The Lotus River community is in shock after the body of a woman was found in a shallow grave in Olympus Avenue on Sunday April 2.
The body is believed to be that of mother of two Abenise Bowes who went missing on Thursday March 30. It was found on a field right behind her home.
This follows the killings of 13-year-old Rene-Tracey Roman of St Montague Village, who was found dead in a neighbour’s wendy house on Human Rights Day, and 11-year-old Stacha Arendse of Tafelsig, Mitchell’s Plain, whose body was found on a soccer field near Swartklip Centre last Thursday.
Community activists are outraged and want answers from police about the spike in violence against women and children.
Ameer Titus from the Duiker Road Neighbourhood Watch said one of their members found the body.
“We were asked by Grassy Park police to assist with the investigation into a missing woman in the area. We got the brief Sunday morning and started looking and half an hour into the search one of the neighbourhood watch members saw a spot on the field where the sand was disturbed,” said Mr Titus.
The team inspected the ground and started digging, seeing a foot. When they dug a bit more they saw the woman’s legs and police dug further into the hole that was about 1.2 meters deep.
“We are very sad and our hearts are sore as a community because that could have been any one of our daughters. We as a community have failed her but in future my wish is that we can protect the vulnerable, especially women and children,” said Mr Titus.
“I also hope the person who killed her is arrested and that justice will prevail because many times these criminals literally get away with murder,” he said.
He further encouraged communities to work together with police to protect women and children.
“It’s time for the community to take back our streets. We must start looking out for each other and not just look to police to protect us. We should also protect each other,” said Mr Titus.
A neighbour, who wished to remain anonymous, said Abenise was a friendly person who always greeted when she walked past.
“She was lovely and always walked past when she took her children to school. It is sad that she died the way she did,” he said.
Friends posted their condolences on Facebook.
Carmen Galant said; “I am lost for words, one of the most beautiful, generous and loving souls. A person who could put a smile on your face by just smiling at you. A mother who lived for her children.”
Adri Adams said: “My dearest friend, all I want is to see you for one last time… I’m going to miss your bubbliness, your friendly gentleness. I pray for your children and family who have suffered a great loss.”
Grassy Park police Constable Carol Strauss confirmed a body was found but not that is was Abenise.
She said police were working with 20 members of different neighbourhood watches to look for Abenise when one of them pointed out that the soil on part of the field looked like it had been dug up.
“This raised suspicion. After they started digging for about a half a meter down they discovered a right foot covered in a sock,”said Constable Strauss.
She said the body had no visible injuries and no arrested have been made.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stop at
08600 10111, Sergeant Noordien on 078 353 2922 or Grassy Park police on 021 700 3900. All information will be treated as highly confidential.