Wolseley residents say alleged 'serial killer' laughed, waved at them from police van

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Western Cape police commissioner Lieutenant General Yolisa Matakata (left) with police officers on a visit to Wolseley on Monday.
Western Cape police commissioner Lieutenant General Yolisa Matakata (left) with police officers on a visit to Wolseley on Monday.
PHOTO: Supplied by SAPS
  • Residents of Wolseley in the Western Cape are convinced a man arrested in the town for murder is a "serial killer".
  • The man was allegedly spotted dragging the body of Bernadine Frans, 21, in a veld on Saturday.
  • Two more bodies have since been found in shallow graves on the same piece of veld.


Community members in Wolseley in the Western Cape are up in arms after a "serial killer" was arrested on murder charges in the Pine Valley informal settlement on Saturday.

The man was allegedly seen dragging the body of 21-year-old Bernadine "Bernie" Frans in a nearby field, News24 reported earlier.

According to Western Cape police spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa, community members alerted the police to suspicious activity in the Pine Valley area on Saturday after 23:00.

"Upon arrival, the police made the gruesome discovery. The suspect, who also resides in the area, was subsequently arrested," Potelwa said.

On Sunday, police were called out to the area again after a passer-by discovered a shallow grave in an open field.

The body of a woman was found.

A third body was then also discovered. However, the suspect has so far not been linked to these murders. The gender of the third victim was yet to be determined.

Community leader Sofia Thomas told EWN the community was in shock.

"The community is very unhappy. The whole community went to the place where Bernie was murdered. That same guy isn't a guy from Wolseley – he is a guy we didn't know.

Bernadine Frans
Wolseley resident Bernadine Frans, 21.

"This guy – he mustn't get bail. There are a lot of children who stay in Pine Valley, so we think the children's lives and everybody's lives is in danger. Everyone is saying it looks like he is a [serial] killer. He was laughing when he [sat] in the [police] van and he was waving to the community," she told EWN.

By Monday, the community of Wolseley had been buzzing about the "serial killer", Netwerk24 reported.

The suspect reportedly lived in a caravan in the residential area and was apparently a quiet man. Angry residents set his caravan on fire on Saturday night.

Frans' mother, Kristien Marthinus, told Netwerk24 her child was "cruelly tortured, strangled and thrown away like rubbish".

Marthinus reportedly identified her daughter's body at the morgue in Ceres on Monday.

"From what I could see it was clear that she was strangled. There were marks around her neck and she had blue bruises, her cheek was also bitten. It looked violent," she said.

Western Cape police commissioner Lieutenant General Yolisa Matakata visited the Pine Valley informal settlement on Monday.

The 33-year-old suspect has been charged with murder and will appear in court in Wolseley on Tuesday.

 - Compiled by Riaan Grobler

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