Locals were shocked when other community members reported a “body was found at tennis courts in Delarey” on May 7. According to the residents, the body was suspected of a woman, but the police have not confirmed this. There are concerns that the woman might have been raped before being set alight, but the police have yet to provide further details.
One resident, Madelein van Niekerk, stated that the killer used tyres to burn the body. The neighbourhood children use tyres as goalposts when playing soccer on the courts, which leads them to suspect this is what was used. Many residents also reported hearing screams around 2:00 a.m. but were too afraid to go to the park. The incident occurred during load-shedding, and seeing anything in the park was impossible.
Residents have also reported various instances of vandalism, theft, and other illegal activities in the park, but the police have taken no action to address the issue. Challen Marks, another resident, stated that the community had contacted the Department of Sport and Recreation to hand over the park and tennis courts to the community for repair, but finances were a significant issue.
According to Jacques Morton of EC Security, they responded to a community call about a fire by the swings just after 22:00. The reaction officer and the community member killed the fire and chased away the culprit. The following day, the community reported a “body was found at tennis courts in Delarey”. They were informed by the community and contacted SAPS.
Ward 86 Councillor Chantelle Fourie-Shawe has stated that the Department of Sport and Recreation has permitted the community to trim the trees in the area. Still, only Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo can authorise the removal of trees.
Colonel Lefa Tsotetsi, Florida Police Station Commander, has confirmed that the Florida station has opened a case of murder and that the investigation is ongoing. The incident has shaken the Delarey community, and residents are calling for increased security measures to be put in place to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.