Brakpan case: Alleged killer's life threatened

Jasmin Pretorius (4) was allegedly raped and murdered by her 23-year-old uncle.

Chaos erupted outside the Brakpan Magistrates Court where a 23-year-old man accused of raping and killing his four-year-old niece appeared on 30 December. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Angry Brakpan community members have warned Jasmin Pretorius's suspected killer that his life would be in danger if he were to be released on bail.

The 23-year-old suspect is accused of raping and murdering his four-year-old niece at the weekend.

The little girl's body was found under a bed in her father's house in Brakpan on Gauteng's East Rand on Saturday following an extensive search.

The accused appeared briefly in the Brakpan Magistrates Court yesterday, where his case was postponed until 7 January.

The man confessed to the crimes, but is yet to plead to the charges in court.

Hundreds of angry residents gathered outside the courthouse and hurled insults at the accused through the gates of the court, calling him a pig and a drug addict.

Some also threatened to take the law into their own hands.

Pretorius's family has described her as a friendly child who never became angry.

Jasmin's grandmother Isabel du Toit, who was in the flat when the child was murdered, says she is traumatised by what happened.

"I feel like I can kill him myself. I can't describe to you what I am thinking right now. I hate him so much."

BACKGROUND

Jasmin and her six-year-old sister were picked up by their father Morné on Friday afternoon from their home in Kempton Park.

The girls were meant to spend the weekend with their father at his flat in Brakpan, which he shares with his mother, du Toit.

The accused and his boyfriend also live in the flat.

Morné left his two girls in the care of their grandmother and uncle on Friday night to go out drinking with his new girlfriend.

He was supposed to return later that night, but decided to sleep over at his girlfriend's house.

Du Toit told Eyewitness News that she went to bed with Jasmin's six-year-old sister. Jasmin was left to asleep alone in her father's bedroom.

When du Toit woke up on Saturday morning, Jasmin was missing.

The girls' mother, Sasha-Lee, was only supposed to receive a phone call from Morné on Sunday to arrange when he will drop them off again, but received a call informing her that Jasmin had disappeared.

A team of volunteers and police officers began looking for Jasmin, who was later found under a bed in the flat.

Sasha-Lee's father, Colin Bam, told Eyewitness News that police refused to allow him to see his deceased grandchild.

The officer repeatedly told him, "Believe me you don't want to see this".

On Monday, Morné went to identify his daughter's body.

He told the family that he wishes he had never seen her in that state, as he wants to remember her as she was before she died.

STRONG COMMUNITY PRESENCE

Bam says he is amazed how the community pulled together during this difficult time.

"I don't live in Brakpan, but I have seen people come together like never before. I met 600 people within an hour it was the most amazing thing to see how they protected that little girl."

At the same time, Bam has defended Pretorius's mother and father by saying Sasha-Lee is a good parent and Morné was always protective of her.

But some community members are accusing the pair of neglecting and failing to protect their daughter.

He said he understands why so many people are angry, but he has pleaded for calm.

"As a grandfather I would love to kill him, as a pastor I have to forgive him and as a dad I've got hatred for him."

Bam conceded that Morné should not have left her in the uncle's care while he went out to drink with his new girlfriend, but said the community is treating the family unfairly.

"At the end of the day we should stand united, not divided. I am really heartsore because they have turned this towards the family."

Bam said when he arrived at the scene the accused appeared nervous and later confessed to the crime.