Jasmin accused ‘moved to place of safety’

Johannesburg -

A man accused of raping and killing four-year-old girl in Brakpan, Gauteng, has been moved to a place of safety after death threats were made against him, Eyewitness News reported on Friday.

A noose is placed around a photograph of the man accused of the rape and murder of four-year-old Jasmin Lee Pretorius. Photo: Timothy Bernard. Credit: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

The girl's family said they had received requests from prisoners asking if they could “take care” of the man, the radio news station reported.

The grandfather of the girl said he was not ready to speak to or forgive the man, but could not allow the man to be killed.

“They have a way of getting messages out and are sending messages asking if we want them to take him out,” the grandfather said.

The 23-year-old man appeared in the Brakpan Magistrate's Court on Monday, and the case was postponed to Tuesday.

Eyewitness News also reported on Friday that hundreds of people had gathered at a Brakpan church for a memorial service for the girl.

Many bikers dressed in pink, ANC Women's League members, and police, including national commissioner Riah Phiyega, attended the memorial service.

Captain Tsekiso Mofokeng said on Monday a missing person's report for the girl was issued on Saturday morning.

“The police and the community started looking (for the girl). We had to do our own investigation,” Mofokeng said.

Police then interviewed the family.

“We identified that one of the family members did not give a confident story... He gave many versions.”

He said the man was charged with kidnapping.

Later “he gave in and confessed” and helped the police find the body underneath a bed in her father's flat.

“We will hear from the post mortem what caused the death and whether there was sexual assault,” he said.

Police on Friday directed queries related to the man being moved to the correctional services department.

The department had not yet responded. - Sapa