South Africa 31.12.2013 08:00 am

Jasmin suspect outrage

FILE PICTURE: An angry crowd atacks the Nyala transporting murder accused Stefan Pretorius outside the Brakpan Magistrate’s Court. Picture: Neil McCartney

FILE PICTURE: An angry crowd atacks the Nyala transporting murder accused Stefan Pretorius outside the Brakpan Magistrate’s Court. Picture: Neil McCartney

Tears, pink shirts, and pepper spray. This was how people expressed their grief and anger outside Brakpan Magistrate’s Court where the alleged murderer of four-year-old Jasmin Lee Pretorius appeared yesterday.

The suspect appeared in court with a cut over his eye and blood on his clothes and had an air of uncertainty about him. The magistrate postponed the case to January 7 for further investigation, also giving the suspect time to decide whether he wanted legal representation.

It was upon leaving the court that simmering tensions exploded and some community members tried to get their hands on the suspect.

One angry man made it as far as opening the door of the Nyala armoured vehicle that transported the suspect before he was pepper-sprayed by a cop and immobilised in a choke-hold by another policeman.

“Give us the b***tard” was the cry that set the tone for the crowd’s mood. The vehicle barely made it through the crush of people.

Three days after Jasmin went missing her body was found in her father’s flat under a bed. Jasmin’s uncle is being accused of the crime, after he allegedly sent authorities on a wild goose chase. According to reports, Jasmin was left in the care of the uncle and his boyfriend, along with her grandmother.

Dezzi Rechner of Pink Ladies said she is grateful for the police’s speedy work in catching the suspect. “There are no words adequate to explain the horror of what has happened,” Rechner said.

“Our deepest sympathy to Morne, Shasa, family and friends for the loss of Jasmin. All thanks go to SA Police Service in Brakpan whom we worked with for the full duration [of this initial investigation]. Unlike [in the case of] Sheldean Human, we were able to stop the misery quickly and hopefully we will have speedy justice.”

Sheldean was found 15 days after being abducted by Andrew Jordaan, who ended up being sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder. He was beaten to death while in custody waiting for news on his appeal.

Meanwhile, North West Premier Thandi Modise condemned the alleged rape of a 10-year-old by a 19-year-old neighbour on Christmas Day. Describing the act as “ghastly”, Modise called on authorities not to grant bail.

She said the incident had robbed the young girl of her innocence and was a betrayal of trust.

“There is no place in society for those who rob our children of their innocence and the elderly of their dignity.” said Modise.

– amandaw@citizen.co.za

 

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