Posted: August 17, 2006 17:27 pm
JOHANNESBURG - Friday the 10th of March 2005 I received a phone call from my nephew asking me if my car had been stolen. A short time after that I received an SMS from one of Tracey's flatmates - asking me if she had slept at home the previous night - The third call was from the SAPD stating my car had been found on the R21 highway just before the Tembisa off ramp, and had been taken to the police pound.
On asking where the driver was - no one knew. With alarm bells ringing I phoned the SAPD to fill in a missing personsreport. The SAP did not appear to be interested or concerned that a young girl's car had been found and neither her family nor friends knew what had happened to her.
Late that Friday afternoon I contacted the ORRU (Off Road Rescue Unit) - who went out of their way to be of assistance to my family. A search was organized by the ORRU, to start early the Saturday morning. Midday - for some reason - the SAP told the ORRU that the search must be abandoned. No further search was done for my child. My personal friends and family spent
the next 9 days of hell trying to trace my daughter without any assistance from the SAPD.
In the early hours of Sunday morning the 20th of August I received a phone call to say a decomposed body of a young girl had been found the previous afternoon in a mielie field close to the R24 and it could be my daughters body. She had been found with a rope around her neck and her shorts and panties removed.
I finally managed to get hold of the investigating Officer and told him that it was a strong possibility my daughters body had been found. He later phoned me to confirm it was Tracey's body at the mortuary. On Tuesday 22nd March the investigating officer fetched myself and my husband to take us to the Germiston Mortuary. Due to decomposition of her body - I was only allowed to see her one arm and hand.
Her memorial service took place on the 24th of March without her remains in the church - as the mortuary was unable to tell me when her body would be released - we decided not to delay her service. I later heard her body had been released on the same day as the service.
Due to lack of communication and responses to my messages left with the SAPD, I decided to go call in a private pathologist to perform an independent PM. The family had to cancel the cremation that had been scheduled for the 27th April and instead of a cremation, another PM was performed. On receiving the results of the private PM it was found that although she had been cut open - no organs or specimen had been taken for forensic testing. When the pathologist checked with the labs - no rape test kit had been submitted to them for analyses. This was then performed by the private pathologist who contacted the SAPD to collect and deliver the test kit to the labs for testing. The private pathologist request the photo's from the SAPD to try and establish how tight the rope had been, as strangulation was a possibility but the physical evidence of strangulation was not conclusive.
Many phone calls and messages (unreturned) to the SAPD, we decided to bring in a Private Investigator. Within one week we had far more information than the SAPD had ever given us. The phone calls, messages and letters continued to the SAPD with no response from them. We eventually managed to get a meeting (with the help of Commissioner Naidoo) with the Senior offices of the North Rand Unit. Tracey's docket was finally handed to Violent Crime. An agreement was made I would be updated on progress on a regular basis - particularly regarding the results of the rape test.
Sadly this was not to be - I have not heard from any Police Officer since December 2005. I believe the results of the rape test was received early this year. When my son phoned to ask for progress on his sisters case he was told all inquiries must be put in writing and faxed through to the SAPD.
As of today 17th August 2006 : I do not know how or when my daughter died (and will never know for sure) Her car was never finger printed nor checked for clues. No Detective/Investigating officer went to where her body was found.
No evidence taken from the scene (No even her panties to be tested for semen). The scene was in fact never even checked for evidence or sealed off.Only 4 photographs taken - none of which showed the rope that was round her neck, none showing her head or face.Items and phone numbers that I found in her car and handed to the SAPD apparently have disappeared. No one knows what happened to her clothes she was wearing.
Apparently the rope has also "disappeared"
We were told by the SAP that the rape test kit went "missing" and was finally traced by them and only sent to the labs in October 2005.
The PI was willing to work with the SAPD - the SAPD not interested in working with him - In fact told me that I should not be dealing with him any more as they are now dealing with the case No statements taken from her flatmates - as far as I am aware the last person to see her alive has never been interviewed by the SAPD.
The list could go on and on - but to what purpose - It will not bring my daughter back - nor will it help me to sleep at night - nor will if give me any idea as to what happened to Tracey that night. Questions we posed to the SAPD and their responses are posted at
Like most people - I believed everything possible was being done to firstly - find my daughter and secondly when her body was found to try and trace what happened that night. I sadly misjudged the situation.
I am in the fortunate position of having access to e-mail, telephones as well as being employed - what do the people do, who they do not have these tools, to try and follow up in the case of a missing/dead family member or friend??
Besides my daughters murder - An attempted attack on a 10 year old child. My mother of 82 - called the SAP for assistance. The SAPD eventually arrived after 7 phone calls and
about 6 hours later all they were concerned about was if the person was armed. They refused to go to the back of the property to see if the person was still there, said they would be back in 10 mins- left - we are still waiting for them to get back!! Three weeks late my son was assaulted by the same person only to have the police laugh at him when he wanted to lay assault charges against this person as the SAP stated he was insane. No docket was opened as the SAPD refused to do so !! (It took 5 adult men to restrain and handcuff this man. While in the police van he kicked the window out of the back of the van, and yet the SAP said he was not their responsibility and my son must take him to hospital) Two attempted break-ins at our home, one successful break-in to my sons flat - in the one case I was told to get the fingerprints myself as the SAPD could not get them.
3 cars stolen My sister and brother-in-law held up at gun point...................
It has got to the stage that I wonder if there is any point in reporting crime at all, as the SAPD make us feel like we are wasting their time and make us feel like we are the criminal for attempting to report any criminal activities.
I know there are some great men and women in our police force who are trying their utmost to make a difference, but unfortunately they are few and far between. I have met some of these men and women and I am very thankful for the help and compassion they have shown to my family and myself.
We are all aware of the problems facing our police force, but these problems should be addressed and not brushed under carpets. The government should take a hard look at themselves and stop worrying about the changing of names, denying the crime situation, building fancy transport systems - rather look at the problems and finding solutions for education, safety and security, public health, pensioners, transportation etc etc.
Today the criminals are living the good life in South Africa knowing that crime has no punishment as you have to be caught to be punished. - Carol Thompson
Source: Crime Expo South Africa