Thursday, January 23, 2003

Ziegfried Ekron
Die Burger

Victims compared to Jesus

CAPE TOWN — A priest has compared the death of eight sex workers in Cape Town to the death of Christ.

Father Christopher Clohessey, who led the funeral service of Aubrey "Eric" Otgaar, said if the blood of these victims could save others from sin, then their deaths were not in vain.

"Even if only one person changes the wrong lifestyle in which he has been caught up, then Aubrey was like Jesus who died to save the lives of others," Clohessey said.

He also said that nobody could judge Otgaar's life and referred to a Biblical incident where a woman who committed adultery was brought to Jesus and he invited those without sin to cast the first stone at her.

Only a handful of friends and family gathered in the small church along the railway line in Kraaifontein to pay their last respects to Otgaar.

His brother, Toney Otgaar, said the St Anthony's Catholic Church in 10th Avenue was the last church Eric attended.

Otgaar, his brother-in-law and their two sons carried the coffin, draped in purple velvet, into the church.

In his eulogy, Otgaar said he remembers his brother as a kind older brother who was in the school hostel with him and who loved to play tricks on his grandmother.

Otgaar's mother, Joan, and her husband, Peter, also attended the service. They were supported by his sister, Cheryl Cunningham, and his stepsister, Linette Pike.

Toney said his relationship with his brother had, at times, been "a bit cool".

"I was too judgmental and we often debated his lifestyle. Two years ago, we set our differences aside.

Otgaar's body was identified by his brother.

"It was terrible. All I could think about was what he must have gone through before he was executed.

"I still feel sick when I think how someone could kill another person in such a cold blooded manner."

Abe Bush had to fight back the tears at Otgaar's funeral.

Bush, who worked at the salon until three months ago, said he was a friend of Fanie 'Ryan' Fouché, who came from Theunissen in the Free State.

"The advertisement said he was older, but he admitted to me that he was only 17 years old."

Police — crime possibly drug related

Spokesperson Ettiene Terblanche has declined to comment on reports that police have questioned a woman who allegedly spotted one of the massacre suspects at a shopping centre in the northern suburbs last week.

He said police were still investigating the possibility that the four suspects were sent from Gauteng to find two former employees of the club, Maroewaan and Stephen.

Terblanche said although the motive for the attacks was still not clear, indications were that it might have been drug related.

Bush said Otgaar took a tough stance against drugs, but that most of the men who worked there used drugs in any case.

"Maroewaan worked at the club earlier under the name Jarred, but Eric apparently dismissed him because he was involved with drugs."

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Created: April 12, 2003
Last modified: April 12, 2003
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