Jasmin Pretorius: Accused pleads memory loss

Sarel du Toit is facing charges of rape and murder after the body of his niece was found under a bed.

FILE IMAGE: Little Jasmin Pretorius's coffin is carried out during her funeral service in Brakpan on 8 January 2013. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The High Court sitting in Delmas has heard the man accused of killing four-year-old Jasmin Pretorius can't remember some parts of the night his niece was killed, he has blackouts and his lawyer now doubts his mental state.

Sarel du Toit is facing charges of rape and murder.

Pretorius was reported missing in December and was later found dead under a bed in her father's Brakpan house on Gauteng's East Rand.

The state was ready to open its case during the first day of the two week long trial but instead left the court today making arrangements for du Toit to be admitted for psychiatric observation.

The defence has claimed its first victory after the judge ruled that the accused be sent for observation, despite his family and former boyfriend denying he suffers from a mental condition.

Du Toit has argued he can only remember certain parts of what happened during the timeframe that Pretorius went missing and the day her body was found.

A report will now have to be compiled after the accused is examined for 30 days in order to determine his mental state.

Du Toit refused to look at his family or even his friend who came to support him and covered his face as he was lead down to the holding cells.