Sanparks to up security

2016-03-15 06:00
A community brought together after the murder of 16-year-old Franziska Blochliger in Tokai Forest.

A community brought together after the murder of 16-year-old Franziska Blochliger in Tokai Forest.

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In an effort to make Tokai Forest a safer place for runners and other visitors, Sanparks is considering closing off some throughfares and using the park’s dog unit from time to time.

There have always been routine ranger patrols throughout the area, but it remains a public area with many access points, so Sanparks is investigating making it more secure.

This follows the murder of 16-year-old Franziska Blöchliger from Kalk Bay in Tokai Forest. She was found dead last Monday after she went missing while jogging.

Merle Collins, spokesperson of Sanparks, says the lower Tokai area has never been a crime hotspot, but it is receiving and will continue to receive a lot of Sanparks’ attention to assess the overall security risk.

Blöchliger, a pupil of Constantia Waldorf School, went running in the forest with family before the gruesome murder and alleged rape. It is alleged that she took a different route and told her family that she would join them in front.

She never did, so her mother raised the alarm and a search for her began. Her body was found in the forest, apparently strangled.

Her family hired local forensic science expert David Klatzow, who said he had picked up some crucial evidence on the scene that the police had missed.

Four men from Westlake have been arrested. The men, aged between 20 and 32, appeared at Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Friday and their case was postponed to Friday.

Three of the accused were arrested just one day after the murder. The fourth suspect was arrested later for being in possession of Blöchliger’s iPhone and watch.

Community members held a silent walk in the forest and placed flowers where she had died. Westlake residents, who had played a significant role in the arrest of the suspects, also marched in support of the family and to show their outrage.

Blöchliger was laid to rest on Friday evening.

Collins encourages visitors to the forest to stay in groups.

“To ensure safety in the forest we are urging people to join or form running groups; there is always safety in numbers. Do not carry valuables. Be alert when running – we notice many people running with earphones. Programme emergency numbers into your phone so that they are close to you in case of any emergencies.” 

For all park emergencies call 086 110 6417. The City of Cape Town emergency number is 021 480 7700.

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