How Poppie's injuries unnoticed by mother baffles detecive

2016-12-19 21:05
Poppie van der Merwe (Facebook)

Poppie van der Merwe (Facebook)

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Brits - Little Poppie van der Merwe literally had injuries from her head to the soles of her feet.

Sergeant Gift Matome, the investigating officer in the case, could not understand how a mother who bathed her 3-year-old daughter every evening would not have picked up on this, Netwerk24 reported on Monday.

"My investigation shortly after Poppie's death focused on Kobus Koekemoer, the stepfather. Then I got the photographs that were taken in the hospital after Poppie's death. Her mother had three different versions, but could not explain how her daughter sustained some of the injuries."

That is why he arrested Poppie's mother Louisa Koekemoer on a murder charge and took her into custody, Matome testified in the Brits Magistrate's Court.

Koekemoer, 45, in a bail application, insisted she had never raised a hand to her child.

According to her, her husband was the aggressive one and assaulted her children.

"I didn't interfere because he [my husband] threatened to kill me, my mother and children if I said something," Koekemoer said in her statement.

She was unemployed until she got work at the OK in Orania.

After that she started her own business and in October 2016 she moved to Brits to be with her new husband.

Suicide fears

"I was planning to look for work next year because I still had another R41 000 in my bank due to my divorce settlement," Koekemoer said.

Apart from Poppie, Koekemoer has three other children.

Matome testified that the Koekemoers took Poppie to hospital on October 25 when she stopped breathing.

Koekemoer is believed to have told nursing staff that her husband had not done anything wrong.

But she then told police that her husband had kicked Poppie in the stomach.

Later when Koekemoer's statement, as a State witness against her husband, was taken, she said Poppie's stepfather hit Poppie's head against a cupboard the day before her death.

"Her versions differ. I'm scared she's going to commit suicide, because she cries when I talk to her. The public is angry with her... I'm scared for her safety.

"She is also hiring out her home and her children are in places of safety. She can flee," Matome said.

The case continues.

Read more on:    poppie van der merwe  |  kobus koekemoer  |  pretoria  |  child abuse

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