Louise's mom to suspect: Look at me!

2012-07-24 17:45
Louise de Waal's mother, Shereen, looks on during the trial of her daughter's alleged killer, Jaco Steyn. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

Louise de Waal's mother, Shereen, looks on during the trial of her daughter's alleged killer, Jaco Steyn. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - The so-called Sunday Rapist, Johannes Jacobus Steyn, sat impassively with his Bible beside him, as Louise de Waal's mother commanded him to look at her.

Steyn is accused of 37 counts, including the murders of De Waal and another schoolgirl, 14-year-old Lazanne Farmer.

De Waal’s mother, Shereen, sat with family and friends around her in the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court in Alberton.

They listened as Jeanette and her brother Theunis Ferreira, who live on the Magaliesburg farm where De Waal's body was found, recounted horrific details from when De Waal’s burnt body was discovered.

Body burnt beyond recognition

Theunis saw smoke in a wooded area around 11:00 on 17 October 2011 and phoned his sister to see what it was, as he was busy.

Jeanette testified that by the time she reached the scene the smoke had mostly stopped, and there was what appeared to be a burnt body on the ground.

She notified police and they took charge of the scene.

Captain Martin Smith who attended the scene testified that the body was burnt beyond recognition.

"The body was so badly burnt, the only thing I noticed was the belly ring," he said to the obvious dismay of family members in the gallery.

He explained that the following day police were told about burnt items possibly belonging to De Waal at another scene about 20km away.

They found burnt out batteries, keys, pink pants, and bottles of alcohol, he said.

‘Look at me!’

During a break De Waal's mother told Steyn to look at her.

"Kyk vir my! Ek wil he hy moet vir my kyk! (Look at me! I want him to look at me!)," she told friends and family around her.

An unresponsive Steyn kept his head down throughout proceedings, Bible beside him, making notes.

17 possible suspects

An identikit compiled by a friend of De Waal led to Steyn's arrest, the court heard.

Warrant Office Riaan Jooste testified that he received a call on 17 October, the day De Waal was murdered, from a woman who wanted to remain anonymous.

"She said she saw the identikit on TV and knows the man, and his name was Jaco Steyn."

De Waal's friend, who was with her on the day she was kidnapped, may not be named as she was a minor at the time.

Jooste narrowed the list down to 17 possible suspects, searched police files and found Steyn in the system because he had previously laid a complaint against someone else.

Eleven girls attacked

This led Warrant Officer Danie Pieterse to search for a silver bakkie at Steyn's house, which he found.

Steyn, 36, pleaded not guilty on Monday to the 37 charges against him, which include 11 counts of rape, 10 of sexual assault, 10 of kidnapping, one of attempted sexual assault, one of attempted kidnapping, and two of assault.

The 11 girls he allegedly attacked between 2008 and 2011 in Gauteng and the North West were aged between 11 and 18.

Steyn allegedly abducted De Waal in Roodepoort in October last year while she was on her way to school. He handed himself over at the Margate police station in KwaZulu-Natal the next day.

On Monday Shereen de Waal was asked to identify the contents of her daughter's school bag.

The case was postponed until Wednesday.
Read more on:    jaco steyn  |  louise de waal  |  johannesburg

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