Brakpan community shocked by rape and murder of little girl

Little Jasmin Pretorius’ body was found under her father’s bed after she had allegedly been raped and suffocated by her uncle.

A cross outside Jasmin's home baring her photo
A cross outside Jasmin’s home baring her photo

Support outside the Brakpan Magistrates court was overwhelming on Monday as angry residents wearing pink shirts showed their support for slain four-year-old Jasmin Pretorius.

Jasmin was reported missing on 28 December 2013. Her body was later found under her father’s bed after she had allegedly been raped and suffocated by her uncle who is reportedly gay and a drug addict. Her father had left her in the care of her uncle and gone out with his girlfriend only to receive the disturbing news via a BBM from her uncle that Jasmin was missing.

After a search by police and volunteer community members, the discovery was made and the search called off. The 23-year old man arrested first told police that he had sold her to Nigerian drug dealers to pay off his drug debts, but after intense questioning by police he allegedly admitted that he was responsible for harming the child himself.

Brakpan residents have been outraged by this story. Accusations have been flung at Jasmin’s divorced parents Sasha Bam and Morne Pretorius, who they call ‘negligent’ for allowing her to be left in the care of her uncle.

At the uncle’s first court appearance angry residents wearing pink called for the death penalty as police escorted him into the courtroom. Some of the residents even tried to attack him, a mob ready to inflict injury in a bid to seek revenge – a bone-chilling reminder of their anger over the loss of an innocent life.

The accused’s second court appearance on Monday was due to be followed by DNA testing. He has not yet requested bail and the case has been postponed until 13 March pending further investigation.

Jasmin’s grandfather, Pastor Colin Bam, has been struggling to come to terms with the death of his granddaughter, his faith tested as he admitted to being prepared to giving up his religion because he is unable to forgive the man who stole his granddaughter’s life.

However Pastor Bam has since said he will be able to forgive the man responsible because he is a leader and must set an example.

Residents of the small town on the East Rand have expressed their shock at this gruesome occurrence with many stating that it is the first time that something like this has tainted the town in their memory.

As Gauteng schools re-open for the year, many mothers will have Jasmin in their thoughts as sadly she will never be afforded the opportunity to start school or continue her life as every child in South Africa has the right to do.

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A mass crowd gathered outside Brakpan's Magistrates Court.
A mass crowd gathered outside Brakpan’s Magistrates Court.