There is still no peace for the family and friends of 16-year-old Franziska Blöchliger with the trial of the men linked to her rape and murder once again postponed.
Proceedings were held up until about 10.30am yesterday, Wednesday November 23 because a magistrate could not be found to hear the court roll. Magistrate Momina Ismail then heard cases of petty crime and a bail application for the next 45 minutes. By this time, the court was packed with people interested in the case, including people wearing T-shirts emblazoned with “I am taking action to prevent violence against women”.
Staff from Pollsmoor, detectives, court clerks, an interpreter and attorneys waited from the early morning for the Blöchliger case. It was moved to court four and heard by another magistrate and within five minutes it was over.
Defence attorney Monique Carstens, representing accused Howard Oliver, and another attorney approached the bench to set another date for the trial.
The court erupted with several people making loud outbursts criticising the justice system.
As reporters surrounded Ms Carstens she said Daniel Easter and Jerome Moses would have pleaded guilty to being in possession of stolen property (“Accused reject plea offer”, Bulletin, October 20). Mr Oliver and Jonathan Jonas are charged with murder, robbery and four charges of rape.
Wearing a white shirt, heavy silver neck chain and leg irons, Mr Moses abandoned his bail application. He, Mr Easter and Mr Oliver will return to court on Tuesday December 6. Mr Oliver will apply for bail on the day.
Mr Jonas bail conditions were relaxed for eight weeks while he undergoes rehabilitation. Mr Easter remains out on bail.
Franziska disappeared in Tokai Park on Monday March 7 (“Franziska remembered,” Bulletin, March 10). She had separated from her family during the early afternoon and was to meet up with them again. When she did not arrive, a frantic search ensued. Her body was found 30 minutes later, close to where her mother and sister were waiting.
She was robbed, raped and ligature marks on her neck indicated that she had been throttled.