Cape Town – Police have a solid case against a close teenage relative charged with the murder of Western Cape magistrate, Romay van Rooyen, says South African police minister, Bheki Cele.
Cele attended the first court appearance of Van Rooyen’s alleged killer at the Simons Town Magistrates Court on Thursday, September 29.
The 18-year-old was reportedly arrested at this home in Mitchells Plain where the deceased’s vehicle was later discovered following an investigation by the Hawks.
Cele revealed that Van Rooyen died of a lack of oxygen and that the Hawks had more than prima facie case against the accused though investigations are ongoing, reports News24.
“We believe that we have a very strong case,” the report quoted Cele as saying.
He said that there was a pointing out and “other things” linking the accused to the murder, the report said.
Earlier reports indicated that the accused was among mourners who attended the slain magistrate’s funeral at the Lentegeur New Apostolic church in Mitchells Plain on Saturday.
In a strange twist, the reports also revealed that the accused was Van Rooyen’s nephew who was a pallbearer at her funeral three days before his arrest.
[SOLID CASE] Police Minister Gen Bheki Cele tells journalists gathered outside the Simons Town magistrates court that @SAPoliceService have a solid case against the teenage suspect who is a close relative of the slain magistrate Romey Van Rooyen killed warlike this month. pic.twitter.com/Ek2PfZGyWe
— Lirandzu Themba (@LirandzuThemba) September 29, 2022
The state alleged that Cassidy Hartzenberg strangled Van Rooyen and then stole her vehicle and cash, reports TimesLIVE.
“The state is satisfied that the accused is linked to the murder and is in consultation with DPCI [Hawks] to consider bail proceedings. At this stage, the suspect’s bail profile is unknown, and it would be in the interests of justice to obtain all relevant information before a decision on bail is made. We are hopeful that this matter can be processed speedily through the courts and the outstanding investigation will be finalised quickly,” the report quoted Western Cape National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila.
The accused will remain in custody until his next court appearance on October 6.
Van Rooyen was found dead in her bedroom at her house in Red Roman Street, Marina da Gama on Saturday, September 10.
It was alleged that she was strangled and her vehicle was stolen and later found in Mitchells Plain.
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Compiled by Olwethu Mpeshe