Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Roz van der Vyver

I have only today become aware of the terrible and hideous ordeal that Roz van der Vyver endured. She was gang raped and beaten up after responding to a gumtree ad for work. She then suffered seizures and is in critical condition in hospital.

Many of you will remember Roz as Mannie’s right hand somebody at The Baxter. I remember her mainly from when we did Noah of Cape Town there, but I also had many, many interactions with her in and out of her office, and a few hilarious and fraught theatre conversations and emergency chats that went on way into the night on our cellphones as we sorted out contract disasters, mad agents and other theatre stuff. I do not know the how, why or even the exact when of her fallout with The Baxter and I can only imagine how hard it must have been for her if she was trying to find work.

I am devastated by what happened to her. I am also concerned that the blame game has already started: Gumtree, those at The Baxter who ‘skopped’ her out, those who didn’t come to her defense at the time. I propose something different. Let’s all use our energies to do something positive. Roz was the Cape Town rep for The Theatre Benevolent Fund. Let’s sign up, help our own, be kind and loving, and a real community. Let’s help each other make and find work. It’s damn hard out there.


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  1. Peter Terry

    Megan – Thank you for what you are doing to raise awareness. Perhaps your readers will consider donating money (any amount will be appreciated) to the TBF, which we will use to help pay Roz’s costs. Even if she doesn’t make it – and sadly that is a real possibility – there will be costs. The TBF’s Bank details are : Theatre Benevolent Fund First National Bank Account No: 6202 439 8671 Branch: Carlswald – 250 117. One feels helpless in the face of this hideous crime, but this is something we can do.

  2. Chad

    What terrible terrible news! Roz you are in our thoughts!

  3. tandi

    Even though I did not know Roz, I am deeply saddened and disgusted by the senselessness of this most brutal attack. We must all put negativity aside and help Roz pull through this!!

  4. Lizette

    Roz, my thoughts and prayers are with you. I am sorry for the horrible ordeal that you had to go through. It is sad that these perpetrators are using sites such as Gumtree to find their victims. We live in a very sick world. I hope that justice will find it’s way to these sick, revolting people. Girl, you are in the Lords hands now. He will keep you safe and will take away the pain and suffering. Praying for recovery and release.

  5. Marianna Swart

    Roz, I was deeply saddened by what happened to you and my thoughts and prayers are with you that you will recover from this horrible ordeal. The Lord is holding you in his arms and looking after you and will take away your pain. I truly hope that those people that did those horrible things will be caught and brought to justice – it is sad that there are people like that around making this world such an unsafe place to live.

  6. Holding Roz and all who love her in our hearts.

  7. Tracey

    I have posted the appeal on my facebook and contributed to the fund. I have not divulged her name as one of the many things that have been taken from her in this ordeal is her choice of anonymity.My heart breaks for the pain and anquish she must be feeling.megan , please let us know if there is anything else that can be done.

  8. megan

    Thanks Tracey.
    I completely understand what you are saying about anonymity, just, I thought that if people could put a face and name to this horrible ordeal they would not be able to resist helping. I hope I haven’t compromised her in any way.

  9. Tracey

    Megan I think your putting a name to the story has helped galvanise people in to action and you know her and the community well.I don’t have that relationship so just didn’t think it appropriate for me to divulge her name. It always angers me that you can come to work on Monday and tell colleagues that you were hijacked or mugged but not raped as if it some shameful little secret that you need to keep.But you are treated differently once people know although some rapes are more public thank others. Which sounds awful I know but is the sickening reality of this brutal world we live in.(Sorry about the rant )

  10. Pierre Owen

    @Tracey : By not putting her name with only makes it another case in a police docket. Let the people (for lack of word) that did this know that they can not just get away with this and that she has a Name and that name is Rosline van Der Vyver aka Roz.and that no matter where they hide that name will haunt them till the ends of the earth.
    Roz was a stunning friend since school days. She comes from a small town called Bedford in the Eastern Cape. She is just not a statistic of the crime in South Africa.

    May God keep her safe and heal her in all the ways possible.

    Templeton High School in Bedford is also doing something to help her. Contact them and ask for Mr. Bennie van Den Berg (Principal)

  11. Conrad

    I knew Rosslyn since 1986, she was my girlfriend, tennis partner and friend. She was a beautiful person and stood her ground. To those people who think she will not make it, you guys are so wrong. God will bring her back to us, we must just believe it. Please everyone, pray and believe. Rosslyn has what it takes to fight.

  12. Veronica

    I met Roz once when she came up to Adelaide (next-door-to-Bedford) to visit her mother a couple of years ago. It really grieves me that such a lovely person has to face the ordeal that she is facing.

  13. Michael and Jean Smith-Chandler

    Darling Rozzie,
    you were a frequent guest in our home and thought of as, not only the best friend of our daughtger, but an
    extension of our family. What happened to your gentle and vulnerable soul is absolutely heinous. Having been attacked in our home in Plettenberg Bay in 2006 by three cowardly mask-wearing savages, we can understand in small part some of the trauma you must have endured.
    The somnambulent SAP will probably never apprehend the
    vile specimens who abused you (they did not in our case) but we take solice in the belief that the Great
    Judge will one day mete out appropriate punishment for
    May the Angels take care of you. May you find Peace.
    Know that you are loved so very very much. Michael and
    Jean _- LONDON

  14. Diane

    I met Roz in 2006 5am at Kirstenbosch Gardens doing ABC Bootcamp, Roz and I were the two trailing at the back. Roz has been my friend, my confidant, my conspiritor, she got me through the breakup with my boyfriend, she was there during my pregnancy and the birth of the twins, she has been to all of their birthdays, she has adored them as they have adored her.
    It breaks my heart that she passed away today, as I have lost my dearest friend and I never got to tell her how much she meant to us.

  15. angela

    Sadly Roz lost her battle earlier today. She is at peace now.

  16. Jack

    I didn’t know Roz, but I am sure I would have liked her. She seems to have had similar qualities to a lot of my friends in SA; smart, ambitious, and hard working.

    I was struck by how many of my friends were wishing her a mighty “pull on through”. To elicit so many responses from her lovely friends Roz; I am sure was there for others – she was loved, that much, and more is clear.

    I wish I knew you Roz, may you be at peace.

  17. Pierre Owen

    RIP old friend.

  18. Louis Hannie

    Did PBL in 2002 at UNISA with Roz.
    I always knew that with her on our side that we will pull it through. And we did.
    Will miss you.

    Louis Hannie

  19. tracey merriman nel

    Roslyn was my best friend and neighbour when we moved to Bedford in 1982. She was the most talented girl I knew. Unfortunately over the years I lost contact with her and only found her again when this all happened. Its amazing how someone you knew so many years ago still brings back certain memories , smells and music. She was afraid of thunderstorms and I used to tease her. We would eat lemons off the lemon trees in her backyard and see who could eat the most. I remember her dad as her protector, he did everything for her. I’m not surprised she landed up in the theatre industry. She was brilliant on stage and I always thought she would become an actress. Ros, I wish I had found u again sooner so we could reminice on all the good times. Say hello to your dad. Til we meet again. Trace

  20. Gino

    I didn’t know Roz but the thought of what she went through is devastating to say the least. May her soul rest in peace.

  21. Veronica

    If there is a tribute page put up by anyone in memory of Roz, please can they let me know – I give permission for my email address to be given to the person ‘in charge’ of the page. I’d like to be able to copy/print the tributes and put them in a folder for her mother Pearl. Having recently lost a child, I know that it will help her to know things about Roz that she might not know, and be able to cherish those ‘gifted memories’. Thanking you all in anticipation.

  22. Sam

    I found this blog while searching for news relating to Roz’s recent ordeal.

    I had the opportunity to work with Roz earlier this year. This is really such sad news.

    She spoke so fondly and often of her cat, and I was just wondering if anyone perhaps knew whether a new home had been found for her cat? If not, I would like to offer to take the cat in.

  23. Juanita

    Seems so surreal that something so shockingly awful and criminal could have happened to a lovely woman trying to get on in life. You did not deserve this, Roz, but you deserve peace where you are now.
    @Sam – her friend Gillian Lindner was looking for someone to take her kitty a while back…will see if there is more info.
    RIP Roz xx

  24. Sam

    Thank you, Juanita.

  25. Ouma Mpela

    I am saddened and gutted your death Roz. I know many people who are unemployed and needing to be given a break. I can only imagine her last night before she was drugged. I do not know why people can do this to another person.

    I do not know what to say, to those who knew her well. I also think saying I am sorry does not help bring back good people to life. I still want to say I am sorry though. I am sorry- that I often take my job for granted and Roz and many others that are unemployed could do my job 10 times better. The fact that you only went to your fateful night hoping to get that job – even though it was not in your professional training; I am sorry that as female species I am also capable of giving birth of to a “male species” that is capable of taking woman for granted. I am hoping to raise my 6yr old son differently and pray to God his generation is better. I am praying that someone out there – who was in that Taxi can come forth and help the investigation. I am hoping that this case can stay in the media until someone or some people have been arrested. If there is any way to make louder noise about this case, I would like to be amongst the loudest voice.

    To those closest to Roz – find peace in accepting that she was able to lived long enough to provide the details for you to piece her last night together.
    RIP Roz

  26. Neil

    Utterly despairing.

    Sympathy and love to all.

  27. Tam

    There needs to be a fund put together to pay for a private investigator like Brad Nathanson (who caught the guys who raped Jess Ford who are now in jail) The SAPS are useless, they wont catch them and they will do it again. Its so shocking and disgusting that a group of men sat and planned this to the last detail what kind of inhumane evil pigs are they!!

  28. Pumla Hako

    I studied with Roz while she was doing PBL at UNISA in 2002. She started the MBL briefly in 2003 and deregistered for personal reasons. She was really warm and respectful of people. She used to be in and out of our study meetings to attend to work while she was off duty. That is how dedicated she was to the Baxter Theatre. I fondly remember how she advised me to register my children to Saturday free classess at the Baxter and how fondly she used to speak about her family, especially her mom. May we all remember her for the good things she has done and celebrate her noble life. She will leave forever in our hearts. May God bless her family, her dedicated friend and support them in this difficult time.

  29. Kari

    Remembering Roz, as the generous person she was, it is warming to know that so many will miss her, sad that we could not keep her safe. Farewell Roz.

  30. Sue

    “For this is what we do. Put one foot forward and then the other. Lift our eyes to the snarl and smile of the world once more. Think. Act. Feel.Add our little consequence to the tides of good and evil that flood and drain our world. Drag our shadowed crosses into the hope of another night. Push our brave hearts into the promise of a new day. With love: the passionate search for a truth other than our own. With longing: the pure, ineffable yearning to be saved. For so long as fate keeps waiting, we live on. God help us. God forgive us. We live on.” Shantaram – Gregory David Roberts

  31. Chantal

    I was honored a few years ago to meet Roz when she joined my gym. She was always such a delight and beautiful person to be around.

    Always chatting and helping others, even when her world was crumbling.

    I am absolutely devastated to hear of this horrific event, but know that God is keeping her very safe and healing all wounds now.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to her family and i hope that with time and God the days will get easier, even though the loss will never disappear.

    RIP, my beautiful friend – your impact on this world was one of greatness.

  32. Roz was indeed generous and supportive. She assisted my partner and I with our first production at the Baxter in 2003. And through the years we have come to appreciate and love her enigmatic spirit, guidance and warmth. She will be remembered for her contribution to and impact on people from all walks of life. You will be missed.

    For Roz …

    That you lived
    and mattered
    is witnessed by the tears
    that treacle
    from the eyes
    of strangers and friends
    whom you have passed
    and touched
    by simply
    And emotion flows
    at your sudden demise
    because your existence
    beckons acknowledgement
    and your life
    warrants celebration.

    Monique Antigone, 2011-09-26

  33. Kady

    Is there any news about the killers? Any progress at all? The last articles about this are from 2011…I still think about it, I didn’t know her at all but I am very concerned about how many people get away with rape and murder in South Africa everyday…I’d like to know what the police has done so far!

  34. megan

    I’ve heard absolutely nothing. Isn’t it terrible?

  35. Clint Dixon

    Hi All.
    I am an ols friend of Michael and Jean Smith-Chandler from Plettenberg Bay and would like to get in contact with them urgently. If anyone can help me please send me their email address or cell number.

    Thanking everyone in advanced.
    Clint Dixon
    Cape Town. Cell: 0748431247

  36. Lodi van Deventer

    I was Rosslyn’s principal in 1990 at Templeton High in Bedford and was always so highly impressed by her brilliance in languages. The school inspector came that year to moderate their oral marks and complained about the fact that her English teacher, Mrs Annemarie Heynike, gave her 42/50 (84%) for her oral mark. He said that he had been to Bishops Girls in Grahamstown, Graham College, Grens HS, Gill College etc and not even those schools had English First Language learners with such high marks. I responded and said that he must then go and take the learners for oral moderation and adjust the marks – that is what he is there for. When he returned he had a wry smile and showed me the adjusted mark sheet … he had lifted her mark to 45/50 (90%) and said he had never in his career come across such a gifted learner who was so perfecly fluent in both languages, with so much confidence and flair! He had been totally bedazzled(???@@@) by her. I have another wonderful story to tell about her brilliance. I was so totally saddened by what had happened to her as I had been instrumental in getting her into studying Drama at the University of Stellenbosch and had a very close relationship with her, and had contacted her regularly through her studies and career firstly at Theatre on the Bay and later the Baxter. I am until today so totally saddened at what had happened to her and that the Baxter did not give her the promotion post she had applied for, which had led to this totally tragic turn of events. I am so terribly sad and “woedend” that her perpitrators are still out on the loose and that there probably will never be justice for her. Along with Inge Lotz. I have loved and admired her so much and her unnecessary death will stay with me forever. I pray that somehow events may still lead to someone somehow remembering something that can lead to her perpitrators being found and brought to justice.

  37. So sad that this is unresolved after all these years.

  38. Lodi van Deventer

    The other wonderful story in honour of Rosslin’s brilliance is when she entered in 8 categories for the Grahamstown Eisteddfod, a very prestigious school arts competition. She entered in, amongst others, own written poetry, own written poetry performed , own written prose, own written prose performed, other author’s poem performed, other author’s prose performed, etc. She was awarded “Gold” in each of the categories. But that is not the story! The next day the teacher who accompanied them from Bedford to Grahamstown, came with the news of all the achievements, but highlighting Rosslin’s wonderful achievements, of course. She however added something else….. She showed me one of the adjudicator’scoring sheets, of which the ink was blotched greatly. When I asked her what happened she said that this adjudicator was so overcome by tears on the one oral prose piece, which was a “tweespraak” (conversation between mother and son, with Rosslin performing both parts) between a mother and her small son when their husband/father did not return after World War II, that she shed tears all over the scoring sheet! This was in 1992.

    At the beginning of 1993 I moved to Vredendal in the Western Cape having been appointed as principal of Vredendal High school. In 1995 I was privileged to attend the semi-final Rugby World Cup match between England and the All Blacks at Newlands. In one of the Suites I met an engineer and his wife from Grahamstown and we had a light conversation about my time in Bedford, and I shared with them the story about how overcome the adjudicator was in Grahamstown about Rosslin’s performance. The wife of the engineer reacted……. It was she….she was the adjudicator.! As they say in Afrikaans, not “Toevallig” but “Toe val lig!”

    Dear Rosslin, you were a legend. We shall never forget you.

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