Final farewell as Franziska is laid to rest

2016-03-11 20:22
(Jenni Evans, News24)

(Jenni Evans, News24)

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Cape Town – Friends and family of Franziska Blöchliger – who was murdered in Tokai Forest on Monday – wore white in her memory as they filed silently into the St Martini Lutheran Evangelical Church in Cape Town for her funeral at sunset on Friday.

Some people brought white lilies and chrysanthemums to lay in the church, hugging one another gently as they arrived and offering condolences.

The church's bells, one of which coincidentally carries her name, tolled mournfully down Long Street.

A simple wreath of white flowers was chosen for the top of her plain pale wooden coffin.

A group of young men stood ready to take her for her last journey to the 19th-century church named after the patron saint of beggars.

The family asked that no press be present for the private service and posted a sign outside conveying this.

The Constantia Waldorf pupil was in the forest with her mother Shireen and their dog on Monday afternoon.

Franziska branched off for a run and did not arrive at the meeting place she had arranged with her mother.

After a frantic but hope-filled search, her battered body was found in the forest which is popular for its running trails.

Her devastated father Florian had to identify her body.

Vigil

The nearby community of Westlake later walked silently through the forest to offer their condolences and to join neighbours who had gathered in shock.

The people of Westlake helped in every way they could – and after some time had helped police narrow down a group of three men.

The attempted sale of an iPhone for R200 was the breakthrough police needed and a fourth person was also arrested for allegedly being in possession of the teen's iPhone.

Franziska's father earlier spoke of screams he had heard on her phone whenever he tried calling his daughter. He said the screams were like that of a young child or baby who had had its toy taken from it.

The four men appeared in the Wynberg Magistrate's Court on Friday on charges of rape, murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Franziska's headphones, diamond ring and watch were also stolen.

The horror of Franziska's death was heightened on Friday when the court heard there were indications that she had been raped and sodomised.

The four men will return to court on March 18 to apply for bail.

Franziska's death seemed to galvanise the investigation into the rape and murder of 19-year-old Sinoxolo Mafevuka, who was found on March 1 in a communal toilet four minutes from her home in Khayelitsha’s SST Section.

Deputy Police Minister Maggie Sotyu went to meet the family.

She wanted to know why their statements had not been taken yet and why they had not been counselled.

She drew parallels between the quick results in Franziska's case compared with that of Sinoxolo's.

Read more on:    franziska blochliger  |  cape town  |  crime

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