In a country that sees 59 murders a day, and with everyone’s recent attention on the triple murder at Hartswater, let us not forget the urban hate crime inflicted on defenseless families. One triple murder that left the public horrified some years ago, was the 12-year-old boy called Amaro, a Grade 7 pupil at Linmeyer Primary School, and perhaps the epoch of what would become widescale acts of terrorism, rape, torture, and murder in South Africa.

Amaro Viana(12) had his hands tied and was drowned in scolding hot water, to prevent him from identifying the attackers who carried out the raid on his family, in suburban Walkerville South Africa.

The attackers included the family’s gardener and the son of one of their employees. It was claimed they were motivated by the way they had been treated by the Viana family.

From left, Sipho Mbele, David Motaung and Patrick Petrus Radebe smiled in court as they admitted to their sick crimes
Sipho Mbele, David Motaung and Patrick Radebe smiled in court as they admitted to their sick crimes

Appearing in court on 26 July 2012, the gardener Patrick Petrus Radebe, 24, confessed to being part of the gang which broke into the Viana home in October 2011.

The Vereeniging Regional Court heard that, after gaining access to the house in Walkerville, the gang lay in wait for Tony Viana(53) an engineer, to arrive home.

When he walked through the front door, they attacked him with golf clubs and a machete known as a panga, before tying him up and ordering him to tell them how to open the family safe.

Machete also known as a Panga - The weapon of choice for many gruesome murders in South Africa
A Machete also known as a Panga – The weapon of choice for hundreds of gruesome murders in South Africa

Amaro’s mother Geraldine Viana(46), was then gang raped in front of the boy, before she and her husband were shot dead.

Amaro would have turned 21 this year – had his life not been cut short by the brutal terrorists.

Amaro with his mother Geraldine and father Tony, who were shot to death by the robbers, along with Gabriela Correia, Mr Viana's daughter by his first marriage
Amaro with his mother Geraldine and father Tony, who were shot to death by the robbers, along with Gabriela Correia, Mr Viana’s daughter by his first marriage.

Trial for the murder of the Viana family

Sipho Mbele and Patrick Radebe pleaded guilty to charges of housebreaking with intent to steal, aggravated robbery, rape, three counts of murder, possession of an unlicensed firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, and intentional damage to property.

Their lawyer Charmaine Castleman claimed the men carried out the attack to somehow ‘get back’ at Mrs Viana for the way she had previously treated them.

Describing the sexual assault, Castleman said:

“First Mbele raped Geraldine while Radebe stood on her head Then Radebe raped her while Mbele held a pillow over her face.”

A third accused, Sphiwe David Motaung, 20, had previously pleaded guilty to burglary with intent to steal, aggravated robbery, and damage to property.

The Viana Family, join the thousands of victims of hate crime in South Africa.

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