'Sunday Rapist' pics won't prejudice him - court

2012-02-01 11:59
Johannesburg - The Krugersdorp Regional Court has ruled that the media can publish pictures of alleged "Sunday Rapist" Johannes Jacobus Steyn as it would not prejudice him.

"No photographs are allowed to be taken during court proceedings... but the court cannot prohibit the press from taking pictures before or after the court case," Magistrate Keith Page said on Wednesday.

"The court also cannot prohibit the publishing of pictures... if the press deems it to be in the interests of justice."

He said there was no indication Steyn would be prejudiced.

Identity parades

Defence lawyer Jack van Heerden had asked the court to reinforce an order prohibiting the publication of his photos.

"This was blatantly ignored by the press on December 13... it was published everywhere... and on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter," he told the court.

The order was issued on October 17 after the State raised concerns that it could compromise identity parades which had not been held at that stage.

But publishing the pictures on December 13 did not compromise its case, prosecutor Carina Coetzee said.

"It's a high profile matter... it has a huge public interest... the media should be allowed to publish the photos."

Steyn faces 13 charges of rape, 10 of kidnapping, one of murder and six of sexual assault. He allegedly abducted Roodepoort school girl Louise de Waal in October last year, while she was on her way to school, just before her 17th birthday. Her burnt body was found on a farm in Magaliesburg later the same day.

Steyn handed himself over at the Margate police station in KwaZulu-Natal the next day.

Case postponed

Police said Steyn had confessed to being the "Sunday Rapist", but not to killing De Waal. He had allegedly raped a number of young girls in Gauteng and the North West, mostly on Sundays, since 2008.

Two cases of kidnapping Steyn allegedly committed in Rustenburg and Potchefstroom in the North West, would also be heard in the Krugersdorp Magistrate's Court.

The State had applied for all the cases against him to be centralised.

On Tuesday, Page said the State had completed its investigation.

The case was postponed to March 7 for the State to prepare indictments.

"Once it's completed, I will then serve them on you sir and explain it to you," Page told Steyn.

"I will then transfer the matter to the high court."

Read more on:    jaco steyn  |  louise de waal  |  mahikeng

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