Cape Town - The family of the 11-year-old Manenberg girl who was found murdered and dumped this week have spoken about their anger and disappointment in the relative they suspect committed the gruesome murder.
Tasneem Fisher’s body was found in an abandoned building in Maitland, near the busy Koeberg Interchange, on Wednesday morning.
It was initially reported that the body of an unidentified 16-year-old girl had been found.
She had sustained severe injuries to the face and head. Shortly thereafter a relative, who was the last person seen with Tasneem before she went missing on Tuesday evening, handed himself over to Mitchells Plain police.
On Friday morning, speaking from her home in Madge Court in Manenberg, Tasneem’s mother Stephlin Fisher told the Cape Argus about a family row which had led to domestic tension.
The 44-year-old suspect in the murder was married to another relative of Fisher’s. The couple have separated, and the woman, along with her three children, moved in with Fisher’s mother, Anna Matheys.
Matheys said the family had had enough of the man’s abuse and had moved out. “This made him angry, and bitter. He came to me recently, and threatened me. He called the children, all the family members, out by name and said ‘you will see, they will all pay for this’.
Fisher said the man’s “evil plan to divide and hurt the family” had backfired.
“It has only brought us closer together… We just have to trust in the justice system and to make sure that he goes to jail, so that he cannot harm any of us any more.”
Fisher has vowed to follow the court proceedings and to put pressure on police to ensure that the man is convicted. This, after another man, suspected of murdering her husband in 2004, walked free on a technicality.
On Tuesday, in the late afternoon, Tasneem, pictured, was last seen playing hide-and-seek with her friends.
When she did not come home, the family became worried, leading to a search and a missing person case being opened at Manenberg police station.
A witness told police and the family that the girl had been seen walking in the company of a relative.
“That is what is so painful,” said Fisher. “She would have trusted him and probably went with him willingly.”
Fisher broke down in tears when she described going to the morgue on Thursday and seeing the “terrible” injuries Tasneem had sustained.
The most emotional moment for the family came this morning when attention turned to the little Valentine’s Day note that Tasneem had written last week.
It sits on a shelf in the family’s living room.
“My aunt has three children. I love my aunt,” it reads.
The family wept as they read the note again, and recalled Tasneem’s “soft and loving” nature.
“Even in death she is giving us strength,” said Fisher.
* Police were searching for another missing girl, 9-year-old Ntombekhaya Pantshwa, said police spokesman Colonel Mbinkosi Kinana.
“(She) was last seen on Monday when she left for school. She attends Mvula Primary School in Nyanga. Her cousin, who was walking with her, said (she) turned back and said she wanted to brush her hair. She has not been seen since,” Kinana said.