CAPE TOWN – The man accused of the rape and murder of 13-year-old Rene Roman has been forensically linked to the crime scene in Lavender Hill, it emerged in court papers on Monday.
A post-mortem concluded that the teenager had died from a blunt force injury to the head, according to a summary of facts document prepared for the Western Cape High Court.
The State intends prosecuting Andrew Plaatjies for rape and murder.
In the indictment, it referred to criminal provisions where the rape victim was under 16 years old and where life imprisonment was applicable.
Chrissandre Jacobs had asked her daughter Rene to run an errand on March 10. The teen left her home in St Agatha Street, Lavender Hill, and never returned home.
Her half-naked, decomposing body was discovered 11 days later in a house in the same street.
Her body was covered with a carpet when it was found. Her hands and feet had been tied.
Plaatjies was the boyfriend of the owner of the property and had lived there at the time.
‘You are going to rot’
The State said, in the summary, that he had made a statement to police and pointed out certain places.
Cries of “yes!” rang out in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court earlier on Monday when family, friends and supporters heard that Plaatjies’ case would be transferred to the high court.
The 50-year-old appeared via an audio-visual link from Pollsmoor Prison.
Tears of grief poured down Jacobs’ face as she looked at him on the screen.
Lavender Hill residents, some dressed in pink shirts, shook their heads at him.
Magistrate Goolam Bawa said Plaatjies would remain in custody until his next appearance on October 20.
Plaatjies thanked him.
Another woman responded to this in disbelief: “Hy se dankie. Jy gan vrot, my broer.” [He says thank you. You are going to rot, my brother].
‘We don’t want to wait another six months’
Lucinda Evans, founder of NPO Philisa Abafazi Bethu (Heal Our Women), offered her support to the teen’s family on Monday.
Evans said they would petition the High Court to speed up the pace of the case.
“We don’t want to wait another six months. We hope it will be done in two months.”
Sumaya Taliep, the metro task team convener for the Democratic Alliance Women’s Network (DAWN) in Cape Town, was elated that the matter had been referred to a court that could impose the maximum sentence.
She urged parents and guardians to keep an eye on their children’s whereabouts, and their friends.
“There have been cases lately where children have been kidnapped, and shot in front of their homes,” she said, adding that residents should look out for each other.
“We need to embrace the spirit of ‘It takes a village to raise a child’, ‘Our children matter’ and ‘Your child is my child’.”
PHOTO: Lucinda Evans (centre), founder of NPO Philisa Abafazi Bethu, with the mother and grandmother of slain Lavender Hill teen Rene Roman (Jenna Etheridge, News24)