An artistic depiction of the story as told by the Bierman's.

A number of motorists traveling from Tzaneen to Phalaborwa along the R71 through Gravelotte, have reported seeing strange white shoes running into the road in front of their vehicle. “Just the shoes, with nobody in them,” said Phalaborwa resident, Henri Bierman. “My wife and I were driving back to Phalaborwa from Tzaneen on the evening of 11 February this year when we saw these white shoes jump into the road in front of our vehicle. I slammed on brakes in order to avoid hitting the person but then we both realized the shoes were empty. As we slowed down, the shoes spread open – in the way a person would do if they were about to do a split – and then the back shoe took a step forward!”

The encounter happened at around 22:30 on his way back from fixing a point of sale (POS) system for a client in Maake.

Bierman and his wife, Clarissa went to the Gravelotte police station to report the matter. “The officer on duty, started laughing and told us that we were the third couple that evening to have reported the white tekkies walking in the road. He said that they investigated the scene after each of the reports and each time they found nothing, not even shoes.”

Perturbed by the events of their trip, Bierman went onto social media and asked the community if they too had experienced the strange white shoes at Gravelotte. Sur enough, two other people responded with similar stories.

“I saw them yesterday, they were all-white All Stars,” said Prof Makhaenke Pilusa on February 13th over Facebook. “I will take you there tomorrow, in the late hours, and you will see it if you want.”

Another man from the area, Shylock Khutso Thibela, told of his encounter with the ghostly white shoes. “It is hard to believe, but this is real and we saw the walking white shoes as well. We stopped at the fuelling station in Gravelotte to freshen up and when we drove off again we saw these white shoes approaching the barrier line from the left side and started moving slowly. We slowed down and changed the position of our side mirrors as we passed them. We didn’t even look back as we were too terrified.”

Bulletin contacted the officer that was on-duty on the night of the Bierman’s encounter, W/O Mathebula, who confirmed the reports and shed some light on the matter. “It is no laughing matter this,” he said, “the couple was visibly frightened when they came into the charge office that night, and they were not the first. We went to investigate and we found nothing on several occasions. It is very possible that the shoes belong to the ghost of a young Zimbabwean man who died in a motor vehicle accident on that stretch of the road about a year or so ago. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, is irrelevant. The fact is, this is so far, unexplained.”

Since Bierman’s post over social media, more people from the Tzaneen and Phalaborwa areas have come forward with their own stories related to the white shoes. Is this an elaborate prank, or could this be Gravelotte’s very own “spookstorie”?

If you have any related stories or encounters which can be substantiated with some proof, please send them through to or leave a comment in the comments section on our Facebook page at FarNorthBulletin.