Cape Town – “I still look at my watch at the same time when Meghan’s car left the farm for the last time.”
This is the chilling reminder that Meghan Cremer’s landlady, Linda Mohr, has to live with for the rest of her life. Mohr is the stable manager of Vaderlandsche Rietvlei Stables where Meghan lived and where her horse was stabled before she was killed in August last year.
“I saw Meghan every day for just a little over four years. She lived with my family and she became very good friends with my children,” said Mohr, who admitted that she still gets “hit for a six” every time she hears or reads anything related to Cremer’s death.
In the aftermath of the murdered showjumper’s death, speculation was rife that she may have been in her car when it passed through a roadblock in Wynberg about five hours after her Saturday evening abduction on August 3.
But SAPS officers at the scene did not detect anything out of the ordinary and the driver of the vehicle was not deemed to be under the influence and was let go. During the abduction, the suspects allegedly beat the 30-year-old Woodstock Bakery manager in the face so hard they broke her nose so that she would reveal her bank PINs.
For the next two days until their Monday afternoon arrest, they allegedly made at least three cash withdrawals from her account. The total amount withdrawn was not revealed at the time. A source said it could be several tens of thousands of rand.
These details emerged from information shared between law enforcement personnel during their frantic search for Cremer, which only ended in the early hours of Thursday when a suspect allegedly led police to her body, buried in a Philippi sand mine.
Cremer was found tied up with a rope around her neck. Later that day, three suspects appeared in the Athlone Magistrate’s Court – Jeremy Sias, 27, and Charles Daniels, 39, both from Egoli informal settlement close to where Cremer lived, and Shiraaz Jaftha, 34, from Lotus River. All three men have criminal records for theft and assault and Jaftha was out on bail for another murder charge when he was arrested. They are all believed to be members of the Six Bobs gang.
Sias, a tractor driver on the Vaderlandsche Rietvlei Stables farm, may have been familiar with her movements and might have even been known to her, said a source who asked not to be named, citing safety reasons because of the gang links to the murder.
Officially, police are saying nothing but information shared during the search has revealed that Cremer had a visitor at her cottage just minutes before her car was seen leaving the stables at 6.24pm on Saturday, August 3.
“The visitor said Meghan was her normal self,” said a source. “She said nothing about having to leave the farm.” About two minutes later, members of the Mohr family, who own the farm, noticed Cremer’s dog running around unattended and tried to alert her. But their calls went unanswered.
“I actually don’t remember August 2019. We were running around. You’re in a dwaal (daze). It was just the most awful thing,” said Mohr.
The Mohr family has been receiving counselling, but she admitted that one daughter is taking Cremer’s death very hard.
“In fact, the whole farm was hit for a six. That girl loved her family. She always spoke so highly of them,” she said. Eight months later, the Mohr family still have difficulty coming to terms with Cremer’s death.
The outspoken stables owner also cited the lack of development in the area as one of the reasons why crimes continue to happen there.
“I’ve lived in the area since the age of 6. There was nothing but sand and bushes. Now, farmers have stopped farming because of weekly theft. We need more development. I was so depressed when I heard about Uyinene, Tazne and Michaela. How do we protect our children?” asked the mother of five.
Cremer’s horse, Blue, now lives with her parents in Plettenberg Bay. Mohr said the “lovely young woman” was a fan of Harry Potter, animated movies, horses and anything from The Creamery Ice Cream.
“I’m not even sure if I’ll attend court proceedings. I attended the first court appearance and it was just too much,” said Mohr. She said when the family last heard from the investigating officers they were still trying to secure cellphone and banking records.
The trial is due to resume on March 30 but the Covid-19 pandemic may affect this.