In contrast to the chaos that engulfed the community in Kuyga on Wednesday when three murder suspects were arrested, the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court was quiet yesterday during the suspects’ brief appearance there.
Benedieta van Wyk, 31, Lionel Swartz, 30, and his younger brother Heinrich Swartz, 28, were arrested in connection with the murder of Stacey-Lee Terblanche, 14.
Her body was found in a stream near her parents’ home in Kuyga, on the outskirts of Port Elizabeth, with a bullet wound to the head. She was last seen alive on Tuesday evening, playing with friends at a rubbish tip.
Officers, armed with guns with rubber bullets and stun grenades, were deployed when hundreds of angry residents threatened to kill the suspects after the girl’s body was found early on Wednesday morning.
Community members believed she had been raped but police could not confirm this as the results from a post-mortem were not known.
A protest at court was expected but did not materialise when the three appeared before magistrate Jan van der Westhuizen. The case was postponed to next week for a bail application.
– Riaan Marais