Atlantis, Western Cape - Another teenager has been brutally murdered in the Western Cape – the third in three weeks.
The body of Jo-Anne Diane van Schalkwyk, 18, of Atlantis, was found in a bush on Tuesday morning. It follows the rape and murder of Anene Booysen, 17, in Bredasdorp last Saturday and the murder of Audrey Bianca Green, 19, of Scottsville, whose body was found stashed in a drawer beneath a bunk bed at the weekend.
A 21-year-old man has been arrested in connection with her murder and is due to appear in court soon.
Atlantis councillor Barbara Rass, who was at the scene of the crime in Old Darling Road, said Van Schalkwyk was the third woman to be murdered in the area in the last five months.
“I am greatly disturbed… Now we are another Bredasdorp with women murdered. I’m feeling for all these young females,” she said.
Rass also said that the community was fed up and was threatening to take the law into their own hands.
Police spokesman Colonel Thembinkosi Kinana said they could not say at this stage if the victim was raped.
“Only the investigation will reveal such possibilities. It is alleged that she died of head injuries. The motive for the incident is not known and the police are investigating a case of murder,” he said.
An Atlantis resident said he had found the body just before 7am. He said she was lying on her right side in the bushes with a big stone next to her head. “It was a terrible thing to see, I’m still traumatised. Half of her face was smashed in and she was bleeding through her mouth, nose and ears.”
He said Van Schalkwyk was wearing a pair of trousers and a top, and that a brown jacket and a cap were lying next to her body.
When the Cape Argus visited the teenager’s home on Tuesday afternoon, her father Glynn Peterson, 50, described her as “a very helpful child who was fond of children”. Her mother died 14 years ago.
Peterson said Van Schalkwyk left home two years ago to live with friends after she had started taking tik and mandrax.
He said he last saw her at around noon on Monday. “I’m confused. I don’t know what to think. I am failing to understand what type of person did this to a little girl,” he said. “She must have screamed and begged for her life and that person ignored her cries. She didn’t deserve to die like this… I’m going to miss my child.”
The police are calling on anyone who can assist them with information that could lead to the arrest of the culprit to inform the nearest police station.
A security guard at the Wesfleur Town Centre, Peter van der Ross, said Van Schalkwyk regularly begged for money at the town’s square.
“She was a sweet girl. I gave small change now and again… she was always neatly dressed. I’m going to miss her,” he said.
Community Safety MEC Dan Plato said there was a kind of sickness that had sneaked into communities.
“Women are targeted in a vulgar and sadistic manner that is shocking,” he said after visiting Van Schalkwyk’s family on Tuesday. “Whether these women used drugs or not, they didn’t deserve to die like this.
“We need communities to stand together to fight against this scourge.”