Four men in court for Tokai murder
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Cape Town - About 100 protesters held a picket on Friday morning outside the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court where four men appeared for the rape and murder of 16-year-old Franziska Blöchliger in the Tokai forest earlier this month.
The group also gathered to protest against the rape and murder of 19-year-old Sinoxolo Mafevuka whose half-naked body was discovered in communal toilets in Town Two in Khayelitsha earlier this month.
Two men, aged 21 and 26, were due to appear in the Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court on Friday morning but the case was postponed to Thursday.
Franziska was found murdered almost two weeks ago after the 16-year-old had separated from her mother at Tokai forest to go for a run. Her body was discovered roughly 200 metres from the meeting point her and her mother had agreed on.
The four men charged with her rape and murder appeared briefly in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Friday where their case was postponed to next month for a formal bail application.
As the men were being led to the dock from the courtroom cells they were greeted by murmurs from dozens of activists who packed courtroom four to capacity.
Three of the suspects were being represented by a legal aid lawyer, while the fourth attained the services of a private attorney.
One of the men was originally only facing charges of possession of stolen property, but the State informed the court that “at this stage he cannot be excluded from the other crimes”.
All four accused face charges of rape, murder and aggravated robbery.
The State will be opposing bail when the four appear in court again on April 5.
As they were led down the dock, activists and concerned residents from Westlake and surrounds chanted “no bail”, with some of the accused glaring at them as they were led down to the cells again.
They are to remain in custody at the Pollsmoor prison until their next court appearance.
Outside the Wynberg court, one of the picket organisers, Kyne Bairnstof, said: “We are here for both Franziska and Sinoxolo. There’s been many others (who have been attacked). We are here for every woman and child that has been abused.
“We want to send a message that as South Africans, we need to come together and say enough is enough, it’s got to stop.”
Bruce Walker said violence, especially against women and children, had reached to a point where everyone had to do something.
“With enough pressure laws can be changed, and if the South African people want the death sentence back so violence can end, that can be changed too,” he said.
Bairnstof added that some members of the group planned to start a campaign to distribute whistles that people who are in danger from criminals can blow to attract attention.
Cape Argus and ANA