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Courtney Pieters’s murder brings Elsies River community together to tackle crime

The Elsies River police station was packed on Saturday with many parents who completed a certificate that contains vital information such as their children’s fingerprints.

Elsies River residents picket outside of the Goodwood magistrates court where the man accused of murdering Courtney Pieters appeared. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN.

CAPE TOWN – Some Elsies River parents say the murder of three-year-old Courtney Pieters has made them even more aware of the need to keep their children safe at all times.

Pieters’ rape and murder made headlines in recent weeks, with President Jacob Zuma and police minister Fikile Mbalula visiting the area.

In the wake of this, Elsies River police and the Pink Ladies Organisation held a Missing Persons Day on Saturday to educate parents on which procedures to follow when reporting their children or a loved one missing.

The Elsies River police station was packed on Saturday with many parents who completed a certificate that contains vital information such as their children’s fingerprints.

Parents can hand in this certificate to a police station should their child ever go missing.

Parent Isaac Claassen says ever since Pieters’ murder, he’s become more aware of the possible dangers facing his children.

“It’s making us more alert now to look after our children, to tell them things they shouldn’t do because these people can take your child and you never going to see your child again.”

Charmaine Kannemeyer says she often worries about keeping her five-year-old daughter safe.

“It makes me scared and I have to go fetch her every day. I’m not even at ease when my child is playing outside, I’ve to keep checking up on her.”

The Pink Ladies Organisation, which assists in tracing missing persons, says there is no waiting period for people to report someone as missing, especially cases involving children.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)