Boyfriend of alleged murderer shocked, but still in love

2014-01-03 00:00

THE 23-year-old man who police say has confessed to raping and murdering Jasmine-Lee Pretorius (4), had planned the crimes, claims his shocked lover.

“He repeatedly confirmed with me that I would be working on the night of the murder,” Darren Pretorius said yesterday.

Darren, a member of the Brakpan Community Policing Forum, said he never thought the man with whom he had been in an on-and-off relationship for more than a year, would ever sink to such crimes.

“I am very much shocked by what he had done … but I still love him.

“There is unfortunately no button I can press to switch off my emotions. He was the love of my life.”

He said he had asked his boyfriend to choose between him and drugs, and his friend had chosen him. Darren described his lover as a quiet person who lived in his head. “He never talked about his emotions. I did not know what went on inside his head.”

Darren now lives with friends in Centurion, because he is too afraid to return to the flat in Brakpan where Jasmine-Lee’s body was found.

He shared the flat with the girl’s father, Morné, Morné’s brother, Sarel, and their mother, Isabelle.

He said that since the murder they have been threatened with death several times. “I am too scared to even go back to work, because people are threatening to set fire to the place.”

He said he went to work on Saturday afternoon and returned home the next morning.

When he last saw Jasmine-Lee she was on Isabelle’s bed, watching a movie with her sister Jessica (6) and his lover.

On the day of the murder, the alleged murderer had drinks with Morné. Morné then went to his girlfriend’s home. The alleged murderer however returned to the flat where the two girls had stayed with their grandmother.

Jessica had fallen asleep with Isabelle in her room in front of the TV.

Jasmine-Lee had earlier gone to sleep in Morné’s room.

When Darren arrived at the flat after his nightshift, with Jasmine-Lee already missing, he noticed the bed had been stripped and the mattress was wet. He asked his lover about this. “He said they were dirty and he had washed them.” Darren suspected this was not the truth.

“I mentioned this to the police when I was questioned.” The police found the girl’s body under the bed’s solid base.

A memorial service is being held for Jasmine-Lee in Brakpan today, but Darren and Isabelle said the police had advised the family not to attend, as the community were still angry at their perceived lack of parental care.

Her funeral is on Wednesday.

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