Murder suspect's case delayed as Anthea Thopps' family struggle to cope
Cape Town – Anthea Thopps' cousin, while thanking President Cyril Ramphosa for his speech last week in assuring South Africans that strong action would be taken against gender-based violence perpetrators, added that "we will await action".
Alluding to Thopps' murder suspect's court appearance on social media, she would have been disappointed about what transpired on Thursday – as is often the case.
Thopps was killed on July 21 and her family has been struggling to come to terms with her death, especially her 3-year-old son.
Their pain has been made worse by the murder case of the suspect, Jacobus Plaatjies, being delayed until next month.
The 35-year-old Plaatjies, who is believed to be a family friend, faces charges of murder, rape, housebreaking and theft.
Her aunt, Geraldine Thopps, told EWN: “The baby is with his grandmother and everyone is now assisting, but it’s hectic.
"It feels like the longer this takes, the more it settles, in that she’s not here any more, it’s becoming worse.”
The half-naked body of the 30-year-old Thopps, who was known for her "sparkling personality", was found by her mother Miriam, who lived two houses away, after neighbours feared there had been a break-in.
It was believed she had been strangled with a shoelace and possibly raped.
Evidence gathered by the investigation officer, Sergeant Chris Okkers, which included the tracing of the murder victim’s cellphone, led police to Plaatjies, who fled when he realised police were approaching him.
Residents joined the police in chasing Plaatjies and he ended up being arrested in an outside toilet in a yard.
In July, Beaufort West residents held a “Walk a Mile” march against femicide after a spate of gender-based violence and murders in the small Karoo town.