Stepsister says it’s difficult to face Jesse Hess’s alleged killers

Shanay Taute was among friends and family who packed the public gallery at the Bellville Magistrates Court on Wednesday morning.

Jesse Hess. Picture: facebook.com

CAPE TOWN - The stepsister of murdered University of the Western Cape student Jesse Hess said it was difficult seeing the two men accused of killing the teenager and her grandfather.

Shanay Taute was among friends and family who packed the public gallery at the Bellville Magistrates Court on Wednesday morning.

The 19-year-old Theology student and her grandfather Chris Lategan were found dead in their Parow flat in August.

Taute said it was hard to describe how she felt when she saw David Van Boven and Tasliem Ambrose standing in the dock to face charges for her stepsister's murder.

“We waited a while for this and now that it’s here, it’s a moment that we don’t know what to do with it. You don’t know how you feel because your emotions are all over, you don’t know if you feel angry or sad, all you want to know is why?”

Van Boven, the deceased cousin, was arrested in Struisbaai last week. His co-accused Ambrose was taken into custody on Tuesday.

They each face two charges of murder and two charges of aggravated robbery.

The court has heard further charges may be added at a later stage.

As relative Van Boven made his way into the dock, those in the courtroom hurled insults at him, demanding he shows his face. He had tried to hide his face with a hoodie.

Van Boven has applied for legal aid while Ambrose has opted to defend himself.

The National Prosecuting Authority’s Eric Ntabazalila said: “They’re facing two charges of murder and two charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances; more charges are likely to be added as investigations continue. The matter has been postponed to 12 February 2020.

Van Boven has a pending rape case against him being heard in the Wynberg Magistrates Court.

He was also convicted of rape as well as drug-related offences in the past and was released on parole in December last year.