Spectators hurl insults as Poppie’s mom appears in court over toddler’s brutal murder

By Jana van der Merwe
19 December 2016

Louisa alleged she wasn’t present when Poppie was allegedly beaten to death by her husband.

“The wheel turns!” a court-goer shouted when Louisa Koekemoer, mother of Poppie van der Merwe, entered the Brits Magistrate’s Court gon Monday 19 December.

Like her husband, she has been accused of murder.

Read more: Poppie van der Merwe’s mom arrested in connection with toddler's murder

Louisa (43) looked bewildered and frightened as she walked towards the dock. She was arrested on Thursday at a farm near Brits in connection with the death of her daughter, Poppie (3), who was allegedly kicked to death on Tuesday 25 October.

Louisa’s ailing mother Susan Bothma sat with her head bowed in the court benches. PHOTO: Jana van der Merwe Louisa’s ailing mother Susan Bothma sat with her head bowed in the court benches. PHOTO: Jana van der Merwe

Louisa and her husband, Kobus Koekemoer (43), lived with Poppie and her younger brother, (5). The little girl was declared dead on her arrival at hospital. Hospital staff called the police and Kobus was arrested.

PHOTO: Jana van der Merwe PHOTO: Jana van der Merwe

Kobus and Louisa met in Orania and married in November 2015. In Orania they were reported to social workers, but shortly before Poppie’s death they moved to Brits.

Louisa gave her version of events in an interview (YOU, 17 November). She claims she wasn’t present when Poppie was allegedly assaulted while sleeping on the lounge carpet.

Read more: ‘Poppie saved her little brother’, says father of murdered toddler

She said Kobus went to the shops because they intended to have a braai that night. Later she and Poppie’s brother went outside to fetch the groceries from the bakkie.

Outside, protesters had placed banners calling for Louisa’s bail application to be rejected. PHOTO: Jana van der Merwe Outside, protesters had placed banners calling for Louisa’s bail application to be rejected. PHOTO: Jana van der Merwe

When they went indoors they realised there was something very wrong with Poppie, she said. She alleged that they splashed water in her face in the bathroom, but Poppie wasn’t breathing.

Read more: Poppie van der Merwe’s stepfather behind bars until January

On Monday 28 November, Kobus was denied bail in the Brits Magistrate’s Court and will appear in court again on 25 January 2017.

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