Families unite in court for child murder cases

2017-11-03 22:34
Stacha Arends's mom Sandy Markgraf (Jenni Evans, News24)

Stacha Arends's mom Sandy Markgraf (Jenni Evans, News24)

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Cape Town – Family members and friends of slain Western Cape children formed a united front at the Western Cape High Court on Friday, where the accused in four separate child murder cases appeared.

The cases relate to the murders of six-month-old Zahnia Woodward, 13-year-old Rene Roman, 11-year-old Stacha Arends and two-year-old Braydon Graaff.

Wearing customised T-shirts, the supporters squeezed into the courtroom as they listened to proceedings before Judge Robert Henney.

Some leaned over the front rail of the public gallery, which overlooked the dock where the accused appeared.

Roman’s family had pink cutouts of the letter "r" pinned to their clothing. Judge Henney asked them to be quiet so that he could listen to submissions made.

He postponed each of the four cases for further pre-trial conferences.

Zahnia Woodward was killed on December 30, 2016, when she was struck by a stray bullet, fired by occupants of a white VW Golf in Ocean View.

Christopher September, Larry Johnson Taswill Kriel, Morné May, Johnson's mother Mirriam, and Simoney Kido have been charged with her murder.

The case was postponed to November 24 so that Mirriam Johnson and Kido can sort out their legal representation.

'Our lives will never be the same'

Andrew Plaatjies, who has been accused of the rape and murder of Roman, is to appear in court again on November 17.

He has changed his legal representation and has been given time to prepare.

Roman was reported missing on March 10. Her body was found in Lavender Hill almost two weeks later.

The case of Randy Tango, who is accused of murdering Arends, was postponed to November 10.

Arends went missing from her Tafelsig home on March 29. Her body was found the following day.

Family members and friends of the murdered children gathered outside the Western Cape High Court. (Jenni Evans, News24) 


Stacha's uncle, Henry Arends, told News24 that the family would be patient as the case took its course.

"We will take our time. We are not in a hurry," he said.

Outside the court, friends of Stacha's mother Sandy Markgraf, formed a protective circle around her and sent reporters to her brother Henry for comment instead.

"Our lives will never be the same," he said.

The three men accused of Graaff’s murder, Renaldo Galant, Charlton Renier and Andrew Hendricks, will appear in court again on March 12, 2018.

Two-year-old Graaff was killed in Atlantis in October last year when he was struck by a stray bullet.

At the time, he was in his mother’s arms.

Read more on:    cape town  |  courts  |  crime

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