Dozens of people packed the public gallery of courtroom six at Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Friday March 18 for the court appearance of the four men charged with the murder of teenager Franziska Blöchliger.
The 16-year-old Muizenberg teen was brutally raped and killed in Tokai Park on Monday March 7.
She had been running with her mother Shireen, sister Sophia and their dog, when she decided to run ahead of them in another direction, but was going to meet up with them afterwards.
When there was no sign of her after about 20 minutes, her mot- her, began searching for her.
After calling her husband, Florian, and carrying out another search, they called out a search party and her body was found about 150 metres from where her mother and sister had been waiting.
The day following the murder her cellphone was found in Westlake Village and the person in whose possession it was, was arrested.
This led to a further three men being arrested. Standing in the dock the men, aged between 21 and 32, did not speak but stared blankly at the magistrate.
Three of the four men were charged with rape and murder with aggravating circumstances.
Prosecutor Kepler Uys told the court the accused are charged with Schedule 5 offences and the State will oppose bail.
Mr Uys told the court that accused number four, who was earlier only charged with robbery, cannot be excluded from the rape and murder of the teenager.
He now faces the same charges as his co-accused.
Five minutes later, as they were led back to the holding cells, and insults were hurled at them by those in the courtroom, many from Westlake Village; one of them the wife of one of the men, left immediately afterwards.
“We don’t want them at Pollsmoor,” said Alicia van Schalkwyk. “One of the boys’ father is a warden there and so it won’t be like prison for them.”
“These men grew up in front of us, we saw them every day, we don’t want them in the community,” said Anthea Thebus. Franziska’s funeral service took place on Friday March 11, at St Martini Church in Long Street.
Kirstenhof police station commander, Lieutenant Colonel June Cilliers said since the incident they have beefed up policing in the area where Franziska was murdered, with reservists and crime watches.
The men will appear on a formal bail application at Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday April 5.
According to Florian Blöchliger’s Facebook page, the family have left South Africa for a short while and hope to find some inner peace.