A group protecting the rights of crime victims in Mitchell’s Plain says it is worried vital evidence may have been tampered with or destroyed at the crime scene where the body of 6-year-old Stacey Adams was found.
Stacey was reported missing on Sunday June 24 at 4.30pm.
Police investigating the child’s disappearance arrested a 25-year-old man from De La Rey Street after her body was found buried next to his wendy house, just across the road from where she lived with her grandmother, later that same day.
The reaction from the community was swift and furious – angry residents petrol-bombed the suspect’s sister’s home moments after the grim discovery.
The following day, they tore down the wendy house, where Stacey was allegedly murdered, after a bloody panga was found underneath it.
The Mitchell’s Plain Crisis Forum’s spokesman Faizel Brown told the Plainsman at the house in De La Rey Crescent on Tuesday June 26, that the police investigation was not complete and evidence was needed to ensure the perpetrator was prosecuted.
“We had members on the scene on Sunday to protect the scene, but it was extremely difficult because the community was upset and the situation volatile,” he said.
Mr Brown said in their experience the police needed time to investigate and the scene would have to be revisited.
The Plainsman was at the scene on Monday June 25, moments after Police Minister Bheki Cele visited Stacey’s family, along with Finance MEC Ivan Meyer and Social Development MEC Albert Fritz. The community booed them out of the area.
A foam mattress that appeared to be stained with blood, along with clothes and blankets, was on the ground next to the hole where Stacey’s body had been found the day before. Residents were also standing near the grave, some were in it, on the other side of the police crime scene tape.
A man pulled his bakkie in front of the property to prevent people from walking on the crime scene.
Yesterday, Tuesday June 26, when the Plainsman was again on the scene, the grave appeared to have been dug deeper. The crime scene tape had also been torn and was blowing in the wind.
The Mitchell’s Plain Crisis Forum is due to hold a march today, Wednesday June 27, from Stacey’s house to Mitchell’s Plain Magistrate’s Court, where the man accused of killing her is set to appear.
Pastor Denice Deelman, police liaison officer for the forum, said they would also hold a prayer meeting.
“Ons verstaan die gemeenskap is moeg, siek en gatvol van die gebeurtenis maar hulle moet ook weet dat justice must run its course,” she said.
Ms Deelman said she had done a course on protecting crime scenes and that evidence was crucial in bringing the perpetrator to book.
The Plainsman asked Mitchell’s Plain police whether the crime scene was still “active” to which police spokesman Captain Ian Williams said they were awaiting test results and would only confirm later.
Social workers have been counselling the family.
Stacey’s mother and grandmother were not home yesterday morning as they had gone to collect her body at the mortuary.
She was due to buried according to Muslim rites yesterday afternoon.
Solomon Philander, councillor for Ward 79, confirmed that the property on which the house was set alight, and where the wendy house was, is City owned.
He said the damaged property and was assessed and the City would be helping the family find alternate accommodaton.