Tuesday, January 21, 2003

André Gouws

Salon a last resort for victim

CAPE TOWN — "His father died when he was six years old and his mother threw him out when he was fifteen. Since then he has tried to make his own way."

These are the words of a flatmate of one of the victims of the massage parlour massacre, Sergio de Castro (22), originally from the East Rand in Gauteng.

De Castro and the friend, who wants to remain anonymous, shared a flat in Sea Point.

His flatmate says De Castro worked at Sizzlers for the past two months because he had financial problems.

He says De Castro did not use drugs, but had debt of about R13 000 that he was struggling to pay off.

Among others, he owed money to a computer college in Cape Town where he enrolled for a course in website development. "He wanted to do web designs."

"He was a clever, intelligent young man. He played the flute and guitar, he also spoke Portuguese and was studying Hebrew."

Couldn't stand it

The friend said De Castro worked at Sizzlers previously, but he left last year because he couldn't stand the work anymore. He then worked on fishing boats in the harbour, packing fish.

"I only found out two weeks ago that he was working at Sizzlers again. The fact that he went back there shows that he was really in a financial predicament.

"The victims were all lost children who ended up in difficult circumstances, there was no easy way out for them. They were not necessarily bad people. For many of them it seemed like an easy way out because all other doors were closed to them," he said.

De Castro had virtually no contact with his stepmother or half-brother in Gauteng.

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Created: January 24, 2003
Last modified: January 24, 2003
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