National 14.3.2014 06.00 am

Man accused of Jasmin’s rape, murder may get life

FILE PICTURE: The funeral of four year old Jasmine Lee Pretorius at the PPK Lighuis church in Brakpan, 8 January 2014. Picture: Neil McCartney
Jasmin-Lee Pretorius’s alleged killer is staring down the barrel of a life sentence.

Once the investigation is complete, his case will be moved to the High Court.

The four-year-old was allegedly raped and killed by her step-uncle Sarel du Toit in December.

“At the end of the day, I have no grudge at all with this guy,” Pretorius’s grandfather Pastor Colin Bam, referring to Du Toit, told The Citizen.

“I have forgiven him. As the leader of a community, what do you say? He laughed on his way out here and I saw that made people even madder.

“But I have forgiven him, I have buried Jasmin, I am still going to visit him and say to him, okay, what do you want to do now?

“I want to say to him all right, you never had a father, I will father you. So I will adopt him for the little time he has left.”

Bam said he was not worried about how long the case was taking or about justice being done.

“He was sentenced the day he took my granddaughter’s life. If you think about it, it does not matter what he does, if he gets bail, they will kill him. If he goes to jail, they will kill him. At the end of the day, his sentence is set. The day he took her life, he lost his own.”

Du Toit arrived at Brakpan Regional Court in a police armoured vehicle. The street was cordoned off and police and security maintained a forceful presence in the building.

The court room was swept by an explosives detection dog and its handler for concealed firearms or explosives before anyone was allowed in.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Advocate Nathi Mncube said it was normal for serious cases involving children to be moved to the High Court. “In the case of child rape it is possible for the regional court to levy a life sentence, but the case of Pretorius is very serious,” said Mncube.

Senior prosecutor Dick Hatting noted in court that the docket had been returned by the NPA with three pages of queries to be attended to before it could be placed on the High Court roll.

It was not specified if the case should go to the North or South Gauteng High Court. “In any event, I believe there is a circuit court in the area. We will know full particulars when the accused is indicted,” said Mncube.

Pieter van Niekerk, the lawyer acting for Du Toit, said he had no objection to the matter being postponed to May 6.

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