The body of a Mitchells Plain girl has been found a day after she went missing.

The girl, 11-year-old Stacha Arendse, from Tafelsig, went missing on Monday afternoon.

Her body was found on Tuesday morning behind the Swartklip Centre in the area and has left her family devastated. The Grade 7 Tafelsig Primary pupil was last seen wearing black tights and a long black and grey stripe dress with slits on the sides.

She told her mother she was going to watch a movie at her friend’s house. The friend thought she went home because she went out and never came back, said a neighbour.

A source who refused to be named said: “We believe the girl was murdered by someone she knew as she was a reserved girl who had few friends and didn’t play on the street. Her grandmother would take her to school, she would never walk or talk with someone she didn’t know. We live in fear now we will not let our children play in the streets until someone is arrested. This is the first time we are experiencing this in our streets. No words can describe how we really feel, we want justice for her.”

She said they found her body in an awkward position and still warm. She believes the killer was among them listening to their next plan. She said they searched the field three times and there was no body. On a fourth search they found her.

The chairperson of the Mitchells Plain Community Policing Forum, Abie Isaac, said they immediately mobilised the Child Rapid Response Unit (CRRU) to help search for Stacha.

“We immediately activated the CRRU when we heard about the missing girl, with high hopes that we would find the her. We searched every area with the help of police and community members. Our main priority as the Mitchells Plain Police Forum is to protect the vulnerable which is the women, youth, children and people with disabilities. It was unfortunate that we found the girl dead. We are urging the community to work with police to bring the suspect in and not to take matters into their own hands,” Isaac said.

Many disturbed residents voiced their opinions on Facebook.

Glynis Phillips said: “We, the people, have so much power!! We just don’t realise how powerful we are! It’s just that our community is not a community that stands together.

We are divided when it comes to taking back our streets. How many innocent people must die before we say enough is enough? I’m not trying to be insensitive and ALL LIVES MATTER. We should stop feeling sorry for ourselves and do something, we are a force to be reckoned with. #WeShallOvercome”.

Police spokesperson Noloyiso Rwexana said a case of murder has been opened.

“An 11-year-old girl was reported missing on 27 March 2017 at 19:35 and a search was conducted. Her body was found this morning about 02:10 in a bushy area behind Swartklip Centre, Mitchells Plain.

“No one has been arrested at this stage. Circumstances surrounding this incident are under investigation.

“We appeal to the community that anyone with information who can assist with the investigation is to contact Constable Ashley Donough on 0827778016 or CrimeStop on 0860010111.”


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PHOTO; The body of Stacha Arends was found in a field in Swartklip Road, Mitchells Plain. Picture: Leon Knipe


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