A tale of two teen murders
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Cape Town - While there have been arrests after the murder of a teenager in Tokai Forest, no progress has been made in the killing of a Khayelitsha teenager who was found half-naked in a communal toilet more than a week ago.
Sixteen-year-old Franziska Blöchliger went missing after she, her mother and sister went for a run in Tokai Forest on Monday afternoon. The teenager’s body was found later that day after a frantic search by police, residents and the Kirstenhof crime watch. A manhunt was launched and less than 36 hours later three people were detained, a specialist pathologist has been brought in to determine the cause of her death and the police have offered the family counselling.
In Khayelitsha it’s a different story: last week friends and neighbours made the grim discovery – the half-naked body of 19-year-old Sinoxolo Mafevuka in a communal toilet. Her clothes were stuffed in a cistern. No one has been arrested, her family have not been kept informed or questioned and they were not offered counselling.
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Police spokesperson Andre Traut said three suspects between the ages of 22 and 27 had been detained for questioning in connection with Franziska’s murder. They were arrested on Tuesday night.
Hundreds of people bearing beautiful flower arrangements attended a silent vigil for Franziska on Tuesday.
In Khayelitsha, residents are living in fear as no one has been arrested in connection with the teenager’s murder; the fear is compounded because many people have to walk in the dark, and for many metres, to get to a toilet.
Social Justice Coalition spokesperson Axolile Notywala said those from affluent areas seemed to receive more assistance and resources:
“(In) Areas like Khayelitsha, where crime is rife and happens so often, police action is poor because it seems so normal. Resources should be utilised in the areas where it’s really needed. “We were trying to bring this to the attention of the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry. We demanded more police visibility.”
Sonke Gender Justice spokesperson Patrick Godana said more needed to be done. “An example is the police patrols in affluent areas. You hardly see any in your poorer communities. Whether we like it or not, there is an imbalance with the services we receive.”
Traut said resources were allocated to police stations in accordance with needs and “no police station enjoyed special privileges over others”.
“Khayelitsha police station has adequate resources to provide a professional service to the community in the same way Kirstenhof does. Race, gender, nationality or financial status are not factors which have an influence in a police investigation,” he said.
Franziska’s father Florian Blöchliger said the family was overwhelmed by support from the community and they were provided with counselling by police.
Sinoxolo’s sister-in-law, Iminathi Mafevuka, said the police had not taken statements. “We have not heard anything since the day she was found.”
On Wednesday Blöchliger said he had identified his daughter’s body. “I have never seen anything like it, the way her head was beaten.
“The police say three suspects have been brought in and two will appear in court ... The matter has been lifted to provincial level.”
Her body has not yet been released to the family as a specialist pathologist has been called in.
Her father will raise his current reward to R100 000 and is meeting an investigator in order to bring his daughter’s killers to justice.
Mafevuka’s funeral will be held in the Eastern Cape next week. Community leader Mzukisi Ngethu said: “We are on high alert and caution our children not to use the toilets at night. Despite the fear, people are still using the toilets because they have no choice.”
Franziska’s murder has received large volumes of traffic on social media.
@MxNics tweeted: “Murder should never be about race, but I do find it disturbing that we don’t see this uproar every time a child is found dead. #TokaiTeen”
Police spokesperson FC van Wyk said of Sinoxolo’s death: “Kindly be advised that there are no new developments to report.”