Brakpan intent on avenging Jasmin's death

The community want the suspect released so they can "do to him what he did to his niece."

Brakpan community members want the suspect released so they can "do to him what he did to his niece." Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The family of four-year-old Jasmin Pretorius who was raped and murdered allegedly by her 23-year-old uncle has been described as an innocent and friendly girl who refused to get angry at anyone.

Jasmin was discovered dead under a bed on Saturday after her uncle confessed to raping and killing her.

While the family try to come to terms with her death, her mother's father, Colin Bam, has called on the public to remember Jasmin and take her legacy forward.

"I don't live in Brakpan, but I've seen people come together like never before and it was amazing to see how they protected that little girl."

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.

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

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

TOTAL OUTRAGE

The Brakpan community are demanding the court grant bail to the 23-year-old so that they can do to him what he allegedly did to his niece.

The man appeared in the Brakpan Magistrates Court on Monday where the case was postponed for further investigation.

Dozens of community members took to the streets and tried forcing their way into a police vehicle in which the accused was being transported in.

Most of them are demanding that the death penalty be reinstated.

One said, "We are tired of people treating children like animals."

Another said, "The justice system is failing us because the death penalty is no longer there. He'll be beaten and eventually he'll commit suicide."

"We want community justice, give him to us and we'll make an example of people who murder and rape children," said another.

MINISTER URGES CALM

At the same time, Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Lulu Xingwana says the Brakpan community's anger is justifiable but has urged them not to take the law into their own hands.

Xingwana's spokesperson Motalatale Modiba has also called on the courts to make a clear example out of this case.

"She's appealing to the community not to take the law into their own hands and she's also made a call to the law enforcement agencies handling the case to ensure justice is served."

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, Isabel 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.

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.

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.