CAPE TOWN – The mother of murdered Lavender Hill teenager Rene-Tracy Roman is pregnant and neighbours are concerned that the heartbreak of her daughter’s death may affect her health. Rene, 13, was found 11 days after she was reported missing.
Her body, which was wrapped in a carpet, was found on Tuesday in a shed of a neighbour’s house 10 metres away from her home. It was confirmed on Thursday that the body was Rene’s.
Suspect Andrew Plaatjies, 50, appeared in court on Wednesday and will appear again on April 4 at the Wynberg Magistrates Court.
Lavender Hill Community Policing Forum leader Lucinda Evans, who has been close to the family over the past two weeks, said community leaders are concerned that the emotional stress of Rene’s death will have an impact on Chrissandre Jacobs’s pregnancy.
Evans confirmed that Jacobs is in her first trimester. “From many leaders in the area we really want to protect her because she is very vulnerable at this time,” she said.
On Saturday, at the opening of the Levana Primary School hall, where Rene was a Grade 6 pupil, a memorial service was held. Although Evans never met Rene, she heard that she was well behaved.
“She was a bit of a loner and only had a few friends, but she was a very obedient child. She wasn’t a child that walked around,” she said.
Evans added that teachers at Levana Primary said Rene was a wonderful child.
She also believes that there is a stigma that when children go missing on the Cape Flats, they are runaways. But, according to Evans, this was not the case with Rene as she always told her mother where she was going.
“We are looking for professionals who will be able to teach us the basics (of) search and rescue, first aid and counselling skills. As a community, we want to be prepared that when something like this happens we know where to start and what to do,” she said.
“We would like to set up our own joint operations command points so that we react in the golden hour when a child goes missing.”
Evans said another memorial for Rene is planned for Thursday at Levana Primary, and during the day she plans on having her first meeting for a community search and rescue initiative.
– Weekend Argus/Independent Online
PHOTO ABOVE: Mom Chrissandre Jacobs and stepdad Mervyn speak to Independent Media during the hunt for Rene-Tracy Roman. File picture: Bertram Malgas/Daily Voice