Community remembers René-Tracy

Philisa Abafazi Bethu volunteers are pictured with members of the Rotary Club of Newlands and Powafix staff.

A memorial service to mark one year since the killing of St Montague Village teenager, René-Tracy Roman was held on Saturday March 10 at Levana Primary School where she had been a pupil.

NPO Philisa Abafazi Bethu brought together community members, family and friends to remember the life of the 13-year-old whose decomposed body was found on a property just two doors down from her own home on March 21, which was also Human Rights Day.

René had been missing since March 10. Andrew Plaatjies WAS arrested for her murder.

Community activist and founder of Philisa Abafazi Bethu, Lucinda Evans warmed everyone up by getting them to “follow the leader” and form a human train.

However, sadness filled the air when the programme officially started, with tribute being paid to René’s life, through song and dance.

The Alcardo Andrews Foundation mothers and youth members put on separate dances to songs of encouragement, including Whitney Houston’s I didn’t know my own strength.

Levana Primary dancers, who had all been in Rene’s class last year, also performed an item and many of them left the stage with teary eyes.

Actress Euodia Samson shared words of encouragement with those in attendance.

“Today I pay respects to the Roman family and for all the mothers who have lost their children. I have no idea or not even a frame of reference of what you guys have been through.”

Local R&B singer KC performed a song about children going missing and being killed and René’s family gathered in front of the stage, remembering not only Rene but all the children who had lost their lives.

Donations came in from near and far and Newlands Rotary Club handed out pink boxes filled with luxuries to every child seated in the hall.

Powafix, a DIY company, donated 2 000 five-litre bottles of water from their Kwazulu-Natal branch to primary schools in Lavender Hill including Levana
Primary, Hillwood Primary and Prince George Primary whose principals were there to receive the donation.

Greg Philander, a volunteer at Philisa Abafazi Bethu and programme director, said: “I am amazed at the support and networking mechanisms happening here today.”

The programme ended off with some more dancing, the children receiving their party boxes and cake and tea being served.