Abalone poacher's death worsens mom-of-four's plight

Published Feb 6, 2018


A Cape Town widow has been forced to relocate between provinces with her four children after her husband died while attempting to poach abalone.

Caroline Jansen van Vuuren, 37, said her husband, Raeburn Jansson, 47, went into the water at Three Anchor Bay last week to poach the abalone in a bid to provide for his family.

They had recently lost everything and social services had been on their case, wanting to take their four children away from them, she said.

“His children were his life and he wanted to provide for them. Last Sunday we were at the beach and officials had seen us and said they were going to place our children with strangers.

"Last week Monday I was at court, trying to sort the issue out, and he went diving. I told him not to, but he wanted to make sure we had money.

"When I left court, I could not reach him and walked from the magistrate's court to the beach with our four children to try and find him, but nothing came of it,” she said.

Jansen van Vuuren spent the next three days at the beach, asking all canoeists she could see to help her find her husband.

Jansson’s body was eventually found on Wednesday.

Police spokesperson FC van Wyk said they were investigating.

“The SAPS Diving Unit retrieved the body of an unidentified male at Three Anchor Bay, Sea Point, with the assistance of the NSRI and SAPS Air Wing. An inquest docket was registered for an investigation,” Van Wyk said.

Jansen van Vuuren said she had since moved to the Northern Cape to start her life over and register her children in schools, which she was unable to do as every school she contacted was full.

“I am not sure about funeral arrangements yet. His body is still at Salt River mortuary,” she said.

Meanwhile, a Western Cape High Court case involving Frank Barends and 19 others allegedly involved in the country’s largest abalone poaching syndicate has been postponed to later this week.

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