Cops were called out to guard the house of a man suspected of raping and killing 11-year-old Stasha Arendse of Mitchells Plain, after an angry mob tried to burn the structure down.
Police opened fire with rubber bullets in a bid to disperse the 300-strong mob outside suspect Randy Tango’s home in Matroosberg Street, Tafelsig, yesterday.
Hours before, about 2 000 residents and children from 10 educare centres marched peacefully through the streets calling for justice for Stasha.
The Tafelsig Primary School pupil went missing on Monday just after noon while watching movies at a friend’s home in Matroosberg Street.
On Tuesday, just after 2am, Stasha’s naked body was found on the nearby soccer field at Swartklip Centre.
Cops have charged Tango, 31, for murder and he is appearing in the Mitchells Plain Magistrate’s Court today.
Police sources revealed Tango had been released on parole six months ago after being convicted of rape.
Another suspect was taken into custody for questioning.
Police spokesperson, Captain Lance Goliath, says frantic Tango family members called them for assistance after hundreds of people converged on the house at about 3pm.
“About 300 people tried to burn down the house, but they didn’t succeed,” Goliath says.
“The mother and another relative of the suspect still lives there and we had police groupings in the area.
“People also tried to stone the house, but cops responded with rubber bullets.
“There were no injuries. Police are now guarding the house.”
Tango’s mother, who identified herself as Vivienne Tango, told Daily Voice her son is innocent.
“My son isn’t a rapist. The people are standing in front of my door calling him a rapist. He is innocent until proven guilty.”
Meanwhile, the family of a minor witness who gave cops vital information leading to the arrest of Tango, says the boy is now being treated like a villain instead of the hero that he is.
Major-General Gregory Goss, the Cluster Commander at Mitchells Plain and Lentegeur Police Station, revealed a child had been used to lure Stasha out of the house under the pretence her mother had been calling her.
The frantic mother says her 13-year-old son was the boy used to call Stasha.
She says her son, who is mentally handicapped, was overjoyed when cops arrested the suspect: “My son was the one who led police to her killers. If my son didn’t remember that finer detail, police would never have come out by the suspects.”
She was “in shock” when Stasha’s relatives came to question her son, asking him “how far did he lead the killer, did he he take her around there or here”.
“My son is mentally handicapped and attends a special school. I thought they knew my son was the one who informed police who the killers were.
“I was proud of my son but not anymore, that is why people keep quiet about murders because look how it is changing now.
“He was so happy, he was the star and now the star is falling; he is cross and angry.
“I asked my son where did he last see Stasha, and he said it was when Randy called him and said he must go and call Stasha because her mother is calling her.”
Ursula Peters, 38, the principal of Mini Footsteps kindergarten, who arranged the march yesterday morning, says they have given up on government.
“We are not calling on Parliament, but we are calling on God’s intervention,” she says.
“This is a Godly march, we are asking God to perform miracles because as mothers we say enough is enough.”
The march ended at a field along AZ Berman Drive where a service was hosted by Orion Church International.