Missing woman’s body found

Soyiso Maliti

The family and boyfriend of Zarah Hector, 33, who went missing two weeks ago and was found murdered on a Groot Drakenstein farm on Thursday March 24, came face-to-face for the first time with the two men accused of killing her when they appeared at the Blue Downs Magistrate’s Court yesterday, Tuesday March 29. The accused, aged 26 and 30, were arrested in Sarepta last Thursday, shortly after Ms Hector’s body was found.

A mother of two, Ms Hector was last seen alive on Monday March 14 after she left work at the Oostenberg Lodge in Kuils River, driving her boyfriend Mark Kleinsmith’s silver BMW Z3 (“Family fears for missing mom,” Northern News, March 23).

Mr Kleinsmith opened a missing persons case on Wednesday March 16.

Detective Sergeant Denise Marlow-Perel spearheaded the investigation that led to the arrests, said Kuils River police spokesman Captain Isaac van Niekerk.

He said the body had been positively identified as Ms Hector. The cause of death was still undetermined.

Shortly before entering the court at 11am yesterday, Mr Kleinsmith said police had confirmed to him and the family on Monday that Ms Hector’s fingerprints had been found at the crime scene and he had not gone to identify the body.

Mr Kleinsmith said he was “doing fine under the circumstances”.

One of the two arrested men is believed to be from Kuils River.

Speaking after the court was adjourned and after seeing the two accused, Brendan Hector, Zarah’s brother, said they were unknown to him and that they had not applied for bail.

Mr Hector has been keeping friends and family updated via his Facebook page since his sister’s disappearance.

“We as the Hector family thank all who supported us in our search for Zarah,” he wrote on Saturday March 26.

“It is with a sad and heavy heart that, I confirm, she has been murdered. Suspects have been arrested and charged, but the investigation is still not complete.

“We therefore would not be able to say or divulge more. I ask that we allow the police to complete what they are busy with, without speculating, or interfering with the investigation.”

He urged people to allow his family time to mourn in private.

The post was followed by a series of photographs of Ms Hector with family and friends.

Police spokeswoman Constable Noloyiso Rwexana said the investigation into Ms Hector’s disappearance was continuing.

It has been reported that the two accused face charges of murder and defeating the ends of justice.

One of them also faces a separate charge of armed robbery, although at the time this edition went to print this could not be confirmed with the police.

The case was postponed to next month.