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Pretoria – Chantelle Ash’s mother expressed relief after the defendant was refused bail last week in the grisly death of her daughter and eight-month-old grandchild, Tasneem. At the Mokerong Magistrate’s Court in Mokopane, the case was deferred to March 15. Chantelle’s and her daughter’s decomposing bodies were discovered inside the Limpopo lodge room on January 14, with Chantelle’s hands tied behind her back and her body bloated and almost unrecognizable.

I was unable to recognize my girl… she was so swollen and bruised. It was an awful thing to see,” the mother said. According to her, on January 12, at around 7pm, Chantelle and her daughter arrived at the lodge in Mokopane with her husband, a Bangladeshi national, and the baby’s father. “The accommodation was only reserved for one night, with the next day’s check-out period. On January 14, when the cleaners opened the room, they found the bodies of Chantelle and Tasneem,’ the mother said.

For the suspected perpetrator of the murders, who was nabbed in Joburg, a countrywide manhunt was initiated. “Much has been said about gender-based violence and the murder of women by their partners by government members and organizations; talk is talk, it’s time for the government to send a clear message that this will not be tolerated,” the grieving mother said.

She said it was time to be courageous, fearless and consistent with the National Prosecuting Authority in dealing with the perpetrators of these crimes. She also called for more individuals to sign the petition opposing the bail application of the accused. The petition had already been addressed to the State prosecutor, with almost 9 000 signatures.

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