Mother of murdered girl traumatised by hatred of crowd outside the court

2013-12-31 00:00

“YOU are not even a parent’s arse-end. Kill them! Kill them!”

This was yelled by an angry crowd, many clad in pink, outside the Brakpan Magistrate’s Court yesterday, as the parents of four-year-old Jasmine-Lee Pretorius left the building.

The girl’s body was found on Saturday evening underneath her father’s bed after she had been murdered and raped by a family member.

The police stated the man had confessed his involvement in the crime during questioning.

The girl’s parents, Sasha-Lee Bam and Morné Pretorius, and grandmother Isabelle Pretorius left the court protected by police officers and members of the Jesus Disciples Bikers Ministry in Kempton Park.

The 23-year-old family member who has been charged with the murder and rape of Jasmine-Lee appeared in court with a swollen face and blood stains on his shirt. When the magistrate asked him how he had suffered his injuries, he said he fell.

When he left the court the crowd banged on the police van with their fists and managed to wrest open its back door. There was a scuffle between police and members of the public and a female police officer was injured.

The crowd also protested in front of the block of flats in which the body of Jasmine-Lee was found. Many people yesterday left flowers outside the block. The crowd demanded that Isabelle and Morné, his brother Sarel, as well as Sarel’s life partner, Darren Pretorius, must move out of the building.

“They must go,” said a resident Tanja Swart. “We don’t want them here,” added Gert Pretorius, another resident.

The police eventually had to warn the crowd to make way and disperse.

A shocked Bam said she did not understand the people’s reaction and found it very traumatic.

“My child has just been murdered. Don’t these people understand the hell my family and I are going through? Who gives them the right to judge us?”

She added she will never forgive the family member accused of murdering her little girl.

Morné refused to talk to the media.

Hundreds of residents had helped the family to look for Jasmine-Lee on Saturday after the accused family member reported her missing.

A neighbour, Rochelle Heath, said the accused man had sat on the double bed over the girl’s body throughout the search.

Jasmine-Lee and her sister, Jessica (6), slept at their dad’s flat on Friday night. Jasmine-Lee was reported missing at 7 am on Saturday morning. Police found her body under the bed shortly before 8 pm that night.

Chair of the local community policing forum Gordon James said the accused had been drinking a beer with Morné on Friday night. James said Morné then left to visit his girlfriend.

The case was postponed to January 7 to allow further investigation.

The identity of an accused on a charge of a sexual nature may not be publicised until the accused has pleaded on the charges.

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