Alleged Albertinia child killer was known to ‘love’ children

The bodies of two Albertinia girls, 9-year-old Jacorine Maurelia Vaaltyn and 10-year-old Sharon Arries, were discovered in a shack after they had been suffocated. Picture: Supplied

The bodies of two Albertinia girls, 9-year-old Jacorine Maurelia Vaaltyn and 10-year-old Sharon Arries, were discovered in a shack after they had been suffocated. Picture: Supplied

Published Sep 26, 2022


Cape Town - The Albertinia community in the Southern Cape is in an uproar following the arrest of a 53-year-old man who hid the bodies of 9-year-old Jacorine Maurelia Vaaltyn and 10-year-old Sharon Arries in his shack after he had suffocated them.

Police confirmed the suspect had been arrested on Friday after the gruesome discovery of the two little girls’ bodies at the suspect’s residence in Jan Fiskaal Street on Thursday evening.

Police spokesperson Malcolm Pojie said: “A 53-year-old suspect… was arrested within 12 hours after he escaped the claws of a mob of community members who formed part of a search party following the activation of the police’s 72-hour activation plan.”

Initial reports indicated the girls had been suffocated. One of the victims had been stuffed into a blue plastic drum, while the other was found under a bed. A hole had been dug in the floor of the shack in an apparent attempt to dispose of their remains.

Activist and councillor Ivan Mangaliso said the families were heartbroken by the incident, while community members were livid because the suspect was known to love children.

“This perpetrator was known in the street and the community. He was known to have loved children. He gave them sweets and he was like a pied piper. Children flocked to him. So never in their wildest dreams did the community even think that he was this type of person. Nothing about what he did was suspicious, and everybody applauded him for loving children so much,” Mangaliso said.

He said they would be mobilising the community to make their presence felt at the Riversdale Magistrates’ Court to petition the court to deny the suspect bail.

The suspect was arrested following the brave work of Ifriam Claassen, 40, a factory worker and father, who traced the suspect after he had fled the scene.

Claassen said the suspect had tried to escape by hiding in the wilderness of rural Albertinia but, armed only with his wits and his bicycle, he was able to track the suspect’s movements through the dense vegetation off Vloerplaas Road.

“I decided to join the search party because I am also raising children and we can’t allow this. I first spotted him in the bush as he tried to creep between the undergrowth to reach the other side and run over the road.

“Eventually I came towards him and asked him: ‘Where are you going?’ He asked me if I was from the police, so I told him: ‘Yes’, just to shock him. He tried to run, but I held him in a sturdy grip that he couldn’t get out of and handed him over to the police.”

He said if he had taken the suspect to the community “he would have been a corpse”.

Ifraim Claassen managed to trace the suspect and handed him over to the police. Picture: Supplied
The shack in Jan Fiskaal Street where the children were found. Picture: Supplied

Activist Donalda Bantom said they were appealing to the wider community to assist with the little girls’ funerals, which are set to take place on Saturday.

“I urge all parents in South Africa to always know where their children are. These serial killers are working overtime, especially if they are high on drugs, and they just know how to get into the minds of vulnerable children.

“All children are important and they need to be loved, no matter what their circumstances are, especially girls.

“I also call on the government to bring in harsher sentences and to stop treating perpetrators like they are in a hotel. The two girls were very close friends,” Bantom said.

Those interested in providing assistance with the funerals can contact Donalda Bantom at 073 335 1260.