'I burst into tears when I saw Poppie's body': Investigating officer

By Jana van der Merwe
19 December 2016

The policeman investigating the death of Poppie van der Merwe said he wept when he saw photos of the murdered three-year-old’s body. .

The policeman investigating the death of Poppie van der Merwe testified on Monday that he burst into tears when he saw photos of the three-year-old’s body.

Sergeant Gift Matumi, of the Brits police, was testifying during the bail application of Poppie’s mother, Louisa Koekemoer.

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

He said the little girl had suffered a number of injuries before hear death on 25 October, but Louisa (45) hadn’t mentioned them.

PHOTO: Supplied PHOTO: Supplied

The court heard that the official cause of Poppie’s death was head injuries inflicted by a blunt instrument.

In Louisa’s statement, which was read in court, she alleged that her husband, Kobus Koekemoer (43), had kicked her child to death. She said she had never hit her daughter.

The investigating officer said only Louisa and Kobus could say what had happened that tragic day in the farmhouse near Mamogaleskraal, near Brits, where the family lived.

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

On 25 October Poppie was taken to the Brits Hospital, where she was declared dead. Kobus was arrested that night. After the investigation had revealed more evidence, Louisa was arrested on Thursday 15 December.

Sergeant Matumi registered his objection to bail for Louisa. He said she’d lied in her first statement to protect her husband. The court heard about the incidents YOU had reported earlier – Louisa’s alleged abduction (for which no one has been arrested) and the break-in at her house one Sunday night.

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

Sergeant Matumi said it wasn’t safe for Louisa outside jail because of the attacks on her on social media. He also said there was a chance that she could commit suicide.

The court heard that the case would probably be referred to the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, where Louisa and Kobus would be tried together for Poppie’s murder. The bail application hearing is continues.

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

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