File picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town – David van Boven appeared on charges of robbery, rape and attempted murder of a 16-year-old girl in Hanover Park at the Wynberg Magistrate's Court on Friday. 

The case has been postponed to February 14 for further investigation and DNA results. A relative of Jesse Hess, Van Boven has also been linked to the murder of the UWC student and her grandfather, Chris Lategan, 85.

Van Boven has previous convictions for rape and drug-related cases. 

He was on parole for rape at the time of the alleged Hanover Park rape and has opted to not apply for bail.

Van Boven is accused of allegedly raping the 16-year-old girl in Hanover Park on Monday. Police spokesperson FC van Wyk said he was arrested in Struisbaai, near Hermanus, on Wednesday following a tip-off from the community. 

Van Wyk said the accused is also a person of interest in the murder investigation of Hess and Lategan, who were murdered in their Parow flat in August.

Van Boven was taken in for questioning after circumstantial ­evidence linked him to the crimes, Van Wyk said. 

According to Sandy Hess, the aunt of Jesse, Van Boven had allegedly tried to suffocate the Hanover Park teen, the Cape Times reported earlier this week. 

It is alleged the Hanover Park teenager was saved by her mother when she walked in and caught the suspect in the act. He fled and was last seen jumping into a taxi.

Commenting on the breakthrough in the case, Sandy said: “We are shocked and heartbroken. It is a bitter-sweet day for us. 

“The family is relieved that after three months of agony, there is a lead.

“We are also shocked because the suspect is my (relative), and we are a very close family that loves and supports each other. 

"Jesse grew up in front of him, they would meet at all the special occasions and family celebrations."

She said the family had not had any sign of Van Boven for some time as he didn’t attend Jesse’s funeral or 19th birthday commemoration last month.

Jesse was found dead on her bed, while Lategan was found tied up and gagged in the toilet of their one-bedroom flat.

A TV set, two cellphones and Jesse’s backpack were stolen from the house.

Weekend Argus