Sotyu's anger over Sinoxolo/Franziska murder cases misdirected - Zille

2016-03-22 17:42
(Tammy Petersen, News24)

(Tammy Petersen, News24)

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Cape Town - Police Deputy Minister Maggie Sotyu's attempt to address the imbalances between the handling of two Cape Town murders did more harm than good, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille said on Tuesday.

In her Inside Government newsletter, the premier addresses the differences between the recent murders of teenagers Sinoxolo Mafevuka and Franziska Blochliger.

Mafevuka was raped and killed in Khayelitsha, while Blochliger was killed at the Tokai forest a week later.

Following the murders, Sotyu questioned the Khayelitsha police's handling of Mafevuka's case.

In her newsletter, Zille said Sotyu's anger was misdirected.

"She stormed into a meeting with the Khayelitsha police, accusing them [in the presence of the media] of fostering racism by their failure to arrest Sinoxolo's alleged murderers sooner.

"She alleged the SAPS were prioritising Franziska's case because she was murdered in Tokai – a more affluent part of the City," she said.

Zille said looking at each case, the Tokai community descended in force on the forest, and Franziska's family hired private investigators to work with SAPS, backed by a R50 000 reward. The ability to track a missing iPhone was also pivotal, she said.

Arrests were made within 24 hours of the discovery of Franziska's body.

She said police in Khayelitsha struggled, however.

"There was no cellphone to assist the investigation, no private investigators, and no significant community mobilisation. The police were on their own."

Zille said the deputy minister was aware of how under-resourced the precinct was.

"Where Sinoxolo's murder took place, there are 878 citizens to one police officer, compared to the national average of 358 citizens to one police officer. We have been urging the national government for years to rectify this. Only they have the power to do so."

She praised Commander Johan Brand, who had been at the receiving end of Sotyu's anger.

"The crisis of crime in parts of Khayelitsha will not be solved by attacking the very people in the forefront of trying to resolve the problem," she said.

The deputy minister's office said they would respond later.

Read more on:    maggie sotyu  |  sinoxolo mafevuka  |  helen zille  |  franziska blochliger  |  cape town  |  crime

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