Police minister told to 'f*k*f' after visiting family of murdered Mitchells Plain child

2018-06-25 20:34
This is the area where the body of Stacey Adams was found. (Jenni Evans, News24)

This is the area where the body of Stacey Adams was found. (Jenni Evans, News24)

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WATCH: Angry mob petrol bombs house after body of missing six-year-old is found

2018-06-25 12:00

Angry Cape Town residents have petrol bombed a house while a man they suspect of killing six-year-old Stacey Adams was inside. Watch. WATCH

Police Minister Bheki Cele was told to "fokof" by angry residents of Eastridge in Mitchells Plain, after the shallow grave where 6-year-old Stacey Adams' body was found, was left unguarded and the police's forensics teams were nowhere to be seen.

"The community is very angry, and justifiably so," said Cele.

"And the family is in pain, and justifiably so," he said.

Cele only spent about half an hour inside the house of Stacey's grandmother Laeeqah when he and Western Cape Social Development MEC Albert Fritz emerged to a crowd screaming insults outside the house.

The residents were angry because the police had not secured the crime scene and allowed people to walk under the yellow and blue police cordon tape to get a closer look at the hole Stacey had been found in.

They claimed police did not properly search the scene for evidence.

'Evidence' found

When News24 arrived on Monday morning, the scene was unguarded and there were empty packets and potato peelings near a grubby pillow. A pile of blankets was nearby the area where the six-year-old's body had been found. A dustbin metres away from her body was not sealed or guarded and some of the adults kicked open the door of one of the wendy houses in the yard to have a look inside.

Two police officers, who had arrived to fetch the dead girl's mother Sasha-Lee and her grandmother for follow-up questioning at the police station, appeared to not hear people who shouted that they had found something under one of the wendy houses as they drove off.

Cele said that he had no idea that residents had found what could be evidence – a large knife purportedly found in rotting refuse gathered under the wendy house the little girl's mother and her boyfriend lived in.

The man who found it, after the wendy house was tipped to its side to allow access to the ground beneath the structure, carried the knife off to the girl's grandmother's house as people cautioned him to be careful not to contaminate fingerprint evidence.

Cele said he would deal with whoever was responsible for alleged dereliction of duty, but added that the murder scene on Sunday was so volatile that police officers had come under attack from angry residents.

With his security detail preparing to get him out of the area quickly, Cele said he had already launched special anti-crime operations in the province, and that Stacey's murder would be dealt with at a high level.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel André Traut said that the investigation was at a sensitive stage so no more information would be made public for the moment.

"Kindly be advised that the circumstances surrounding the case are still under investigation and the developments that are being made cannot be disclosed at this stage," he said.

The alarm was raised in Eastridge on Sunday when Stacey couldn't be found. The little girl, who usually lived with her grandmother across the road from where her mother lived with her boyfriend, had asked her mother for porridge, then to go to the toilet and then to be allowed to watch cartoons on television. 

READ: 'She liked Mr Bean' - grieving mother of murdered 6-year-old Stacey

When she couldn't be found in the house, the first assumption was that she had been attending a birthday party up the road.

However, her body was found not long after, buried in the soft sand of Mitchells Plain, between a wendy house, opposite the one her mother lived in, and a dustbin, in a space visible from the street.

Some of the residents tried to fathom how nobody had seen her being buried.

Cele said that, from the conversation he had with family members, the suspect had allegedly used drugs.

"That guy was high," he said, but added that the police still needed to verify this.

Meanwhile, Fadiel Adams of Gatvol Capetonian, who often comments on social justice issues on his Facebook page, said at the scene that the living conditions of the little girl's family were so atrocious, with overcrowding exacerbated by unemployment and drugs, that they were a "ticking time bomb" that had been ignored.

He said the government needed to monitor overcrowding and to do something to stem the increase in backyarders living in shacks and wooden huts.

"But the fact of the matter is, if you are poor and you don't have a prestigious address, then your death means nothing."

In the meantime, as Cele's motorcade left, some of the men were heard saying that they would collect bail money to get the suspect out of jail, and then "deal with him".

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