Police probe Marina da Gama magistrate’s murder

Magistrate and former prosecutor Romay van Rooyen’s body was discovered by a relative at her home in Marina da Gama.

Police are investigating the murder of a magistrate whose body was found in her Marina da Gama home at the weekend.

According to reports, magistrate and former prosecutor Romay van Rooyen’s body was found by a relative at her home in Red Roman Street, on Saturday September 10, at around 4.15 pm. The 50-year-old was declared dead at the scene by medical personnel.

Muizenberg police spokesman Captain Stephen Knapp said the cause of death was unclear, but he confirmed that police were investigating a murder.

“The motive behind the crime is still unknown,” Captain Knapp said.

Ms Van Rooyen’s Toyota Rav 4 was missing at the time her body was discovered, but it was found in Mitchell’s Plain on Sunday, according to provincial police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut.

“The investigation is still under way and arrests are yet to be made,” he told the Echo.

Ms Van Rooyen started her career in 1997 as a prosecutor, first working in the district and regional courts before moving to the Western Cape High Court.

When interviewing for the magistrate vacancy at Vredenburg Magistrate’s Court in November 2020, she spoke of her experience as a prosecutor with the Sexual Offences Court (SOC) at Wynberg Magistrate’s Court.

“It was my greatest contribution as a prosecutor at the Wynberg SOC, where I dealt with cases of minor children, under the age of 16, because it takes sympathy, empathy and going the extra mile to get a conviction in those matters,” she said at the time.

Before she was appointed a permanent additional magistrate at the Vredenburg Magistrate’s Court in October 2021, she was an acting presiding officer at various magistrate’s courts in the province.

In 2014, in the Western Cape High Court, Ms Van Rooyen secured three life sentences for the former motor mechanic, Johannes Christiaan de Jager, who was convicted of murdering two teenagers.

Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola called for the swift apprehension of whoever was responsible for her death.

“The safety of our judicial officers remains an utmost priority. Magistrate Van Rooyen’s untimely passing is a devastating loss to our judiciary and our courts. Our heartfelt condolences go out to her family, friends and colleagues,” he said.

Anyone with any information can call Crime Stop at 08600 10111.