Cape Town – Members of the Westlake community spoke out on Friday following the first appearance of the four accused in the murder of 16-year-old Franziska Blöchliger.
“Westlake is deurmekaar (chaotic)!” said a Westlake resident who, like many of her peers, attended court in support of both Franziska’s family and family of the accused.
Franziska was found murdered on Monday after the teen had separated from her mother at Tokai forest to go for a run. Her body was discovered roughly 200 metres from the meeting point her and her mother had agreed on.
She was robbed of her iPhone and her mother’s red tracking watch.
Three suspects were arrested on Tuesday night in connection with the murder, while a fourth suspect was arrested later in connection with Franziska’s stolen property.
On Friday the four suspects appeared in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on one charge of murder, three counts of rape, and one charge of aggravated robbery.
According to the State, Blöchliger had been raped.
Three of the suspects are in their 20s – 21, 24, and 27 – and one is 32 years old.
While one of the suspects is a Steenberg resident, the other three reside in Westlake.
The youngest of the suspects is believed to be the son of a Pollsmoor Prison warden and is said to have been in and out of a drug rehab centre for his addiction to tik.
A neighbour of the warden said she felt bad for both Franziska and the youngest accused’s family.
She said the prison warden father was a spiritual, humble, and soft-spoken man.
“I feel so sorry for him, he is not a gangster,” said the neighbour, who preferred not to be named.
According to her, the youngest accused – who, along with the other suspects cannot be named as the case involves a charge of rape – had been removed by his father from the Pollsmoor Prison complex where they were residing.
The 21-year-old had allegedly been caught breaking into houses on prison property on multiple occasions.
“Two weeks ago he was at the same court for housebreaking,” said the neighbour.
According to the neighbour, the accused had a twin brother who was the complete opposite, a quiet and well-behaved young man.
The neighbour made mention of “Farouk”, a drug merchant who allegedly made use of children to peddle his drugs. According to her, the youngest accused was a client of Farouk’s.
The neighbour also commented on another, accused number one. In court, accused number one had requested to be held in Pollsmoor Prison because – according to him – at the Wynberg police station holding cells he would not receive food, toothpaste, shampoo, and visitors.
While accused number one addressed the magistrate on his requests, his co-accused, number four, signalled to the judge that number one was crazy.
The neighbour commented on this saying that he was in fact of sound mind and “crazy” was the game he played when in trouble.
According to her, accused number one was previously a Rasta who started off his drug abuse with dagga.
Another two women shared their thoughts on the first appearance.
Jasmiena Osman from Constantia Waldorf, the school Franziska attended, said Franziska understood that, “spiritually, we are all family”.
“That is the kind of girl I came to know,” said Osman, her voice shaking.
Another Westlake resident, who only gave her name as Karen, said drugs and theft was the suspects’ hobby.
“They must sit for their sins,” she said, adding the accused felt nothing for the innocent girl they had killed.
The case was postponed until March 18 when the suspects would be informed of bail.