The shocking murder of a young girl in Hermanus has triggered a wave of xenophobic attacks in the area after the police arrested a foreign national in connection with the crime.
The residents of the dorp were filled with anger and demanded justice for the gruesome discovery of the girl’s body, which was found in a plastic bag on Tuesday morning. The unidentified girl, believed to be around 14 years old, was discovered by a passer-by.
Following the discovery, Overstrand Deputy Mayor Lindile Ntsabo activated the police and ambulances. It was later revealed that the girl had been raped, leading to further outrage among the community.
The police, utilizing CCTV cameras, identified a suspect whose vehicle was in the vicinity of the crime scene. He was taken in for questioning to establish his involvement in the crime.
In the evening, a group of young people gathered in front of the suspect’s rented house and set it on fire. They also demanded that the police release the suspect to them, but Deputy Mayor Ntsabo explained that the law does not permit such actions.
Upon arrival in Zwelihle, the Cape Argus witnessed residents congregating around a police van, listening to Deputy Mayor Ntsabo. However, the situation escalated as residents began burning tires and marching through the township in protest.
According to Khuthala Mgwebi, a resident, there is strong suspicion that the girl was raped and mutilated by a foreigner, specifically a Malawian man.
The anger among residents was fueled by the fact that the suspect had been at the crime scene and had inquired about the presence of surveillance cameras.
The Hermanus SAPS registered a murder case and the investigation is ongoing. A male suspect has been taken in for questioning. Police spokesperson Wesley Twigg confirmed that the incident is subject to a thorough police investigation.
Authorities are urging anyone with information to come forward and assist in the investigation. Anonymous tips can be provided by contacting Crime Stop on 08600 10111.