Poppie van der Merwe's mom arrested in connection with toddler's murder


Louise (45) was taken to the Brits police station in North West after her arrest.

Poppie (3) was so badly abused that she died on Tuesday 25 October. She’d been living on a farm in the Mamogaleskraal district outside Brits with her mom, Louisa, stepdad, Kobus Koekemoer (43), and five-year-old brother who cannot be named because he’s a minor.

Poppie allegedly died of injuries resulting from a beating. She was declared dead on arrival at the hospital. Hospital personnel alerted police and Kobus was subsequently arrested on the premises.

Poppie's mother, Louisa, near the police station in Brits. Poppie's mother, Louisa, near the police station in Brits. PHOTO: Jacobus Ludick

Lieutenant-colonel Pelonomi Makau, provincial police spokesperson in North West, confirmed Louisa’s arrest to YOU. It’s expected she’ll appear in court on Monday on a murder charge.

Kobus and Louisa met each other in Orania and were married in November 2015. They were reported to welfare authorities in Orania but moved to Brits shortly before Poppie’s death.

In an interview last month with Huisgenoot, Louisa told said she wasn’t present when Poppie was allegedly assaulted while sleeping on the lounge carpet.

Louisa said Kobus had been grocery shopping because they had been planning to braai that evening. She and Poppie’s brother had been out to the bakkie to fetch the groceries. When they got back inside, Louisa says she realised something was seriously wrong with her child.

She alleges they tried splashing water in Poppie’s face in the bathroom to bring her round, but Poppie wasn’t breathing.

Poppie was allegedly killed by her stepfather. PHOTO: Supplied Poppie was allegedly killed by her stepfather. PHOTO: Supplied

A week after Poppie's death Louisa claims she was abducted and violently assaulted by a woman who had been posing as a police officer. Police are still investigating.

Kobus was denied bail on Monday 28 November in the magistrate’s court in Brits. His next court appearance is scheduled for 25 January 2017.

Read more:

Poppie’s mother allegedly kidnapped, assaulted

Poppie van der Merwe’s stepfather behind bars until January

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

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