A senseless murder

The body was found with numerous stab wounds.

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A 63-year-old woman was found murdered in her flat at 18 Hodgson Street Secunda on Saturday, 23 February. The call for help came through on the Zello channel: Secunda 911 Assist 24/7. The operator dispatched the Trauma Chaplain Brad Blake and Langamed to the scene. Chaplain Brad arrived at the residence first and accompanied the family friend to the flat at the back of the house. The friend merely showed the Chaplain the entrance to the flat and was too shocked to enter. The Chaplain also asked the friend to remain at the door outside of the flat and not to enter at all. After a short search he found the body of, later identified as, Corrienne Tesner on the floor and the body was covered by a duvet. Chaplain Brad noticed that the scene was covered in the victim’s blood and a large puddle of blood was seeping from underneath the duvet. The Chaplain, a trained first aider, could not find any sign of life by checking airway, breathing and circulation (pulse). Langamed arrived and declared her deceased at the scene of the alleged crime after additional examining for proof of life. The Chaplain, family of the deceased and a member of one of the supporting services contacted the police to come and secure the scene. It is alleged that the SAPS members arrived approximately 45 minutes after the calls were made from different cell phones and did not have any cordon tape. The cordon tape was bought and brought to the scene by one of the Secunda 911 Assist 24/7 operators.
The body was found with numerous stab wounds. It was observed at the scene that it seemed as if Corrienne’s throat had been slashed, but it is not clear whether this was the cause of death. The rest of the body was properly covered with the duvet in a manner that suggests respect for the deceased. A complete autopsy still has to be conducted to determine the exact cause of death as well as whether she was sexually assaulted or not. It is unknown at what time during Saturday, February 23, the actual murder took place and with going to print; no arrests have been made nor have any suspects been identified as yet.
Controversy surrounds the incident as police officers screamed at the Bulletin personnel and threatened them with removal from the scene. It was also said that Encee van Huyssteen, editor, was chased off the scene, which was not the case and was threatened that he will never be able to come onto a crime scene again. The Bulletin placed a photograph on Facebook depicting the alleged scene. No identifiable items that could possibly link the photograph to the scene or could jeopardise the investigation were published. The Bulletin is flabbergasted by the attitude of some police officers on the scene that tried to misuse their authority and threatened the Bulletin in a number of ways. The Bulletin’s reporter, Ané Prinsloo, also had to bear the brunt of an officer suffering the uncalled-for verbal abuse at the scene. This type of behaviour towards the media and their role in bringing news to the public and their right to publish certain articles and photographs as guaranteed in the Republic’s Constitution is unacceptable. Standing Order (General) 156 Media Communication in the South African Police Service states: 10. Conduct in public and towards a media representative: (1) Courtesy, dignity and respect. A member must treat all media representatives with courtesy, dignity and respect, even when provoked and promote ethical communication with the media. In the event where it is needed to refer a media representative to another party for comment, the particulars of that media representative must be noted and the media representative must be contacted within a reasonable period of time to determine whether his or her request was attended to. (2) Crime scenes. A member at a crime scene or performing duties in public, must conduct himself or herself with dignity in keeping with the seriousness of the occasion, incident or investigation. A member must never loose sight of the possibility that a sound or visual recording could be taking place. (3) Interference by a media representative. (a) Although the media may be prohibited from publishing sketches, a media representative may not be prohibited from taking photographs or making visual recordings. (b) A media representative who conducts himself or herself in a manner that may disturb evidence on a crime scene or may hinder or obstruct a member in the exercise of his or her powers or the performance of his or her duties or functions in a cordoned-off area, must be courteously requested to leave the crime scene or cordoned-off area. If the media representative refuses, he or she must be escorted out of the restricted area. (c) A media representative may under no circumstances be verbally or physically abused and cameras or other equipment may not be seized unless such camera or equipment may be seized as an exhibit in terms of any law. Under no circumstances whatsoever, may a member wilfully damage the camera, film, recording or other equipment of a media representative. (4) Ill-considered, irresponsible,discriminatory statements or comments and foul language. Whenever a member performs a function of the Service in public, such member represents the Service and he or she must conduct himself or herself in a manner that he or she promotes the image of the Service as a professional Service.
Such member must therefore refrain from making ill-considered, irresponsible, discriminatory statements or comments or use foul language.
The Bulletin has been and still is on the forefront of bringing news that is Accurate and Original to its readers. Even despite the apparent hostilities described above.

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