Johannesburg - Jannie van Staden will never forget the haunting image of his son’s battered, bruised and bloodied face.
In November, Van Staden’s son Arno and his friend Ruan Snyman were allegedly brutally assaulted by members of the Mac’s Biker Club at the Elephants and Friends Club in Roodepoort. The attack, which lasted for 10 minutes, was captured on CCTV footage.
“I could have lost my son that night,” said an angry Van Staden. “I am furious that these hooligans are still walking the streets.”
Van Staden and Snyman were beaten so badly that the two had to be rushed to hospital with excessive bleeding and head injuries.
The footage, which the Saturday Star has viewed, shows a group of men attacking Van Staden and Snyman. They are seen punching the two men, kicking their faces and then stomping on their heads.
All the attackers wore T-shirts with the name “Mac’s” printed on the back.
The Van Stadens allege that the attackers are members of the Mac’s Biker Club. The group has been fingered in various assault cases over the last 10 years.
Though four of the men were arrested in January this year, they were all released immediately on R1 000 bail each.
“What more do the police want?” asked Van Staden, furious that the men were granted bail.
“We sent them the CCTV footage which clearly identifies them and what they did. Why are none of them behind bars?”
Van Staden says he is ready to take “matters into his own hands” should police fail to put his son’s attackers behind bars.
“When the incident occurred I was ready to kill the men myself. But I was convinced that I should leave police to lock these hooligans up. Now, six months have passed and nothing has been done. Yes, some were arrested but they were released. I want them out of this world, that’s how I’m feeling. They must f*****g die.”
Van Staden said his son opened a case of attempted murder against his attackers. He believes that the Mac’s Bike Club is behind the brutal assault.
“They were all wearing Mac’s T-shirts,” said Arno van Staden. “We’ve done a lot of research on the club and found that they have been linked to a number of assaults in the last year.
“We heard that members of the club beat up a pregnant woman in a bar and her unborn baby died. How can we have people like this in our society?”
Van Staden sr said club members “brag” that they have police “in their back pocket”. “I am genuinely starting to believe this because no-one is behind bars after my son was beaten to a pulp.”
In 2002, the Mac’s Bike club embarked on a “reign of terror” in Pretoria, according to reports.
In a highly-publicised incident at a Sunnyside restaurant, a woman named Amanda Bronkhorst allegedly had her front teeth knocked out when she tried to stop a fight between club members and diners. Although she was able to identify her attackers, there were no arrests.
It was claimed at the time that the police were afraid of members of the notorious Mac’s club. A specialised security firm had given police a dossier on the club two years before the incident but they were never caught.
When the Saturday Star contacted the police this week, none of the investigating officers were able to provide us with information.
Private investigator Mike Bolhuis, who has been investigating the Mac’s Bike Club for three years, was hired by Van Staden to investigate the assault on his son.
Bolhuis said he had gathered information about the biker club and forwarded it to senior police officials, but nothing has been done.
“I sent all relevant information I gathered to the Hawks offices and the investigating officer. But there has been no feedback.”
Bolhuis is concerned that the bikers’ violence may be resurfacing.
“They have been linked to a number of assault cases in the last year. The most recent case is of a young boy in Randburg who was allegedly beaten to death. I’m worried that if police don’t arrest them, things might get out of control.”
Attempts to reach the bike club were unsuccessful.
Questions sent to the Hawks and Major-General Oswald Reddy of SAPS that could not be answered:
* Private investigator Mike Bolhuis has sent the police relevant information pertaining to the Mac’s Motorbike Club cases over the past two years. Are the police investigating the club?
* A few months ago, Arno van Staden and his friend, Ruan Snyman, were badly beaten up by members of an alleged motorcycle gang. Video footage has been sent to the police and four men were arrested, but given bail immediately. There are still other members involved in the fight that were not arrested. How far is that investigation and are the police close to arresting anyone else?
* Would the police consider the Mac’s Motorcycle Club a threat to society?
* What cases has Mac’s Motorcycle Club been linked to that the police are aware of?