“Police played quick, we are happy he is arrested,” a community member said.
The bodies of Octavia de Bruin, 24, and her two-year-old daughter, Cleo, were found in the bushes between Protea Park and Witsand informal settlements on Tuesday morning.
The bodies were found with their heads buried in the sand.
Octavia was lying on her back, while little Cleo was found on her stomach about one metre away from her mother.
Octavia’s mother, Lena, said she recognised her daughter by the clothes she had been wearing.
The two were last seen on Saturday when Octavia left her home in Protea Park to have her hair plaited at her friend’s place in Witsand.
A witness at the scene said it seems Octavia’s face was burnt and Cleo’s throat was slit.
Atlantis Ward Councillor Barbara Rass urged authorities to intervene in the recent spate of child killings: “It is a crisis and needs to be addressed at the highest level.”
Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel André Traut confirmed the arrest.
“The extensive manhunt by detectives responsible for investigating the brutal murder of a young mother (23) and her two year old daughter on Tuesday in Atlantis came to an end when the 35 year old suspect was arrested in Bellville this evening. Once charged, he is due to make a court appearance in Atlantis on two charges of murder, ” Traut says.
“We will fight crimes against women and children with all our resources and will pursue every avenue to ensure that criminal face their day in court.”