Minister Fritz Welcomes Arrest of Suspect in Hess Murder | Western Cape Government


Minister Fritz Welcomes Arrest of Suspect in Hess Murder

14 November 2019



Date: 14 November 2019

Release: immediately

Minister Fritz Welcomes Arrest of Suspect in Hess Murder

The Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, has welcomed the arrest of a suspect believed to have murdered Jess Hess (18) and her grandfather Chris Lategan (85). Minister Fritz further calls on the Department of Correctional Services to urgently ensure that dangerous repeat offenders are not allowed back into our communities as they cause further harm.

The 31-year old relative of Hess was identified after having been positively linked to the rape of a teenage women in Hanover Park on Monday. The suspect became a person of interest in the investigation on 31 August after circumstantial evidence linked him to the murder of Hess and her grandfather.

Minister Fritz said, “the suspect was reportedly out on parole at the time of both crimes and was arrested for rape and robbery before 1pm yesterday. This was thanks to an effective community-policing partnership. Struisbaai community members recognised the suspect, alerted the police and two detectives responded. He was subsequently arrested and taken to Cape Town to link him to the mentioned crimes. I commend the responsible citizens involved in this arrest for their timeous response.”

“I call on the Department of Correctional Services to urgently address the issue of criminals reoffending by devising a comprehensive and sustainable plan with all key role players, including key provincial government departments to address this crisis. Those convicted of serious crimes, such as murder and rape, should not be given a second opportunity to bring further harm to innocent people,” said Minister Fritz.

Minister Fritz further added, “It is of great concern that Hess’ family have reportedly been waiting nearly three months for DNA found at the crime scene to be analysed. Urgent solutions must be identified and implemented to address backlogs in forensic services and ensure that guilty parties are timeously convicted. I will urgent refer this matter to the Court Watching Brief unit to ensure that my Department plays its part in bring justice to Hess’ family.”

Under the leadership of Minister Fritz, the Department of Community Safety remains committed to using every tool at its disposal to safeguard the citizens of the Western Cape. 

Attention broadcasters, please find English audio clip attached.

Media Enquiries: 
Cayla Ann Tomás Murray

Spokesperson for Minister Albert Fritz
Tel: 021 483 8550
Cell: 064 121 7959
Email:   ­