City spokesperson murdered in house robbery is 'irreplaceable'

2016-12-16 13:56
Steven Otter (Facebook)

Steven Otter (Facebook)

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Cape Town – City spokesperson Steven Otter had a unique passion for the vulnerable and marginalised people of Cape Town, said a city official after hearing of his death in a house robbery on Friday morning.

Otter, 43, was stabbed to death in his Cambridge Road home in Harfield Village, apparently while defending himself and his family from intruders.

Western Cape police confirmed a man was killed during "an apparent house robbery" around 04:00.

"Two armed suspects fled with a television set, a laptop computer and a cellular telephone and they are yet to be arrested," said Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut.

Mayoral committee member for transport Brett Herron told News24, "I didn't want to believe it this morning but it is true. His death is absolutely devastating."

Before his death, Otter had been involved in communications and community relations for Transport for Cape Town.

One of a kind

Herron first met him 10 years ago when Otter was a spokesperson for Patricia de Lille, who at that stage was leader of the Independent Democrats before joining the Democratic Alliance.

De Lille, who said she called Otter "Stevovo", or "my pavement special" in reference to his eccentric nature, expressed her shock at the news of his death.

"I have known and worked with dear Stevovo for many years and he was truly a one of a kind person whose dedication was certainly one of his greatest traits. He will be sorely missed," she said.

Born in Johannesburg in 1973, Otter grew up in Uitenhage and moved to Cape Town to study journalism.

He made headlines in 2012 when he was "demoted" as Western Cape Transport MEC Robin Carlisle's spokesperson.

At the time, he believed he was being discriminated against because he insisted on not wearing shoes, was vegetarian and didn't drink alcohol.

The Labour Court later dismissed his court challenge.

Passion for communities

Controversy also erupted when DA officials circulated a photo of Otter dressed in full EFF attire at a Khayelitsha rally.

"He is going to be irreplaceable. He had a unique passion for communities, particularly the vulnerable and marginalised. He did amazing work in the community with them," said Herron.

He recalled Otter knocking on every resident's door in Imizamo Yethu to encourage residents' buy-in for the upgrade of roads, which had been delayed for decades due to community resistance.

In 2007 Otter released a book titled Khayelitsha: Umlungu in a Township.

The book detailed his time spent as a resident in a predominantly Xhosa community.

De Lille and Herron extended condolences to his ex-wife Janine Lange, their 6-year-old daughter Mya, and family, colleagues and friends.

"You are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time," said De Lille.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime  |  robberies

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