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Elim community still in disbelief over arrest of ex-husband of slain Charlene October

Published Dec 2, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - The Elim Church Council said the community was still reeling in shock and had been ripped apart following the arrest of murdered Charlene October’s ex-husband, Ashley October.

Murder accused October made his second court appearance at the Bredasdorp Magistrate’s Court on Thursday for a bail profile hearing as he pursues a bail application.

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A church council member, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the arrest had already ripped the small community in two.

Charlene was found murdered in her home on July 12, while her granddaughter was spared during the attack.

“The community is still in shock and disbelief that October was arrested. His arrest has definitely already caused a rift in the community as there was more noise and uproar over the arrest of Teswill van der Rheede (co-accused). Shortly after Van der Rheede was arrested, people were eager to sign the petition for no bail, but now it seems there’s less enthusiasm after October was arrested,” said the council member.

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According to the woman, residents continue to live in fear, “knowing that these evil deeds are happening here”.

“There is speculation that October may have been the mastermind behind the murder, and this makes us as a community feel uneasy, knowing somebody is capable of doing that. We have asked people to not be judgemental as each case has its merits, and because this is not the first time we have an urgent need for the murders in our community to stop, we ask for unity from the community,” said the council member.

The church council had previously handed in a petition opposing bail against Van der Rheede and said the petition details would now apply to October as well, as they opposed his bail application.

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“We have made it very clear that we do not want the accused back in our community before a case has been resolved and they have been proven innocent. Ashley had himself participated in the protests at the time in Elim to bring the perpetrators to book and signed our petition opposing bail for Van der Rheede.

“This has been a very traumatising experience, especially for the children of October and (Charlene). This is a small community where everybody knows each other, so people talk. My heart goes out to the sisters and families of Charlene,” said the woman.

The two accused are expected to appear in court again on December 13.

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Cape Times

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