Family calls for accused in double murder to be denied bail
Pretoria - The family of 20-year-old Chantelle Ash and her 8-month-old baby Tasneem have called for the man accused of murdering the pair to be denied bail.
Speaking from her Pretoria West home, Chantelle’s mother Annie Ash said they wanted the accused to remain behind bars.
On January 14, the decomposing bodies of Chantelle and daughter were found.
According to the mother, Chantelle’s hands were bound behind her back and her body swollen and almost unrecognisable.
“I could not recognise my baby… she was so swollen and bruised; it was a horrible thing to see.”
According to her, the mother and daughter arrived at a lodge in Mokopane at about 7pm on January 12 with her husband, a Bangladeshi national, and the father of the baby.
“The accommodation had been booked for a night only, with the check-out time the next day.
“When cleaners opened the room on January 14, they found the bodies of Chantelle and Tasneem.”
A countrywide manhunt was launched for the alleged perpetrator of the murders, who was nabbed in Joburg.
He is expected to appear in Mokopane court on Thursday for a formal bail hearing.
“Much has been said by members of government and organisations about gender-based violence and the murder of women by their partners; talk is talk, it is time for the government to send a clear message that this will not be tolerated,” the grieving mother said.
She said it was time for the National Prosecuting Authority to be brave, fearless and consistent in dealing with the perpetrators of these crimes.
The mother and daughter were buried a few days ago.
“I will miss my child’s humour and personality; I will never fill the void of losing a child and granddaughter,” Ash said.
“I am in pain, and have been to hospital back and forth as I am not coping with the loss of my children.
“I find myself asking why he had to take them away from me and why did they have to go in such a terrible manner.
“It really breaks my heart because I used to see her husband as my son.”
She also called for more people to sign the petition opposing the bail of the accused. The petition, with close to 9 000 signatures, has already been submitted to the prosecution.