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Article posted  by: White Nation  correspondent Pretoria May 23 2017








PIET BYLEVELD, who is considered one of the top detectives in the world  was involved in investigating several murders and serial  murders in his career. Byleveld retired in 2010 after a 38-year career in the police. Advanced cancer was diagnosed with him in March 2017 – and he died in the Wilgeheuwel hospital in Roodepoort on Wednesday May 24 2017.

This was confirmed on Wednesday by a senior police source who asked not to be named. Messages of condolences to his family and friends are already being shared on his Facebook wall.Byleveld‚ dubbed the “man hunter”‚ was regarded as the country’s top detective for his track record of apprehending some of the worst criminals in South Africa.  Byleveld is known as a legendary detective due to the fact he has a 100% success rate with serial murders and solved some of South Africa’s most famous crime investigations. Byleveld‚ 67‚ a chain smoker who operated on Grandpa Powder mixed with Coke‚ brought notorious serial killers to book‚ including three of the worst that Johannesburg‚ and South Africa‚ has ever seen. He succumbed to lung cancer at the Life Wilgeheuwel Hospital in Roodepoort.

Here are some of his most important cases:

Leigh Matthews

A case that captured the whole country was that of Leigh Matthews, 21, who disappeared from the Bond University on 9 July 2004 in Sandton’s car park. Her naked body was found 11 days later in the field near Walkerville, south of Johannesburg. Byleveld captured her kidnapper and assassin Donovan Samuel Moodley (24). Judge Joop Labuschagne jailed Moodley for 40 years on August 4, 2005. In addition to a life sentence for murder, he has been imprisoned for another 15 years for abduction and ten years for extortion (coinciding). In an interview with Marida Fitzpatrick in Beeld just after his retirement in June 2010, Byleveld said he was still convinced that someone helped Moodley. It would always bother him not to solve this issue.

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Sibille Zanner

The biggest disappointment of his career, says Byleveld in the book Byleveld, a case-by-case by Hanlie Retief, was the case of Sibille Zanner, 39, which he lost in the High Court. Zanner was shot on 25 September 2002 in front of a  friends’ house in Kloofendal, Roodepoort. According to a forensic expert, the arrow hit her under her right ear, slammed through the thick ligaments between her first and second neck vertebra – and immediately paralyzed her. She died of her injuries the following morning. The force with which the arrow pierced her neck pointed out that it was shot with a crossbow, the court later heard. Byleveld arrested her husband, Frank Zanner, for the murder, but on 1 August 2006, the state abandoned his case against Zanner due to lack of evidence.

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Lazarus Mazingane

Byleveld played a key role in the investigation into Lazarus Mazingane (then 28), one of the largest serial killers in the legal history of South Africa. Mazingane is also known as the “Nasrec murderer. “Young women victims were raped and strangled in the Nasrec area in Southern Johannesburg one-after- the- other. He also hijacked and murdered couples in the same area. In his book, Byleveld says that no detective for 15 months has been able to capture the killer since 1995. Ten files finally ended up on his desk. Mazingane evaded Byleveld for four years, but on December 22, 2002 he was sentenced to 17 life sentences  and 781 years in prison. He was found guilty of 74 of the 75 charges against him, including 16 charges of murder.

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Cedric Maake

Byleveld is also the man who captured the most evasive serial killer in South African history. Cedric Maake (32), better known as the “Wemmerpan ” or” hammer killer, “– ultimately ruled 133 counts in court. Maake killed men when couples went to Wemmerpan in southern Johannesburg to have sex. In his book, Byleveld tells how Maake sometimes forced the couples to have sex before him. Then he shot the men in the back of the head and took the male victims’ shoes as trophies. The women then had to run up the mine dumps as he cursed them. On top of the mining heap, they had to pull out their clothes and were raped, sometimes up to three times. Those who resisted him  were killed. At the same time, Byleveld launched an investigation after several Indian clothing manufacturers  in Jeppetown were killed by a hammer at the back of the head. Maake was guilty of this and he was found guilty of murdering single women and elderly men. He was jailed for 2 214 years and three months on 13 March 2000 due to 27 murders, 14 rapes, 26 attempts at rape, 41 cases of thefts and 11 attempts of theft.

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Sheldean Human

The murder of Sheldean Human (7) has captured people nationwide.Andrew Jordaan (26) is convicted of murdering Sheldean Human. Sheldean Human. Photo: ArchiefSheldean Human.  Byleveld was called in after the murder of Sheldean Human (7) from Pretoria West when investigators found a scrapbook about Byleveld in the possession of the suspect Andrew Jordaan (26). It turned out that he had a hero’s worship for Byleveld. Byleveld played a key role in the investigation, after which Jordaan was sentenced on 9 June 2008 for the murder of Sheldean. He was  imprisoned for 33 years and three months because he kidnapped her and tried to rape, assaulted her friend, and had drugs in his possession. Jordaan was killed in prison by a fellow prisoner in 2012 after allegedly saying something about his late daughter. The fellow prisoner apparently pulled him off his bed while he was asleep and hit his head against the concrete floor. In response, Byleveld told Beeld that Jordaan was someone who had a short temper  and had a tendency to look for trouble.

Byleveld retired from the South African Police Service in 2010 after 38 years of service‚ starting a private eye business with associates. A biography “Byleveld: Dossier of a Serial Sleuth” by Hanlie Retief recounted his career the following year. He told the Sunday Times in an interview it was never his intention to be placed on a pedestal. “I simply did my job and never expected the recognition I would receive later on. I wouldn’t have had much success if I allowed the ‘hype’ about Piet Byleveld to distort my focus.”

Offering advice to police investigators following in his footsteps‚ he said: “A good detective must have a passion for his job. You must accept that there’s no regular working hours‚ no time for holidays. You have to be totally dedicated to solving a particular case. When I put my mind to tracking down a killer‚ I don’t easily give up‚ even if the investigation lasts for years. I hate losing.” His commitment to his job may have taken its toll on his private life.

His first wife‚ Esmie Byleveld‚ whom he married in 1972‚ spoke out in an interview with the Saturday Star after his retirement when it emerged he was leaving her. “The first 10 years of my marriage was bliss. We did everything together. We were head over heels in love‚” she told the newspaper. “But then he joined the Murder and Robbery Unit. He changed. He saw some gruesome things. He was introduced to alcohol and beautiful women. He never offloaded to a counselor because he didn’t want to.” Byleveld remarried at the age of 61 in December 2011 to Elize Smit‚ 52‚ in the Waterberg region of Limpopo.


SOURCE: White Nation