NDPP calls for harsh sentence for Jasmin killer

The 23-year-old man accused of murdering Jasmin Pretorius briefly appeared in court this morning.

Community members gather outside the Brakpan Magistrates Court where a 23-year-old man will appear on the charge of raping and killing his four-year-old niece. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Mxolisi Nxasana attended the Jasmin Pretorius murder case this morning as the four-year-old girl's uncle appeared in the Brakpan Magistrates Court.

Jasmin's 23-year-old uncle is accused of raping and killing her 10 days ago, before hiding her corpse under a bed in her father's flat in Brakpan.

The accused didn't spend long in the dock before his case was postponed.

He indicated he plans to apply for legal aid apparently because his family is refusing to assist him by paying for a private lawyer.

The accused says he will reveal next week whether or not he will apply for bail.

But Nxasana says the state will oppose any such attempt.

"Ultimately we will be asking for the most severe punishment."

None of Jasmin's family members attended today's proceedings due to safety concerns.

Jasmin's grandfather Colin Bam says the entire family stayed away from court to avoid causing further tensions between them and the angry community.

Earlier, dozens of people, most of them wearing pink T-shirts, gathered outside the Brakpan Magistrates Court ahead of the accused's appearance.

Police on high alert outside the Brakpan Magistrates Court ahead of the appearance of the man accused of raping and killing his four-year-old niece. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

Women, Children and People with Disabilities Minister Lulu Xingwana also attended today's proceedings.

The case will resume on Monday 13 January.

Jasmin's funeral will be held in Brakpan tomorrow.

PHIYEGA CALLS FOR CALM

National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega has called on members of the public not to take the law into their own hands.

During a prayer session held for the little girl on Friday, Phiyega called on the community to work together with the police.

Chaos erupted when the accused appeared in court last week, with community members threatening to kill both Jasmin's alleged attacker and the family.

Phiyega has called on the outraged community to put their anger aside and support the family during this difficult time.

She also called on the community to take a stand against violence.

BACKGROUND

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 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 28 December, Jasmin was missing.

Jasmin's mother Sasha-Lee was only supposed to receive a phone call from Morné on Sunday 29 December to arrange when he would 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.

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.