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Carel Johannes DELPORT





Classification: Mass murderer
Characteristics: Argument with his father about the sale of three calves
Number of victims: 9
Date of murders: January 20, 1992
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: 1956
Victims profile: Marthiens Delport, 68 (his father) / Makhozana Alzina Ntombela, 40, (housemaid) / Msamaniso Mdladla / Petros Ndlala / Melusi Obed Zwane / Mohamed Faruk Laka / Enock Lucky Nyatahi / Patrick Mbongeni Gumede / Prithlal Rambally, 28 (traffic officer)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Status: Sentenced to 39 years in prison on October 29, 1992

Carel Johannes "Kallie" Delport is a South African mass murderer who killed nine people, including his father, and wounded 19 others in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa on January 20, 1992. He was subsequently arrested and sentenced to 39 years in prison.


Delport suffered from meningitis as a child, was declared unfit for military service for unknown reasons, and worked on his father Marthiens' farm in Allerkraal, a place outside of Ladysmith, earning R300 a month. He reportedly had a history of mental illness[8] and was twice charged with and acquitted of manslaughter after shooting two cattle thieves. His family repeatedly asked his father to not allow him owning any firearms, but he declined their requests. Delport had 13 licensed firearms at the time of the shooting and was frequently asked to participate in wildlife culling, because he was considered one ot the best marksmen in the area.

According to an examination conducted after the shooting he had an IQ of 78 and was suffering from borderline personality disorder.


Delport had a brother named Willem. He had constant disputes with his stepmother Eleonora, who couldn't stand him and wanted him off the farm,[ as well as his father Marthiens, whom he called a hard and ruthless man and accused of casting him from his rightful place, when he adopted a black boy two months prior to the shooting.

According to Delport his father often said that he was stupid and belonged in a mental institution. He also was not allowed to eat together with his father and stepmother at the table, but had to have his meals outside the house.

Marthiens Delport had an illegitimate daughter with a black woman and once raped a 16-year-old relative, who afterwards unsuccessfully tried to commit suicide.


The shooting began at the farm after Delport had an argument with his father about the sale of three calves. When his father showed him the money he had just received, commenting that he would give it to his stepmother, Delport armed himself with a .357 Magnum revolver and killed the man with a shot to the chest on the veranda. He then attempted to help his father, but he was already dead. Delport next shot the housemaid Makhozana Alzina Ntombela in the kitchen and set fire to the mattress in his room and his car, which eventually caused the house to burn down.

Outside, about 750 metres from the farm, he killed Msamaniso Mdladla and Petros Ndlala, the two black men who had come to buy the calves, and then drove to his stepmother in Ladysmith to set her car on fire, but when he failed to find it, he began shooting randomly at people in the street with a Ruger Mini-14.

Delport continued shooting at the parking lot of a shopping centre, killing a total of five people, including traffic officer Prithlal Rambally, who was hit three times, and wounding 11 more. When police arrived at the scene he sped away in his truck towards Newcastle and shot at commuters in a bus, wounding six of them. Delport was eventually arrested on a road outside of Ladysmith, after a short chase and a shooutout with police, in which two officers were wounded.

Besides the rifle police recovered four 30-round magazines, the .357 Magnum revolver and more than 3,600 rounds of ammuntion from Delport's truck. Most of his victims were killed with shots to the heart.


Those killed were:

  • Marthiens Delport, 68, Delport's father

  • Makhozana Alzina Ntombela, 40, housemaid at the Delport farm

  • Msamaniso Mdladla, killed at the farm

  • Petros Ndlala, killed at the farm

  • Melusi Obed Zwane

  • Mohamed Faruk Laka

  • Enock Lucky Nyatahi

  • Patrick Mbongeni Gumede

  • Prithlal Rambally, 28, traffic officer


Because most of Delport's victims were black, racial tensions increased in the area, and during his trial a crowd gathered outside the court and threatened to lynch him.

On March 4 the trial was postponed to March 18 for a two week long psychiatric examination of the gunman. Dr. Anthony Dunn, chief psychiatrist at the Midlands Hospital, argued that Delport was not mentally ill during the shooting, but due to his low IQ, his inability to cope with stress, and his hatred against his father he was of partially unsound mind and lost all self-control. Prosecution accepted his mental incapacity, low intelligence and emotional imbalance to be mitigating factors and refrained from demanding capital punishment, instead asking for a long-term prison sentence during which Delport should receive psychological help.

Delport pleaded not guilty, claiming that he was of unsound mind during the shooting and fired at black shapes that were attacking him. On October 21 he was found guilty after changing his plea, and on October 29 he was sentenced to a total of 39 years in prison, among them 22 years for nine counts of murder, and 12 years for 21 counts of attempted murder. The sentences run concurrently, meaning that he will be released after 22 years. Delport was also declared unfit to ever be able to obtain a firearms license.


Mass Killing Caused by Dispute Over Price of Cattle

By Barry Renfrew - The Associated Press

January 21, 1992

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) _ A family quarrel over the price of cattle triggered a rampage by a gunman that left nine people dead and 19 wounded in a rural town, police said today.

Police Capt. Mike Apelgryn said Kallie Delport argued Monday with his father, Marthiens Delport, over the price the older man accepted for some cattle that morning. The son said the price was too low, police said.

Police allege the son got an assault rifle and shot and killed his father and three other people on the family farm, including a young herd boy. They say he also set fire to the farmhouse.

Delport, a 30-year-old white man, then went to the nearby town of Ladysmith and randomly shot people at a shopping mall in one of the bloodiest mass killings in South African history, police said.

''It was chaos. I think he went bonkers. He just shot at anyone he saw,'' said Bonny York, a local shopowner.

Delport was described as having a history of mental illness by the South African Press Association.

The gunman then returned to his yellow pickup truck and sped away with police in pursuit, witnesses said. ''He kept on shooting wildly at anyone he saw while he was driving,'' York said.

After a brief chase, the man stopped his truck and waged a gun battle with police before he was apprehended, the witnesses added. A traffic officer was among those killed.

Police said they found 2,000 rounds of unused ammunition in the man's truck.

In this heavily armed and violent country, there are often cases in which a white man turns a gun on his family.

South Africa also has experienced racially motivated shootings in recent years, and officials worry that such attacks could spark retaliatory violence. There were white, black and Indian victims in Monday's shooting spree.

However, no one disputed the police assessment of the attack.

Police Minister Hernus Kriel urged ''all sectors of the Ladysmith community to remain calm and not to overreact or take steps which could result in any form of conflict whatsoever.''

Ladysmith, 190 miles southeast of Johannesburg, is in Natal Province, the scene of bitter fighting between rival black factions in recent years.



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