Large court crowd for Franziska

2016-03-22 06:00
People from different communities came together to say they want to see justice being done for the 16-year-old that was found murdered and raped in Tokai Forest about three weeks ago .PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

People from different communities came together to say they want to see justice being done for the 16-year-old that was found murdered and raped in Tokai Forest about three weeks ago .PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

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“Our crime is that we are women. This is not all of us, Franzi is missing. They killed Franziska.”

These words were sung by a group of people who came to the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

Hundreds of Capetonians gathered at the court for the second appearance of the four men accused of being involved in the rape and murder of 16-year-old Franziska Blöchliger in the Tokai Forest earlier in March.

Coming from all walks of life, those who gathered at the court said they would not sit and do nothing when women and children are being killed everywhere. They came out to voice their concerns, saying enough is enough.

The teenager went to the popular spot with family but separated from them to run another route.

When her mother felt the time lapse was too long without seeing her daughter she raised the alarm. Her body was found not too far from where she had started running. She had apparently been raped and strangled.

Since Blöchliger’s death, a lot has been spoken about safety but what echoes the loudest is that people must stand together to fight crime, no matter where it happens.

A few weeks back another young woman, Sinoxolo Mafevuka (19), was killed in Khayelitsha. Her half-naked body had been found at communal toilets.

#ZeroTolerance organised the large gathering at the court. All these people from different communities came together to mourn and to say they wanted to see justice prevail.

Kyne Bernstorff of #Zero Tolerance says the two young women who were killed have inspired a movement.

“We have come together to say this is not acceptable. We want people to come together and to fight. This is not a crime that affects the townships only but affects everyone.

“We are here for everyone, that’s why we also involved people from Khayelitsha for this hearing, because violence is violence – it affects all of us, so we have to stand together.

“We don’t want to see the accused in the streets. They don’t deserve to be where normal people are because what they did is just unbelievable,” she said.

The courtroom was packed to capacity. As the four accused came in, members of the public in the gallery whispered, hissed and spit.

The state’s representative said it would like to oppose bail. Three of the accused were arrested together and the fourth man was arrested for being in possession of stolen goods as he allegedly had Blöchliger’s iPhone. The state’s representative said he would not be getting bail as he could not be excluded from the charges of murder.

Their case was postponed to Tuesday 5 April for the formal bail application. They were sent to Pollsmoor prison until then.

Bernstorff says they are calling on runners and walkers to carry whistles.

“This is a call to every woman to run or walk with a whistle. If something is about to happen to you, blow it louder and people will come to help.

“We want everyone to respond to the whistle and go to help. We need people to come together and fight this scourge that is tearing apart communities.”

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