n Farmer’s Weekly - John kepe : The Boschberg's legendarycriminal : feature




If you don't go to the cave tonight, tomorrow I won't show it to you. I just want to get my tobacco. This was John Kepe's demand minutes after his arrest on the grassland plateau above the Boschberg on the night of 24 February 1952. Keen to unravel the mystery of how Kepe had managed to evade justice for 12 long years, Sergeant (Sgt) JP Botha relented, despite the obvious risks. Handcuffed, with a rope tied around his neck, Kepe led the police into the misty night to the cave on the slopes of the Boschberg Mountain where he had resided for more than a decade. It was here, from this secluded natural shelter, that Kepe had terrorised and fraternised with the broader Somerset East community, and it was only after the brutal murder of farm worker, Dirk Goliath, in late 1951, that Kepe was apprehended. He was hanged in Pretoria Central Prison on 25 June 1952.


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