Jasmin Pretorius: Accused sent for mental observation

The man accused of raping and murdering a Brakpan girl will be sent to a psychiatric facility.

FILE: Brakpan community members vent their anger and the rape and murder of four-year-old Jasmin Pretorius. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - A man accused of raping and murdering four-year-old Jasmin Pretorius will now be sent for psychiatric evaluation.

Sarel du Toit is standing trial in a high court sitting in Delmas.

He was arrested shortly after his niece's body was discovered under a bed in a flat in Brakpan on Gauteng's East Rand.

Du Toit refused to make eye-contact with anyone in the courtroom and sat with his head bowed.

His eyes remained closed until the judge addressed him directly.

The state will now make arrangements for du Toit to be admitted to a psychiatric facility where he will have to be observed for 30 days.

This process could take a while as beds are not immediately available.

The 23-year-old man argued through his lawyer that he suffers from a mental condition.

But his family and former life partner say this is not true.

His family and life partner who stayed with him at the time of the incident said he never showed any symptoms of black-outs as claimed by his lawyer.

The judge granted the application, saying there is sufficient evidence to doubt his mental state.

Pretorius's parents and grandparents were in court but refused to speak to du Toit.

The girl's mother Sasha-Lee Bam says she has written him off and will not allow him near her other children.