South Africa

Cape residents to march after alleged rape, brutal death of young mother

Cape residents to march after alleged rape, brutal death of young mother

Cape Town – "May your soul R.I.P. old school friend of mine. My heart goes out to your family and friends and your son. Prayers to the family.

"So true, your smile did always light up the classroom. Caring, sweet, loving and a family person, may your son grow up to know that you were loved by many and will be missed by many."

This was one of the messages of condolence posted on the 30-year-old Anthea Thopps' Facebook page by Pearl de Vries.

The harsh reality of gangs and drugs is not only restricted to cities. Beaufort West, with a population of just more than 53 000, has reportedly also become "infested with gangs and drug dealers" and is still reeling from the brutal death of 14-year-old Lekiesha Wildschut. 

Lekiesha's uncle Jossie, 35, told the Daily Voice the Grade 8 pupil left her home last month to go to the shop and never returned.

“They found her in the building, her whole face was hit in and they even kicked her teeth in,” he said.

“They found semen so we believe that she was raped. We can’t believe that she was killed so brutally."

Two months ago, Thopps, the mother of a 3-year-old boy, Shaye, had moved into her deceased aunt's home. On Sunday morning, Netwerk24 reported, neighbours informed Thopps' mother, Miriam, that it appeared there had been a break-in at her home.

Her mother went to investigate and discovered the half-naked body of her second oldest daughter, wearing only a T-shirt. According to a source, her hands were tied and she might have been raped and strangled with a shoelace.

A man, who was allegedly arrested close to her home with her cellphone, was taken in for questioning, the source said.  

"Beaufort West police opened a murder docket for further investigation following the death of a 30-year-old Anthea Thopps.

"Preliminary investigation reveals that the body of the deceased was found by her mom on 21 July, 2019, at about 12:30 at her place of residence at Renier Street, Rustdene, Beaufort West. 

"She was last seen alive at about 00:20 that same morning," said police spokesperson Captain Malcolm Pojie.

"Police members responded to the scene and discovered her half-naked body in her home. It was evident that she could have been strangled. 

"The possibility that she was raped is also being investigated, but cannot be confirmed until an autopsy has been performed on the body. 

"The autopsy is scheduled to be performed today to determine the possible cause of death. 

"Forensic experts combed the scene for clues which will be analysed. Our body liquid detection dog from our K-9 was also dispatched to the crime scene.

"We are searching for the victim’s cellphone and tablet that is regarded as being missing. No arrests have been made yet, although people of interest had been interrogated."

A report by www.colouredsa.co.za said "everybody that knew her, describes the 30-year-old Anthea Thopps as having a sparkling personality". 

It also stated that "Beaufort West has been described by its residents as having become increasingly infested with gangs and drug dealers over the last few years. They have had enough and are calling for a march on Friday".

The organiser of the march, Brian Jooste, said on his Facebook page that he has received approval from the municipality for the march. 

Two days before her death, Thopps had shared a post from Jennelee Snyders on her Facebook page. The graphic had the words: "Al dood ek sonder 'n kar, weet ek, ek sal nie begraafplaas toe stap nie (even if I die without a car, I know I won't walk to the graveyard)."

Martha van Niekerk posted on Thopps' Facebook page: "Farewell my angel... till we meet again. My heart is broken, scattered... don't have words. 

"But u know I have loved u with an unconditional love. May your precious soul rest in peace and rise in glory."