Call for justice for Rene-Tracey

Grandmother Maureen de Villiers; stepfather Mervyn Jacobs, and mother Chrissandrre Jacobs holding a picture of their daughter Rene-Tracey.

The man accused of killing 13-year old St Montague Village resident Rene-Tracey Roman has opted not to apply for bail.

Andrew Plaatjies appeared at Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday April 25 where he abandoned his bail hearing to the delight of dozens of people who picketed outside court.

Several organisations and people made their way to the court on Tuesday morning, where they chanted “no bail for child killers”, “two life sentences without parole for Andrew Plaatjies”.

Lucinda Evans from women and children’s rights organisation Philsa Abafazi Bethu said bail should not be afforded to the 50 year-old man who was arrested for Rene-Tracey’s killing after her partially decomposed body was found on Human Right’s Day in a wendy house in the backyard of the house he lived in with his partner.

Rene-Tracey’s half naked body was found wrapped in a carpet . Her arms and legs were bound. She was found 11 days after going missing on March 10.

Mr Plaatjies fled to Stellenbosch but was arrested soon afterwards.

Ms Evans demanded that there be a speedy court process and that the killer be handed two life sentences.

Joanie Fredericks from the Mitchell’s Plain Crisis Forum said they attended the court proceeding and picket to support the family of Rene-Tracey.

The forum was formed as a direct response to the brutal murder of Stacha Arends in Tafelsig a week after Rene-Tracey was found.

“We started it to make sure that no other child is mutilated like the two girls and that no other child fall victim to sexual predators.

“We stand in unity. Although we are from two different communities we stand in unity for these two girls but also for the many other missing children whose cases have gone unsolved. We are committed to support any case that involves missing children because we also want answers about all those cases over the years that have gone cold,” said Ms Fredericks.

Resident Cheryl Damon attended the picket and said she would attend every hearing.

“We are a community united. Rene’s death brought us closer as a community and we want justice for the young life that was ripped away. I will attend every hearing because I want to show my support to the family because now we have to take up the call that ‘your child is my child’,”said Ms Damon.

Ms Evans has since started the Rene Roman Search and Rescue Service to help families find missing children and plans to partner with schools and after-care programmes.

The case has been postponed to Friday June 23.