Girl 11 - Raped - Murdered - Mutilated

The rape, murder and mutilation of an 11-year-old girl has rocked the Beaufort West community, with some residents saying they are living in fear.

The body of Warronie Daniels, 11, was found near a river on Saturday morning. Police spokesman captain David de Klerk said it appeared the girl had been raped and strangled, and that some of her toes were cut off.

A 37-year-old man from Hillside was arrested and appeared in the Beaufort West Magistrate's Court on Monday. He faces charges of rape and murder. The case was postponed to Monday.

Warronie lived with her grandmother Marie Pheiffer and uncle Leon Pheiffer in Hillside, a Beaufort West suburb.

Last Tuesday at about 7pm, she packed her school uniform in a backpack and said she was going to sleep at her aunt's house a few blocks from her home.

Leon said he told Warronie it was too late for her to go anywhere.

But the girl insisted, and left her tiny one-bedroom home soon afterwards. It was the last time her family saw her alive.

On Thursday, when the Grade 6 pupil still hadn't come home, Leon started looking for her. He went to her aunt's home, but was told that she never arrived.

"Then I knew something was wrong," Leon said.

He said her teacher confirmed that she had not been to school all week.

At the weekend, Leon had the grim task of identifying her body.

"I wasn't sure if it was her, because her face didn't look too good. I felt very sad seeing her like that," Leon said.

Warronie had lived with her grandmother and uncle since she was one year old. "It's so quiet without her. We are very hurt by what happened," Marie said.

Dianne Diedericks, a neighbour, said the murder had rattled the community.

"We all used to trust each other. But we're scared because we don't know what could happen. Now we need to protect our children."

Eugene Bastian, principal at St Matthews Primary where Warronie went to school, said her classmates were being brave, and would receive counselling.

Her desk at the front of the class was empty on Tuesday morning. Her classmates described her as a quiet girl who loved reading. They said they would never forget her. They said the incident had frightened them, and taught them to be extra careful with strangers.

Euna Wentzel, a child support co-ordinator for children's rights organisation Molo Songololo, said Warronie's case was part of a bigger child safety issue in Beaufort West.

She said harsher sentences should be imposed on offenders, and added that bail should not be granted to those who committed violent crimes.

This article was originally published on page 1 of The Cape Argus on February 16, 2010

Report ID: 153
Crime Category: Rape
Province: Western Cape
City/Town: Beaufort West
Suburb: Beaufort West
Address: Beaufort West community
Crime Date/Time: 13 Feb 2010, 00:02 AM
Reported By: Report A Crime
Reported Date: 17 Feb 2010, 15:02 PM
Related Link: View

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