Exclusive one on one interview with Fritz, days before the tragedy
By Khuthala Nandipha
Tuesday, November 26, 2019.
Location: Farm 348, Kwelera.
Willem Frederick Joubert and his partner, Anele Hoyana invited the Eastern Cape Rising Sun to the farmhouse he shared with Hoyana’s wife and two children. The house operated as a guest house as Joubert was not a farmer.
The two had been working together for two months and were busy setting up cages, getting ready to launch their new business venture: breeding lions, leopards, meerkats and cheetahs. We sat around the dining table at midday with Hoyana’s wife and their two-week-old son.
KN: Who are you?
FJ: Willem Frederick ‘Fritz’ Joubert. Born in Lusaka Zambia in 1974, I am an Afrikaaner, around here in Jongilanga they call me Majeke, Ndlovu. I went to HTS Louis Botha High School in Bloemfontein when it was just for white boys. Now it’s mixed, so it has transformed, just like rugby.
KN: When were you with the police?
FJ: I was first placed in Bishop Lavis in Cape Town, a coloured area. I was not used to that, that was my new life. I later got a transfer to Boksburg.
I was the best policeman in Boksburg, the best because I am WF Joubert. To be the best you must beat the best, a winner cannot be a loser. If someone challenges me, I accept it and I must be very clever because I am not going to lose. You must plan, train and prepare.
KN: If you were the best, why did you quit so young?
FJ: (Hesitates)… Because of my wife, I went to be with her in Bloemfontein. When I left, aged 27, the East Rand murder and robbery squad offered me a job, that’s how I knew I was the best. My record spoke for itself.
KN: What did you do for a living afterwards?
FJ: I worked for SBV for five years, and realised that it was not my life. I started my own businesses; I am an entrepreneur. I don’t like quarrels; my partners loved money, so I left. Too many raw deals, I made a lot of people millions, they fired me. I built an empire for them, they are wealthy now…. (sobs).
I also ran from there, like iqaba. People wanted my brain and my power because they knew, if you want something done, I am the man.
I have had many raw deals and I did not kill myself. I had to fight my way back, for my kids, for the Joubert Trust Fund. It is not about the money, it’s about my kids. It's deep. Sure, I drink, I am doing all sorts of stuff, but I focus on my Cup, I know what I want to achieve and it is greater than anyone can understand. I am the crazy one.
KN: How did you end up in East London?
FJ: My sister’s husband worked for BCM, so I joined them in installing power lines in 2010. I did not know what is a red wire or black wire, I just knew electricity can shock you. I became the Kingpin of building lines, started two companies, people outsmarted me and I lost everything.
KN: How did you end up owning 26 acres of land?
FJ: I was a wild Lion growing up, I cannot be contained, you cannot tell me what to do and how to do it. People just want money; everything is about money. I must be like a puppet, make money for them, where is my money? I built this place myself; I am in charge of everything.
I used local labourers who were living in poverty, had no place and no reason to live. I taught them skills, they are now the best because I taught them the right way, we do not make mistakes. Either it’s right or it’s wrong.
KN: Why cat breeding?
FJ: I want to develop tourism so I can employ people. I want to give tourists an experience they have never heard before. Flashy cars will come here and give the people sweeties and nanas, jobs and money. People will flock here. A Jurassic Park in Buffalo City.
Get the money, get this poverty out of our lives, make people happy. I am a Sagittarius, that is half human half horse, but mine is a lion because I am different. I am the one. It doesn’t matter what religion or what colour you are; it’s about respect. I don’t care, I do what I want. I want love and laughter.
I asked the government for some money, but they refused. But they cannot chase me out of my country. I don’t want to do criminal activities; I play by the rules. But the people with the money, keep it for themselves. I am finished now, you can’t tell me what to do, I am very busy… (walks out of the room).
KN: This is my interview that you requested, come back and sit down. When are the cats arriving?
FJ: My money is depleted, the hillbillies bayandisokolisa, telling me I am a fool. I need a grant, I have asked so many guys, I need R2 million for phase 1 to start generating a profit, but I do not want partnerships, I do not trust people, they are about money. I know when people are lying to me.
I want my ANC card, I am part of the ANC, I am not going to fight with them, they will take my hand and let me in. God put me on this earth for a reason, to fix stuff. I move from being a zero to a hero back to a zero. I am fast.
I love cooking and entertaining people, seeing them smile and satisfied and saying thank you. I love giving people what they want.
KN: How is your relationship with the community?
FJ: It has always been good, I am safe here, my kids are safe here, and the people around here are safe. They have respect, people love me and I love them. I help them, look after them and they look after me. Do to others what you want them to do onto you, let the sun shine for everyone.
FJ: This one (pointing at Anele) He calls his mother Mama H; I call her Mama Thenji. When I was going through my divorce, she picked me up and she said ‘my boy, after everything you have done for our family and didn’t even ask us for money’.
She helped me like Piet Retief and Dingaan back in the days. She gave me the inspiration to look up and dream. Today, me and her son, my new brother, the black and white lion are working together. Just do what I say and we will reach the top.
I want us to go see his mother in hospital because we have prepared ourselves for what is to come. It’s payback time, I am going to finish this to the end.
AH: Fritz was there for me during the birth of my second child when I was not in good standing with most people. He took my wife and I to the hospital and made sure that my son had everything a newborn needs. This is a man who has known us for two months.
*KN - Khuthala Nandipha (Eastern Cape Rising Sun Journalist)
*FJ - Fritz Joubert
*AH - Anele Hoyana