Bittersweet relief for family as case of murdered Cape Town teen sent to high court

2017-09-11 11:50
Lucinda Evans (centre), founder of NPO Philisa Abafazi Bethu, with the mother and grandmother of slain Lavender Hill teen Rene Roman (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

Lucinda Evans (centre), founder of NPO Philisa Abafazi Bethu, with the mother and grandmother of slain Lavender Hill teen Rene Roman (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

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Cape Town – Cries of "yes!" rang out in the Wynberg Magistrate's Court on Monday morning when family, friends and supporters of slain Rene Roman heard that her alleged killer's case would be transferred to the Western Cape High Court.

Andrew Plaatjies, 50, appeared via an audio-visual link from Pollsmoor Prison.

He bit his lip at times, but otherwise seemed calm.

Tears of grief poured down the face of the 13-year-old’s mother, Chrissandre Jacobs, as she looked at him on the screen.

Lavender Hill residents, some dressed in pink shirts, shook their heads at him.

One woman hissed out, “Hy moet vreet” [He must die].

October court appearance 

Magistrate Goolam Bawa explained that the director of public prosecutions had made the decision to transfer the case to a higher court.

He said he would remain in custody until his next appearance on October 20.

Plaatjies thanked him.

At this, another woman said in disbelief: "Hy se dankie. Jy gan vrot my broer." [He says thank you. You are going to rot my brother].

Roman's decomposing body was found 11 days after her disappearance on March 10 in a Wendy house in St Agatha Street, the same road in which she lived with her family.

The 13-year-old had been helping her mother take washing from the line when she asked to go to the nearby shop to buy chips. She was never seen alive again.

Her body was half naked and covered with a carpet when it was found. Her hands and feet had been tied.

Support

Lucinda Evans, founder of NPO Philisa Abafazi Bethu (Heal Our Women), offered her support to the teen's family on Monday. 

Evans said they would petition the High Court to speed up the pace of the case. 

"We don't want to wait another six months. We hope it will be done in two months."

Sumaya Taliep, the metro task team convener for the Democratic Alliance Women's Network (DAWN) in Cape Town, was elated that the matter had been referred to a court that could impose the maximum sentence.

She hoped the DNA testing was now complete and that the matter could be heard without delay.


Read more on:    rene roman  |  cape town  |  courts  |  crime

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