Once upon a time a white Afrikaner who killed a black man would have been an unlikely candidate for the scaffold in South Africa. Between 1910 and 1991 some 4,200 executions were carried out there, of which fewer than 20 involved a white killer and a black victim.

But when Anton Stoop, a 23-year-old Afrikaner, brutally murdered a black man the case made headlines all over the country.

The black man, David Mthutang, 31, was crossing a road in Witpoortjie in February, 1986, when Stoop and two of his Afrikaner friends came by in a car. They took exception, they later said, to the way Mthutang looked at them. They stopped the car, beat him up, and dragged him into the vehicle. They drove to a park in Mindalor, and beat him up again. Stoop then took a rock and struck the victim over the head.

The other two men apparently tried to stop Stoop, but he went on hitting Mthutang until he was unconscious. Finally he set him on fire.

Stoop was found guilty without any extenuating circumstances and hanged at Pretoria Central Prison on Friday, January 29th, 1988.