Why is Meghan Cremer murder suspect at large?
The man’s identity, which is widely known in Western Cape law enforcement circles and has been shared on social media sites and WhatsApp, cannot be revealed until he has been formally charged.
The suspect is from Egoli informal settlement, close to the farm where Cremer lived, and is alleged to be a senior Six Bobs gang member with links to at least two of the three suspects arrested so far.
He is also alleged to run a Philippi car chop shop that is still operating.
“When youngsters from around here steal a car, this is the guy they sell it to,” said a source.
The fourth suspect’s involvement came to light when a law enforcement source sent Western Cape premier Alan Winde a screengrab from CCTV footage which allegedly showed him drawing money from Cremer’s bank account.
The still photo shows a grey-bearded man wearing a white peak cap and the timestamp shows him making a withdrawal a FNB ATM in Lake Road, Philippi, at 6.47am on Monday, August 5.
At 7.11pm that same evening, around 24 hours after Cremer went missing from Vaderlandsche Rietvlei Stables farm in Philippi where she lived and stabled her horses, Winde posted a CCTV grab of a suspect drawing money from Cremer’s account.
The photo was posted on a WhatsApp group called “Meghan missing” which was started by Cremer’s mother Gill.
The group included Winde, MEC for Community Safety Albert Fritz, the investigating Philippi detective, Cremer’s brother Paul, private detectives, individuals from the intelligence community and Cremer’s friends.
Along with the photo Winde asked: “Does anyone on this group recognise this man?”
“No,” responded Paul almost immediately, adding, “Where is this?” and “With Meghan’s card?”
“Yes,” replied Winde.
Confirming the post, Winde said he was added to the group by a friend of Cremer’s who asked him to assist.
Winde also posted the photo on the province’s internal community safety WhatsApp group in the hope of identifying the suspect.
“Later on, the group messages were saying ‘we know this guy, he’s one of these gangster types. He’s involved in gangs and drugs’. The police are on their way to arrest him now.”
Three days later on Thursday, hours after Meghan’s body was found buried in a Philippi sand mine, Winde said he received a message telling him that the fourth suspect was still on the run.
Attached to another photo of the fourth suspect wearing an EFF T-shirt from a source whom Winde cannot reveal, was a WhatsApp message warning him: “The enemy sits in our CPFs (Community Police Forums)’. What I don’t know is whether this suspect has CPF links,” said Winde, hinting that this may be why an arrest has not happened.
Winde said he wasn’t briefed any further on the murder investigation. “I just assumed that the guy on the screenshot was one of the suspects arrested. I didn’t pay any attention to the names of the suspects.”
He added it concerned him that the suspect had not been arrested.
“Why not? But everything around policing concerns me. We have a 3% conviction rate. We don’t get arrests and when we do we don’t get convictions, it is shocking.
Asked why the fourth suspect had not been arrested, SAPS spokesperson Noloyiso Rwexana said: “The case is still under investigation and all avenues are being looked into with no further arrests so far.”
Meanwhile, Philippi community members report that the fourth suspect is not on the run. “He’s not hiding. He’s lying low but he’s still around in Egoli where he is well known.”