‘A waste of human life sucked up’

Trevor Oosterwyk.

Apartheid stalwart Trevor Oosterwyk whose son’s charred body was found with a bullet wound in the head along Baden Powell Drive, between Tafelsig and Strandfontein, has called on fellow parents to meet and discuss interventions to help youth fight substance abuse.

“It is a waste of a whole generation,” he said.

Ashley, who would have been 30 next month, disappeared a week before his birthday last year, from the Grassy Park home he shared with his mother.

She filed a missing person’s report and in August last year, she was asked for a DNA sample.

Ashley, also known as Ashraf, will be buried according to Islamic rites.

Speaking to the Plainsman yesterday, Tuesday January 9, days after police confirmed his son’s identity, with a DNA sample, Mr Ooserwyk said: “We as parents, my generation of parents, who were involved in politics and mass movements, must come together to talk about interventions. We cannot sit on the sidelines and see this carnage continue.”

While he did not want to preach and be labelled a hypocrite because he had remained silent about his son’s battle with substance abuse, since the age of 16, he said it was unbearably painful to lose a child in this manner.

Mr Oosterwyk said they had “decided to throw money at the problem and that did not work”.

“It is a waste of human life sucked up in this scourge and we should call on the authorities to deal with this matter decisively, regarding drugs and violent deaths on the Cape Flats,” he said.

He called on the police to seriously and speedily investigate his son’s murder.

Having taught at Mitchell’s Plain Primary School, Glendale and Rocklands High Schools for about a decade, Mr Oosterwyk pleaded with youth to consider alternatives to drugs.

“Life is so much better that way,” he said.

He thanked family and friends for their calls and messages of sympathy.

Ashley, who was the second eldest, is survived by three siblings and his parents. He will be buried at 10am on Friday January 12 at Masjid as-Sabr, corner of Blackbird Avenue and Hoosain Parker Street Parkwood Estate.