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Accused in teen’s murder appears in Cullinan Magistrate’s Court

Owami Visagie's mother described her as obedient and joyful.

Lilly Visagie, mother of murdered 17-year-old Owami Visagie, is heartbroken that her “sunshine daughter” is forever gone.

She remembered their special bond last week as the man being accused of the teenager’s murder appeared in the dock of the Cullinan Magistrate’s Court.

Chris Mthethwa (30) wanted to apply for bail on April 11, but the bail hearing was postponed to May 21.
Community members from Refilwe, Ekangala and Cullinan also attended the court proceedings in support of Owami’s family.

Roads around the court building were barred with stones as Owami’s classmates and learners from her school joined the community in a march in the street in front of the courthouse.

“The family needs justice,” shouted a member of the community from among the crowd that had gathered in the street.

“We want the police’s help in the fight against gender-based violence,” exclaimed another person.

The mother reported Owami missing when her daughter did not return home on March 24. The girl’s body was found that night.

Chris Mthethwa, her cousin, later handed himself over to the police. The Refilwe community united in a candlelight vigil on April 3. Visagie described her daughter as an obedient child.

“I am a widow and raised Owami on my own. We were very close and she meant the world to me.”

Owami was a Grade 11 learner from Chipa-Tabane Secondary School in Refilwe. Her uncle, Peter Mthethwa said she was a respectful and loving child.

“She was always at home, she listened to everything. She didn’t run around with anyone or at any time. She wouldn’t be out of the house after 20:00, which is why we started wondering where she was by 21:00,” the uncle explained.

Owami Visagie.

Chris Mthethwa appears in the dock on April 11.

Community members picket in front of the Magistrate’s Court in Cullinan.

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