- A man has been charged with the murder of Siphokazi Booi, whose burnt body was found next to a railway line in Mbekweni, Paarl.
- She was last seen, a day before her remains were found, arguing with her boyfriend.
- The man’s home has since been demolished by angry locals and his car torched.
When Zukiswa Nomana was informed of the gruesome discovery of a burnt body of a woman in a wheelie bin alongside the Mbekweni railway line in Paarl, her instincts told her that it was likely that the remains, only identifiable as female from her charred bra, could be that of Siphokazi Booi.
"She had been abused by [her partner] and had last been seen arguing with him early on Saturday morning," the shaken local ward councillor told News24 on Tuesday.
A 30-year-old man, initially taken in for questioning, has since been charged with murder.
On Monday night, more than 100 residents gathered at the scene where Booi’s body was found to hold a candlelight vigil, expressing their outrage at her killing which has sent shockwaves through the community of White City.
Nomana recalled going to Booi’s family home after the body was removed from the scene on Sunday afternoon, and asking them where their daughter was.
"I know them because one of them serve on the ward committee. They told me they last saw her on Thursday. I was told that she was last seen by a friend at about 02:00 on Saturday and I went to enquire. She told me she had left them that time as they had been arguing. She didn’t hear from her again."
After discouraging Booi’s family from approaching her boyfriend to demand answers, their suspicions were reported to the police, who then went to his shack.
"When the van stopped, he ran. The police chased and found him and took him to his house where it was searched. Then they took him into custody."
Angry locals on Sunday tore down the man's shack and later torched his car.
Dumisani Mziki, chairperson of the Winelands Cluster community policing forum, slammed the action, saying valuable forensic evidence had been lost, as it was believed that she had been killed inside the structure she shared with him.
Mziki said this was not the man's first brush with the law – he had been arrested for assaulting Booi in August and had been due in court on the charge next month.
Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joseph Swartbooi confirmed a man had been charged with murder and was expected in the Paarl Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.
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