Tokai Forest should be closed until it's safe, say some residents

2016-03-08 17:33
(Jenna Etheridge, News24)

(Jenna Etheridge, News24)

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Cape Town – "Close this space. Close it until we know what to do."

This is was what 73-year-old grandmother Anne Gray believes should happen to Tokai Forest in the wake of a teenage girl’s murder on Monday. The girl is 16-year-old Franziska Blochlige.

Gray was one of many people who stopped at a forest fence on Dennedal Avenue on Tuesday to leave bouquets of flowers and cards.

Pointing at a spot just ahead of the trees, she said she would not be caught walking even a few metres there because of crime levels.

"I am from Joburg. Maybe I know a lot, but I can’t believe Capetonians don’t get it."

She interacted with a number of mothers who came to pay their respects and told them off, as politely as possible, for using the forest as a recreation spot.

A woman who identified herself as Sue nodded her head in agreement.

She shared that she knew of a mother who was with her three children when she was attacked in January near a smaller parking area down the road.

"She went into the forest as far as the first tree and these chaps flew in behind her, ripped off her necklace and took her ring, shoes and napsack."

She said the woman’s phone was tracked to Grassy Park.

Also visiting the scene in his jogging outfit on Tuesday afternoon was 71-year-old Dr David Crombie.

Shocked by what had happened, he could hardly speak at first.

"Everywhere I look, I have to live with a context of anarchy. Passivity plays right into the hands of the powers who be. Forget the bubble you live in."

With respect to his friend Tim Noakes, he added: "Forget the banting revolution. We need a complete revolution, whatever it takes. As a species, we have to stop this."

The girl’s body was found in the forest, just off the road. She had reportedly gone jogging with her mother, sister and the family dog on Monday afternoon when she decided to go running in a different direction.

When she didn’t return to her mother at about 16:00, the alarm was raised and a search began almost immediately.

About 80 people responded to the call to find the teenager, and her body was found about 16:30.

Police reservist Derek Beukes used his drone on Tuesday to see if he could spot anything suspicious from the air.

Read more on:    franziska blochliger  |  cape town  |  crime

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