South Africa: Man Allegedly Linked to Jesse Hess, Grandfather's Murders Was Out On Parole At Time of Attacks

15 November 2019

A relative and person of interest in the double murder of Jesse Hess, 19, and her grandfather, Chris Lategan, 85, made an appearance in the Wynberg Magistrate's Court on Friday for the alleged rape of a Hanover Park teenager.

The court heard the man was out on parole since December 2018, according to the National Prosecuting Authority.

The 31-year-old accused appeared on charges of rape, attempted murder and aggravated robbery before a packed courtroom, where Magistrate Goolam Bawa was informed he would not be applying for bail.

He was arrested in Struisbaai on Wednesday after charges were laid against him in the separate rape case on Monday. The accused is known to the Hanover Park victim who is 16 years old.

The accused covered his head with a hoodie as he entered the dock. When he left, people in the gallery shouted at him to remove it, calling him a "gemors", warning that they would "wait for him".

Devastated

The man had been connected to the murders of Hess, who was a first-year theology student at the University of the Western Cape, and her grandfather via circumstantial evidence, the police confirmed this week.

As of Friday, he is still only a person of interest in the murder case.

Hess and Lategan were found dead in the family's Parow flat on August 30 this year after reportedly being strangled.

A TV set, two cellphones and her backpack were stolen from the house.

There was no sign of forced entry, leading the Hess family to believe Jesse and Lategan might have known their assailant.

Her aunt, Sandy Hess, who was devastated after it was established her relative was allegedly linked to the murders, said their families had had a good relationship.

Their household had visited the relative's home often as the suspect's mother had been ill. His mother died six months ago.

The case was postponed to February 14.

Source: News24

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