Meghan Cremer’s mother Jill squeezed activist Venetia Orgill’s hand as the three men accused of being involved in her daughter’s kidnapping and murder appeared in the Athlone Magistrate’s Court on Monday
“I could feel her pain,” Orgill said after Gill and Meghan’s brother Paul left when the case was postponed. “It is unreal, what she felt within her.”
Jeremy Sias, Charles Daniels and Shiraaj Jaftha blew kisses, waved and exchanged pleasantries with their loved ones in the public gallery after proceedings were postponed to 30 March for further investigation.
Prosecutor Emily de Klerk told the court that DNA evidence was still outstanding, as the police laboratory was experiencing a backlog.
Femicide cases, however, were being prioritised, she assured Magistrate Keith le Keur.
Appearing unimpressed with the two-month postponement, the three accused mumbled to each other as they made their way to the holding cells, with one loudly asking: “Hoeveel maande is ons nou al in? [How many months have we been in already?]”
Jaftha – together with Sias and Daniels – was initially charged with the possession of Cremer’s vehicle.
Sias is charged with murder and armed robbery, after the avid horse rider’s remains were found on a sand mine at a Philippi farm on 8 August.
His two co-accused are charged with car theft and defeating the ends of justice.
Sias is alleged to have pointed out where Cremer’s body could be found.
Her hands had been bound and she had a restraint around her neck. Her body was thought to have been there for some days, as it did not appear to have been freshly dumped, police sources told News24 at the time.
The Cremers were going through “unreal pain”, Orgill said outside the court gates.
“They don’t know how to feel, what to think, how to react. One thing the mother said was that there is absolutely no remorse in those three people that appeared this morning,” she said.
“The one just walked off before the magistrate was even done.”
Daily, the press covers stories of crimes being committed, Orgill pointed out.
“And every day the courts are filled with murderers, with rapists. But then we must still say ‘allegedly’. What a darn word. Allegedly. And yet our children and our women are hurting.”
She criticised how long the DNA testing process was taking, saying it was not right to put families through the pain of attending court proceedings every time.
“These people don’t come from around the corner. They come from Knysna. Who’s paying their bills? Who’s paying for the prisoners in our prisons? Our tax money.”
Orgill called for urgent government intervention and for President Cyril Ramaphosa to take action regarding violence against women and children.
“It is not fair, the heartache one feels while sitting in court. And then mothers must control their tears, their emotions.
“It’s really not fair to us as mothers, what’s happening to our children.”