The South African teenager was 15 when he was enrolled in a training camp that claimed to ‘make men out of boys’. Was the resurgence of the far right to blame for his death?
In their final family photograph, Raymond Buys looks as awkward as any 15-year-old boy standing next to his mother. He’s nearly 6ft tall and the harsh South African sun glints off his newly cropped blond hair. Despite the heat, he wears teen regulation black. Soon he’ll be in khaki.
Wilna Buys pulls her son close, knowing there are only minutes before she must send him through the gates behind them into Echo Wild Game Rangers camp. An electric fence almost seems to buzz in the background. Giant fake tusks guard the gates, giving the impression of a mouth. Raymond narrows his eyes, maybe at the sun, maybe at the man taking the picture – Gys Nezar, his mother’s boyfriend. Nobody smiles for the camera.