'Fabric of society has broken down'

Minister Lulu Xingwana has called community leaders to restore SA's moral compass.

Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Lulu Xingwana, says crimes against the country's most vulnerable must be stopped. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Lulu Xingwana, has called on community leaders to restore South Africa's moral compass and bring an end to the shocking and unrelenting crimes against the country's most vulnerable.

The minister attended the court appearance of four-year-old Jasmin Pretorius's alleged killer yesterday.

Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana at the Brakpan Magistrates Court, witnessing proceedings int he Jasmin Pretorius rape and murder case, 13 January 2014. Picture: Mia Lindeque/EWN.

The 23-year-old accused briefly appeared in Brakpan Magistrates Court where his case was postponed until March for further investigation.

Xingwana says the fabric of society has broken down.

"We are calling on community leaders, families and religious leaders to stand up and rebuild our families."

Jasmin was raped and murdered last month allegedly by her uncle.

Her body was later found under a bed in her father's flat in Brakpan on 28 December.

The state is hoping that DNA samples taken from the accused will strengthen its case against him.

The results from the blood tests are expected to reveal whether the man can be linked to the rape.

As has been the case with the accused's previous appearances, large crowds of community members gathered outside the court yesterday.

This time, they gathered around a truck with hanging ropes attached to poles as they called for the death penalty.

A police Nyala transporting the accused used another court exit to avoid the angry group and the media waiting outside.

But as it drove out the gate, it crashed into a civilian vehicle.

Police gather around a vehicle hit by an Nyala carrying Jasmin Pretorius's uncle out of the Brakpan Magistrates Court on 13 January 2014. Picture: Mia Lindeque/EWN.

Police at the scene say the accused was then taken to holding cells in another police vehicle.

During his appearance in court, the accused appeared less emotional than on previous occasions.

He did not indicate any intention to apply for bail, but has accepted the services of a state lawyer.

Jasmin was cremated a day after an emotional funeral service was held in Brakpan on Wednesday 8 January.