Bredas­dorp, mom mourn for Jo­dine

Girl’s body found in lime fac­tory

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

THE grim dis­cov­ery of 16-yearold Jo­dine Pi­eters’s re­mains has left her fam­ily and small com­mu­nity shaken and numb.

The Bredas­dorp teen’s charred re­mains were found on Sun­day evening at the P&B Lime Works fac­tory about 950m from her home.

Her “beau­ti­ful and an­gelic voice” is a mere mem­ory as her fam­ily deal with their grief.

Jo­dine was a mem­ber of a gospel band at her church and ac­cord­ing to her un­cle, Sarel Pi­eters, “she had a strong African voice, like Re­becca Ma­lope and all those gospel singers”.

“She knew all the Xhosa and Afrikaans gospel songs.”

Jo­dine was one of four chil­dren and lived with her sin­gle mother in their mod­est home op­po­site a crèche and play park.

The park is where her mother last saw the daugh­ter she de­scribed as a “sweet, lov­ing per­son who is pas­sion­ate about singing”.

“She said she would be back soon. I still can­not be­lieve she is gone; it is as if she will ap­pear and say ‘I’m back’. I feel like it’s a bad dream,” said the dis­traught mother.

When Week­end Ar­gus vis­ited the fam­ily ear­lier this week, the teen’s mother, Sam- ASANDA SOKANYILE an­tha Pi­eters, 37, ap­peared tired and weak. She had just re­turned from the crime scene where her daugh­ter had been found.

Tears welled in Pi­eters’ eyes as she spoke of her daugh­ter who had “dreams of one day be­com­ing a teacher”.

“She loved chil­dren and she knew she would one day work with them.”

Pi­eters said she bore no grudges against the two men held for the rape and grue­some mur­der.

“They are also just chil­dren. I can’t hold any grudges to­wards them, but if I were to be given time alone with them I would like them to tell me why. Why did they have to do this to my child?”

Ac­cord­ing to Pi­eters, the sus­pects are known to the fam­ily.

Fam­ily spokesper­son Gur­swin Prins said: “They raped her then hit her head with a heavy rock; her fam­ily could not recog­nise her.”

Prins con­firmed the only way Jo­dine’s fam­ily was able to de­ter­mine it was her body was “an old burn wound on her leg”.

“They tried to cover their ac­tions by burn­ing her. But that scar was still vis­i­ble.

“There was also no smoke in her lungs which shows that she was al­ready dead when they burnt her,” he said.

Prins said the po­lice found Jo­dine’s body on Sun­day be­fore her 14-year-old brother vis­ited the po­lice sta­tion to in­form them about his miss­ing sis­ter.

“When her brother told the po­lice she was miss­ing, that is when they made the con­nec­tion be­cause they had al­ready found the body,” he said.

Do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and sub­stance abuse is a prob­lem in the sleepy town.

Jo­dine is yet an­other vic­tim of the scourge. Last year Sul­nita “Nita” Manho, 23, was also found mur­dered.

It is al­most five years since 17- year- old Anene Booy­sen’s body was found just a few me­tres away from her home, a mere 300m away from where Jo­dine was found.

Jo­dine’s mur­der has sent shock waves through the small, tight-knit com­mu­nity, much as Anene and Manho’s deaths did. Anene died in hos­pi­tal hours af­ter she had been found. She had been raped and dis­em­bow­elled in Fe­bru­ary 2013.

The man ac­cused of her mur­der, Jo­hannes Kana, was given two life sen­tences.

Fif­teen months later, the body of Anene’s bi­o­log­i­cal father, Klaasie Speel­man, was found on a rub­bish dump.

He had been stabbed to death.

Tiffany Wentzel, 17, a teen from the com­mu­nity, said she had known Jo­dine and had “al­ways seen her happy and smil­ing”.

She said the mur­der had scared her.

“Al­though I am not some­one who nor­mally goes out at night be­cause there are so many tik ad­dicts, I am scared of even walk­ing dur­ing the day,” she said.

“Be­fore Anene’s mur­der the only other mur­der of this na­ture was in 2000,” said Prins.

Other mur­ders in the town in­clude that of 15-year-old Elda Jaftha, who was killed by her 31-year-old Zim­bab­wean boyfriend Gift Si­bondo in 2015. He was found guilty of kid­nap­ping and rape.

In the same year, Kayde Wil­liams, 5, was also killed.

asanda.sokanyile@inl.co.za

PICTURES: HENK KRUGER/AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY (ANA)

Jo­dine Pi­eters’s, in­set, burnt body was found at a lime­stone fac­tory in Bredas­dorp on Sun­day evening. Two peo­ple were ar­rested and ap­peared in the Bredas­dorp mag­is­trates court on Thurs­day.

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