Murder accused's family escorted to place of safety after chaos in Tafelsig

2017-03-30 22:57
Bokkeveld Street in Tafelsig, Mitchells Plain. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

Bokkeveld Street in Tafelsig, Mitchells Plain. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

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Cape Town - The family of the suspect who has been arrested for the murder of an 11-year-old girl in Mitchell's Plain had to be escorted to a place of safety on Thursday night after chaos ensued in the streets of Tafelsig, Mitchell's Plain.

Neighbours said the suspect, who is in police custody, apparently returned to his home in Matroosberg Crescent earlier accompanied by police.

Riot police shot rubber bullets and tear gas at an angry mob who threatened to burn down the house of the 31-year-old parolee, who is expected in the Mitchell's Plain Magistrates Court on Friday. 

According to locals, the suspect was expected to return to the Wendy House he lived in behind his parents home. Police were apparently looking for further evidence.

Stacha Arends was found murdered on a field behind the Swartklip Centre, in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Her disappearance was reported to police at 19:35 on Monday. She was last seen at a friend's house where she had been watching movies.

The suspect lives two doors away from the Arends' home.

The man was released at the end of last year after serving time for rape.

Matroosberg Crescent residents lined the streets on Thursday night as a large police contingent kept an eye on the suspect's house.

Hell to pay

An adjacent road had been cordoned off after young men burnt tyres and threw stones at the suspect's family's home.

Rubber bullets were fired, tear gas was dispersed and flares were thrown at the mob, who picked it up and threw it back at police.

Others shielded themselves behind mattresses, determined to hurl rocks at the house.

"Jy loer nog, [You're even peeping]", people shouted as the man's mother looked through the window.

"Vanaand het julle nie meer huis nie! [Tonight you people don't have a house anymore!]"

Emotional neighbours said they were disgusted and angry at the little girl's death.

"We knew her. She was an innocent child. There will be hell to pay," another woman said, watching in her nightgown from behind the police tape.

In a statement, police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana said, "We urge the community not to take the law into their own hands but to allow the SAPS to do their work and bring the suspect before court."

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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