Defence lawyer withdraws from Rene Roman murder, rape case

2017-10-20 12:31
Lucinda Evans (centre), founder of NPO Philisa Abafazi Bethu, with the mother and grandmother of slain Lavender Hill teen Rene Roman (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

Lucinda Evans (centre), founder of NPO Philisa Abafazi Bethu, with the mother and grandmother of slain Lavender Hill teen Rene Roman (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

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Cape Town – The man accused of murdering and raping 13-year-old Rene Roman does not have any legal representation after his legal aid attorney withdrew from the case in the Western Cape High Court on Friday.

Judge André le Grange was informed of the withdrawal when the accused Andrew Plaatjies, 50, appeared for a pre-trial conference.

READ: Bittersweet relief for family as case of murdered Cape Town teen sent to high court

It is alleged that Plaatjies raped and killed Roman in Lavender Hill in March.

The teen’s mother, Chrissandre Jacobs, was present in court alongside Sandy Markgraf, the mother of 11-year-old Stacha Arends, who was found dead a week after Roman had been killed.

Jacobs last saw her daughter alive in St Agatha Street, Lavender Hill on March 10 when Roman ran an errand for her.

Forensically linked

Eleven days later, the teen’s half-naked, decomposing body was discovered in a house in the same street.

A post-mortem concluded that she had died from a blunt force injury to her head.

News24 previously reported that Plaatjies could be forensically linked to the crime scene in Lavender Hill.

ALSO READ: Shouts of 'rot away!' as alleged child killer appears in dock

Outside of court, activists told News24 that more should be done to expedite rape and murder cases.

"If we don't come to these proceedings and make a noise, nothing will happen. We need to start taking these crimes more seriously or nothing will change," an activist, who chose to remain anonymous, said.

The case was postponed to November 3, so that new legal representation could be arranged for the accused.

Plaatjies will remain in custody.

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