It has been 590 days since the murder of the beloved Pastor Liezel de Jager from Amanzimtoti in KwaZulu-Natal, and the South African Police Service (SAPS) still has no autopsy report or a complete forensic investigation.
Furthermore, the police ignore all requests from Liezel’s family and Action Society to give any feedback on the progress in the case. This has forced Action Society to turn to the Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to intervene in this investigation, on behalf of the family.
“The most fundamental aspects of the investigation have not been done,” said Ian Cameron, Director of Community Safety at Action Society. “It gives us little hope for the integrity of the SAPS. We know there are diligent and dedicated police officers willing and able to serve the public; they just do not seem to be involved with Liezel’s case. It should have been a rather straightforward case, and with the slightest effort, the murderer would have been behind bars already.”
This is what has been done in Liezel’s case:
• Statements have been obtained from various persons and members of the family as well as a possible person of interest;
• Video footage, voice recording and various exhibits have been obtained and sent off for analysis in Pretoria, but the results are still pending;
• A polygraph was arranged for the person of interest; however the person failed to attend it;
• The Post Mortem report is still outstanding;
• Cell phone analysis is pending due to the new Cyber Crime Act, and the investigating officer was advised to obtain a warrant to retrieve the information on the cell phone and exercise device.
“Given the significant amount of time that has passed since the murder and the lack of progress and communication from the South African Police Service, Action Society implores the South African Human Rights Commission to intervene and ensure that justice is served,” said Cameron. “We request that the SAHRC takes up this matter with the appropriate authorities to ensure an immediate and effective investigation.”