‘Bushes hide more bodies’

2015-06-02 06:00
Dense, dark and isolated bush line many streets of Strandfontein, creating the perfect dumping ground for bodies, officials say. 

samantha lee

Dense, dark and isolated bush line many streets of Strandfontein, creating the perfect dumping ground for bodies, officials say. PHOTO: samantha lee

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After the gruesome discovery of a body in dense bush in Strandfontein and a second body was found dumped in Woflgat Nature Reserve, community structures have renewed their plea for the removal of bush in the area.

A passerby found a body in dense bush near Baden Powell Drive on Monday last week. Strandfontein police officers preserved the crime scene around the body of an unknown man in an advanced state of decomposition.

On Saturday the second body was found dumped at the Wolfgat Nature Reserve.

The man had been abducted in Lansdowne and his car was later found in Ottery.

A search for him continued until his body was found dumped along Baden Powell Drive.

The 27-year-old man was found tied up and had sustained several bullet wounds to his body.

No arrests have been made yet.

At the time of discovery the age of the decomposed body found on Monday last week was estimated to be around 30 years and the race was undetermined.

Officers soon after discovered that the body could be linked to another case registered at Philippi police station, according to cluster commander Major-General Abraham Goss.

“The body was identified to be part of an abduction case registered at Philippi police station. The body was identified to be the 43-year-old man abducted from the Gordons squatter camp almost a month ago,” Goss says. The case will be transferred back to the Philippi police as part of their abduction, turned murder, investigation.

The murder is believed to have been part of a revenge attack, says Goss, during which the man was abducted from his home in a taxi.

The police say a man called the station to say he wanted to clear his conscience. He was allegedly stabbed by the victim three years ago and told the police that a body could be found on Baden Powell Drive.

The suspect is in the Eastern Cape. He and two other suspects have not yet been arrested, pending additional investigation.

Goss says the suspect could not pinpoint the exact location of the body.

“Police from both Strandfontein and Philippi were in the bush for three days straight looking for the man,” he says. The victim was finally found by a passerby.

Goss says the bush poses a big problem.

“A large area is covered by bush and this is the third body found in the bush since September. The area is isolated, quiet and very dark,” he says.

Bush can be found along Lukannon Drive, Baden Powell Drive, Witsands Road and Spine Road, among others.

“This is getting out of hand; criminals are using Strandfontein as a dumping ground for bodies because of all the dense bush,” says Strandfontein Community Police Forum chairperson Sandy Schuter.

“We have requested that the City of Cape Town get rid of the bush for a long time because of this very reason.

“We have also fought for sufficient lighting on Baden Powell and Lukannon drives and other dark areas where our residents live as it becomes an element for criminal activity.”

The City was not immediately available for comment but says they are “looking into this matter”.

Schuter says that the forum condemns any form of criminal activity.

“Being at the scene made me realise the mindsets people have – to think nothing of a person’s life.

“Communities need to start looking after each other, be more vigilant, come out of their comfort zones and become actively involved in the community. Being active isn’t being active on social media – there are enough thumb warriors, we need more foot soldiers on our streets.”

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