Cape Town – Women residents of Hanover Park gathered at the Athlone Magistrate’s Court on Thursday to show their outrage over the killing of 17-year-old Jehaan Petersen.
Jehaan’s remains were discovered in an open field along Greenturf Road on Sunday, September 11, with open wounds to her head and body.
Her family said they last saw her the previous Thursday, but they became concerned after they received information that she had been killed and her body dumped.
George Titus was set to appear on Friday last week, but missed his day in court after he was attacked by residents of Kalksteenfontein before he was arrested and then hospitalised.
He made his first appearance in court yesterday. He is short in height, wearing a blue overalls jacket, with multiple stitches across his scalp – after undergoing surgery for his injuries.
Titus has been charged with one count of murder as the State alleged that he was seen on the field with Jehaan on September 10. He allegedly assaulted Jehaan by hitting her with a large stone. She was still alive when a second blow to the face struck her while she was still down.
At this stage, the State indicated that a witness was present when the incident occurred. The State is opposing Titus’s release on bail, and he will return to court on October 3 for a Legal Aid lawyer to come on record, and to bring a formal bail application.
As Titus left the dock to go back to the holding cell, residents heckled him in Afrikaans, shouting “no bail”, “your man is waiting for you”, and “eat that thing downstairs”.
Outside court, Jehaan’s guardian, Tasneem Losper, said: “I was very heartbroken when I saw him, and I thought about her. I didn’t know people could be so cruel. I want him to get life imprisonment for what he did to an innocent child.”
Shakeela Rhode, Jehaan’s grandmother, said: “He is a pig, a piece of trash. She was 17. He could have done that to anybody else’s child.”
Neighbourhood Watch chairperson Zuleiga Stevens said the community came out to support the family through the tragedy.
“We are standing up against the killings of innocent people, especially women. We came here because we don’t want the perpetrator to get bail, and to show that our community are supporting each other through this tough time.”