Jasmin Pretorius case to be heard in high court

Four-year-old Jasmin Pretorius was raped and murdered in December 2013.

FILE: Community members outside a memorial service for murdered four-year-old Jasmin Pretorius, on 3 January 2014. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The case against a man accused of raping and murdering his four-year-old niece will now be heard in a high court.

Jasmin Pretorius's body was found under a bed in her father's house in Brakpan in December 2013.

Her uncle was later arrested for the crime and made a brief appearance in the Brakpan Magistrates Court on Thursday morning where the case was postponed to 6 May.

The accused refused to look at the public gallery where Pretorius's father Morné was sitting in the front row.

Instead, he sat in the dock covering his face with his hands.

The little girl's mother Sasha-Lee Bam and grandparents were also in court this morning.

Several bikers, friends and Brakpan residents also attended today's proceedings, visibly agitated by yet another postponement.

The Director of Public Prosecutions has informed the state that a judge will soon be presiding over the matter in a high court.

A date has not yet been set.

BACKGROUND

Jasmin and her older sister were picked up by their father Morné on 27 December from their home in Kempton Park.

The girls were meant to spend the weekend at his Brakpan flat, which he shares with his mother.

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 didn't.

His mother told Eyewitness News she went to bed with Jasmin's six-year-old sister while Jasmin was left to sleep alone in her father's bedroom.

When she woke up the next day, Jasmin was gone.

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

Jasmin was cremated a day after an emotional funeral service was held for her in January.