Poppie's stepdad says he is getting death threats

2017-02-21 16:10
Poppie van der Merwe (Facebook)

Poppie van der Merwe (Facebook)

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Brits – Poppie van der Merwe’s stepfather is allegedly getting death threats while being held in the cells at the Brits police station.

"He feels unsafe and fears for his life. He asks to be transferred to another police station," Kobus Koekemoer’s legal representative Kgomotso Moagi said in the Brits Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

Poppie’s mother Louisa’s lawyer Adrian Nell informed the court that he would bring an application at the next court date for the case to be struck off the roll if the arraignment of the two accused wasn’t finalised by then.

That would mean that the couple would have to be released.

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

Kobus tried to commit suicide in January.

Prosecutor Advocate Hanna Conradie said, at the start of Tuesday’s appearance, that the case had been postponed to Tuesday in January for further investigations and to finalise the charges they would face in the High Court.

"The dossier was sent to the director of public prosecutions on February 6. However, we haven’t received the indictment yet and request postponement for that reason," she said.

Severe brain haemorrhage

In response, Nell said: "The DPP has had the dossier for three weeks. At the next appearance, it would be almost two months. That is enough time to finalise the indictment."

"The accused have a right to a speedy trial. If the indictment is not finalised at the next appearance, we will bring an application to have the case removed from the roll."

Magistrate Moses Maswanganyi granted the postponement and suggested that Koekemoer’s request to be moved be taken up with the investigating officer.

Kobus was arrested after Poppie, 3, was declared dead in Brits Hospital on October 25.

Louisa alleged he had kicked Poppie to death and was aggressive towards her and the children. He was refused bail.

Louisa was arrested on December 15 after a post-mortem indicated that Poppie had died from a severe brain haemorrhage caused by a blunt object. Police arrested her when she told police a different version of what had happened. She was also refused bail.

Kobus and Louisa Koekemoer in the dock in the Brits Magistrate's court during an earlier appearance. (Deaan Vivier, Netwerk24)

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

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