Police have arrested a man at the weekend in connection with the rape and murder of Cape Town teenager Valencia Farmer more than 16 years ago.
The 14-year-old was gang-raped and stabbed more than 50 times near her home in Eerste River in 1999.
Three men were sentenced for the murder, but police believed another three suspects were at large. The latest arrest occurred during a widespread anti-crime operation over the weekend.
Police liaison officer Captain FC van Wyk confirmed on Monday morning that a man was being held at Kuils River and said he believed the suspect would appear in court onn Monday morning.
He was expected to be charged in the Blue Downs Magistrate’s Court with rape and murder.
In 2001, after a court case that shook the community due to the cruelty of the crime, Franklyn “Franky” Roberts, 19, and co-accused Glenville “Bekkies” Faro, 20, were each sentenced to two life terms. A third co-accused, Russel van Wyk, was sentenced to 18 years for murder and 15 years for rape. He was a juvenile at the time of the gruesome attack. A 23-year prison term for the 16-year-old was the highest sentence imposed on a juvenile at the time.
The rapists and murderers had “unleashed an orgy of violence and sexual brutality on a defenceless young girl”, said Judge Siraj Desai at the time.
Through their barbaric behaviour they forfeited their right to live in ordinary society, said Judge Desai.
Evidence was led that Valencia Farmer had been stabbed 53 times, 40 times in the back, after being gang-raped by at least six people.
Her throat was slit and she was left for dead in a derelict house in Eerste River on June 26, 1999. The naked and seriously injured girl managed to crawl to the street, where neighbours found her.
Her mother, Sylvia Farmer, was called and she comforted her dying daughter, laying her head down on her chest, stroking her hair and reassuring her that she was with her.
Valencia died a day later in hospital.
At the time of the court case, Sylvia Farmer said: “It (the sentencing) won’t bring back my daughter, but I hope it will deter other gang members from doing the same.”
Judge Desai said it was rare to encounter a crime of such brutality. “This most reprehensible type of criminal conduct warrants the most severe penalty a court may legitimately impose. If I don’t impose the most stringent punishment, I will have failed in my duty to society,” he said.
He said the blatant cruelty of their crimes diminished any sympathetic considerations, and that they had offered poor attempts to show remorse. The killers showed no mercy for their victim.
The Eerste River community was severely traumatised by the crime, and their anger led to them breaking down the house in which Valencia Farmer was raped and murdered.
CULLED: iOL News