Cape Town – A family from Elim, near Bredasdorp, are reeling from shock after 6-year-old Delvina Europa was found raped and murdered just three months after her mother’s sudden death.
Her body was found in the bushes in the Cape Agulhas community after she went missing on Sunday evening.
The incident united the Moravion mission station community, who searched tirelessly through Sunday evening to find the little girl.
Delvina’s aunt and guardian, Carol October, said they were “heartbroken”. “This has really shocked us and we are so saddened by her death.
“She has been ripped away from us just three months after her mother passed away in January. When her elder brother and sister heard about her death, they were traumatised.
“She was a spontaneous girl and her voice has now forever gone silent in our home,” said October.
Delvina, a Grade 1 pupil at Elim Moravian Primary School, was last seen with a man entering a bush.
“We all know (the suspect), he is well-known in the community,” she said. “He was taken in for questioning (on Tuesday).”
According to reports, the suspect was recently discharged from a drug rehabilitation centre, but the family was unable to confirm this.
Police spokesperson FC van Wyk said the 35-year-old suspect was being held for questioning for 48 hours.
“(On Monday) at about 7.45pm, a 6-year-old girl was reported missing. According to reports, she was last seen on Sunday with a person walking to the bushes.
“Police, together with the community members, conducted a search throughout the night and the victim’s body was found early (Tuesday) morning at about 7.45am in nearby bushes,” Van Wyk said.
Ward councillor for the Cape Agulhas community, Evelyn Sauls, said the community has been rocked to the core by the tragic event.
“This was a big shock. We have had to heal from Anene Booysen and Kayde Williams’ murders, and now the murder of little Delvina.
“It was tragic seeing her body being removed from the bushes.
“As a mother and grandmother, it was a heartbreaking scene,” Sauls said.