oosthuizen claims, Buys was forbidden from going to the bathroom and as a result repeatedly soiled himself.

Oosthuizen also testified regarding one incident where Buys, after relieving himself in a field while — and I will borrow the phrase the Telegraph uses — “the recruits worked,” Buys was then made to eat his own feces.

On another occasion, Buys tipped over a washing powder container. Oosthuizen claims Buys was then made to eat the washing powder, reportedly vomiting foam as a result.

In his court testimony, Oosthuizen detailed how Buys was frequently beaten with various implements, including planks of wood, rods and plastic piping. He also recounted one occasion where de Koker and Erasmus allegedly strapped Buys to a chair, naked and with a pillowcase over his head, and electrocuted him with a stun gun, eliciting screams.

In addition to these claims, Wilma Buys says that she was denied access to and contact with her son. In fact de Koker, she claims, only allowed her three phone conversations with Raymond during the whole time he was at the camp, all of which had to be conducted on speakerphone.

It was, case details suggest, a matter of camp policy to turn over any mobile phones upon entry into the program. During a six week period of almost no communication, de Koker appeared to try to assuage Wilma Buys’ fears by sending her a picture of her son. He looked thin. A second picture and Wilma Buys believed Raymond looked emaciated.

Reports say she phoned de Koker and demanded to know what was happening. Mr de Koker claimed that Raymond was injuring himself.

In what appears to be a subsequent and monitored phone conversation, Wilma Buys asked her son why he would do such a thing, to which Raymond is said to have responded, “Mum, I’m not doing it to myself.”

Only a few days later, Buys received a call from de Koker in which she was told Raymond had been admitted to the hospital for tests. Wilma Buys reached the hospital to find that her son was close to dying.

As Buys would learn when she was contacted by the parents of another deceased child, this was not the first time de Koker and his staff faced accusations of murder.

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Image credit: Thinkstock.

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259 comments

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8:37PM PST on Nov 10, 2013

Something isn't adding in this story. First off, the child who was murdered already had been diagnosed as having mental issues. Now there is no boot camp, 12 step program, or any other type of recovery program that will make that go away, so why on earth did his mother send her son there in the first place?
Secondly, if his own brother worked at that camp, wouldn't he try to keep his brother away from such a terrible place?
Either the mother is a moron, and the brother is a sadist, or something is missing from this story.
Like the other readers already have asked, why was that man allowed to keep running his "camp" if there were already two fatalities on record?
Something isn't right here.

12:28PM PST on Nov 9, 2013

These men are sick but I am left wondering if the cases we know about are the only cases involving these men. I hope they will be in prison long enough to ensure that when or if they leave they are no longer able (physically) to carry out this sort of abuse again.

12:07PM PST on Nov 9, 2013

Sick, twisted monsters, I hope they rot in prison until they die.

11:53PM PST on Nov 8, 2013

This is just evil

11:42AM PST on Nov 8, 2013

awful

11:36AM PST on Nov 5, 2013

There is no way you can change the "manliness" of a person. Not all people are born to be Superman. Accept your child for what he is and love him for what he is because you are very fortunate to have the child.

6:15AM PST on Nov 4, 2013

Terrible!!! That place should have been shut down from the very first case and not taken so lightly. As a punishment those monsters should be treated the same exact way. But I guess that won't happen...there is always a loop-hole!

3:57PM PST on Nov 3, 2013

This is absolutely horrible. I sure hope those creeps get what's coming to them.

3:10PM PST on Nov 3, 2013

Sickening. Who says you can't get away with murder?

12:45AM PDT on Oct 29, 2013

Terrible

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