Parents on attempted murder rap

2014-02-06 00:00

A TALE of how a 10-year-old South African sports star at the top primary girls’ school in Bloemfontein, Oranje, allegedly became the victim of corporal punishment and was pressurised to perform has been revealed in court.

According to an addendum to charges in the Bloemfontein Regional Court against the girl’s 38-year-old mother and 31-year-old stepfather, the state prosecutor said that it had become so much for the girl that she did not want to return home with her mother and stepfather.

The child hid from them on November 21, 2012 in one of the school’s residences.

She was then taken away from her mother and put in a house of safekeeping.

It appears from the court proceedings, which were held before regional magistrate Jan Greyvenstein yesterday, that the couple could enter a plea on February 28 to some of the charges against them, if the State is prepared to withdraw some of the other charges.

Louis York said on behalf of the state that the trial has been postponed to give the couple time to consult with their legal representative after the state had offered certain plea bargains.

According to the charge sheet, the couple are charged with attempted murder, alternatively child abuse after an alleged incident, which took place at the Krugersdrift Dam on October 21, 2012.

The couple allegedly forced the girl to continually run and swim, and then hit her with the door of a vehicle and a bare hand when she would not continue to do it.

According to the child abuse charge, it is alleged that the couple hit her on her thighs and legs when she did something wrong or became tired from the exercise.

The mother is also charged with assault with the intent to cause serious bodily harm after she allegedly hit her daughter so hard with a tile on December 3, 2011 that the wound had to be stitched.

Johan Kramer of attorneys Kramer, Weihmann & Joubert is appearing for the couple. Detective warrant officer Arlene Snyman is the investigation officer.

Volksblad, a sister newspaper of The Witness, earlier reported that the girl had gone to live with her biological father in Kempton Park at the end of last year after she had been placed in foster care for a year.

She has excelled in duathlon, tennis and hockey, and also performed well academically.

Her father yesterday told Volksblad that his daughter was very happy. “She is cheerful.”

She is also doing well at school and has adapted well. “People who know her say they can see the difference. They cannot believe it is the same child they had known earlier.”

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