Community want Jasmin's parents arrested

The Women & Children’s Minister calls for calm in Brakpan after Jasmin Pretorius’s rape and murder.

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 2013. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Lulu Xingwana, says while the Brakpan community's anger at an alleged child killer is justified, she is also calling for them to be calm.

A 23-year-old man appeared briefly in the Brakpan Magistrates Court on Monday, where his case was postponed to 7 January.

He is accused of raping and murdering his four-year-old niece, Jasmin Pretorius.

Xingwana's spokesperson Motalatale Modiba said, "The minister is appealing to community members not to take the law into their own hands. She has also made a call to law enforcement agencies and the court handling the case to ensure that justice is served and that the court should not be lenient."

At the same time, the victim's grandfather, Colin Bam, defended the girl's mother and father by saying they were good parents.

Angry community members wanted to attack the parents on Monday, accusing them of neglecting their daughter.

Bam insists that the child's mother, Sasha-Lee, is a good parent and that her father, Morné Pretorius, was always protective of her.

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

Bam says 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."

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 says the community is treating the family unfairly.

"At the end of the day we should stand united not divided. I am really heart sore 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.

As the parents walked out of the court on Monday, some angry members of the public called for them to be arrested as well.