Poppie's stepdad tries to commit suicide

2017-01-25 11:11
Poppie van der Merwe (Facebook)

Poppie van der Merwe (Facebook)

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Pretoria - Poppie van der Merwe's stepfather, who has been charged with killing the 3-year-old, has tried to commit suicide. 

Kobus Koekemoer tried to cut his wrists with a blade in the police cells in Brits. He wasn't seriously injured but was taken to hospital, North West police spokesperson Pelonomi Makau told Netwerk24.

"We don't know where he got the blade." 

According to Makau, Koekemoer is receiving counselling in hospital, where he is being treated under police guard.  

Koekemoer and Poppie's mother, Louisa Koekemoer, were on Wednesday due to have appeared together in the Brits Magistrate's Court for the first time since their arrest last year. 

Makau said, however, that it was not a certainty that Kobus would appear, as he was still in hospital. 

Louisa will definitely be in court. 

Both were earlier denied bail.  

According to Cobus Ludick of the support group Justice for Poppie, Koekemoer told him on the phone that he wanted to commit suicide because "everything was getting too much for him". 

'Only way out'

"He said there was pressure on him to plead guilty in order to get the charges against Louisa dropped. 

"I told him not to commit suicide so that he could prove his innocence. He said the only way out was suicide," said Ludick.

Ludick said he was visiting Kobus in order to glean more information from him about what had happened to Poppie.

Ludick received a call on Thursday from someone sharing a hospital room with Koekemoer. He was told that Koekemoer had tried to commit suicide by cutting his wrists.

"I wasn't allowed to visit him in hospital because he is under police guard."

Poppie's stepdad Kobus Koekemoer during a previous court appearance. (Deaan Vivier, Netwerk24)

According to Ludick, Kobus himself called on Tuesday to tell him what was going on. 

He said he hadn't seen Koekemoer yet, and had only spoken to him by phone. 

Kobus and Louisa were arrested after Poppie died on a farm near Mamogaleskraal, outside Brits, in October last year.

She is said to have been kicked to death.

Poppie died as a result of severe brain haemorrhage. She also had several abrasions on her face, chest and thighs. 

Poppie's mom Louisa Koekemoer during a previous court appearance. (Deaan Vivier, Netwerk24)

Read more on:    poppie van der merwe  |  pretoria  |  crime

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