The man accused of shooting dead a Cape Town mom waiting for her cab to take her home has had numerous run-ins with the law over the past decade, mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said on Monday
Fernando Isaacs made his first appearance in the Bishop Lavis Magistrate’s Court, where the case against him was postponed to 30 November for a bail application, and for him to obtain a legal aid attorney.
He is charged with the murder of Lauren Dryden, a mother of two, who was robbed and murdered while waiting for an e-hailing service to pick her up outside her workplace in Kinghall Avenue, Epping, early on Friday morning.
She had worked the night shift and had requested a cab to drive her to her Bonteheuwel home when she was robbed and shot.
Outside the court on Monday, locals gathered and demanded justice for Dryden.
Smith addressed the crowd, saying that the suspect has been in-and-out of jail for the past 10 years.
“The system is failing,” Smith told residents, pointing out that the province had a gang conviction rate of only 3%.
Those mulling around the court entrance questioned why Dryden had been shot as she had reportedly already been robbed when the shot that killed her was fired.
“Hoekom haar vermoor? Hy het gekry wat hy wou gehad het, die vark,” one man said.
Furious ward councillor Angus McKenzie criticised the authorities and the justice system, saying repeat offenders should be in jail, not on the streets.
“What happened on Friday was unnecessary. If this court building behind me and the police station down the road had done their work, we would [not] have this mess we are facing now.”
He continued: “She was a woman who worked [the] whole night for her family, who had wanted to go home to her children.”
McKenzie said he had met Dryden the day before her murder, when he had assisted her as part of a Covid-19 relief programme.
He has been in touch with her family, who were heartbroken by her murder, he said.
Dryden had been killed for only a cellphone, an enraged McKenzie said.
“This individual has been arrested on numerous other occasions… he has found himself falling through the cracks of a broken criminal justice system. That must come to an end.”
The National Prosecuting Authority has been unavailable for comment to confirm claims that Isaacs had previously had run-ins with the law. Comment will be added once received.
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