Shocked moms pay respect at Tokai forest spot where teen was killed

2016-03-08 16:30
(Jenna Etheridge, News24)

(Jenna Etheridge, News24)

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Cape Town – The murder of a teenage girl in Tokai forest has left some mothers in shock and disbelief.

“It could have been my child,” was the sentiment of a steady stream of mothers who came to pay their respects at the edge of the forest on Tuesday afternoon.

Other members of the public joined in, some crying or walking around with a lost expression.

Bunches of bright bouquets and cards lined a fence on the corner of Dennedal Avenue and Orpen Road.

The 16-year-old’s body was found in the forest on Monday evening. She appeared to have been assaulted and strangled. Netwerk24 named her as Franziska Blochliger.

Resident Amanda Stergianos said the killing hit very close to home.

She had three daughters, aged 15, 13, and 11. They, along with other children in the area, often played or rode their bikes in the forest.

“I am very shocked. Even at a school function this morning the mood was very sombre. All the parents are talking about this.”

She often walked her dogs there or ran on her own with an iPod.

“I would be a target. There is a 5km loop here and it feels safe and do-able for many people.”

As she spoke, a man jogged past and made his way towards the forest.

Using tissues to wipe away her tears, another mother said she could not believe something so serious had happened where she and her 13-year-old daughter often walked.

Rugshana Noordien had been unable to concentrate at her office and decided to drive to the area.

Speaking to another mother, she said she could not imagine that someone would want to kill her or her children.

“This is something you don’t expect. You don’t think violence is so much ... that you can’t even take a walk,” she told News24.

She said she was definitely not returning to the forest.

While people spoke about the incident, a family with a baby girl and toddler walked out of the forest.

Not identifying themselves, they said they had lived in the area for 30 years.

A park ranger had told them to stay away because it was a crime scene but they refused to have the forest taken away from them.

“They are not going to win.”

The Constantia Society forum invited the public to join a vigil at the spot at 18:00.

Stergianos planned to release pink balloons with her daughters in the same area on Saturday morning.

Read more on:    franziska blochliger  |  cape town  |  crime

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