Jasmin case: Supporters gather at court

Johannesburg - Dozens of people, most of them wearing pink T-shirts, gathered outside the Brakpan Magistrate's Court on Tuesday ahead of the appearance of a man accused of raping and killing his four-year-old niece.

The girl was wearing a pink shirt on the day she was killed. Wynard Kruger, 11, was among a few children who had come to support the girl's family.

Four-year-old Jasmin Lee Pretorius. Credit: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

He carried a board with the words in Afrikaans: “Bring back the death penalty. We seek justice for the kids, bring him out.”

Scores of police officers, some on horseback, were outside the court.

Women, Children and People with Disabilities Minister Lulu Xingwana is expected to attend the bail hearing.

She would use the opportunity to express concern about several recent crimes against children across the country, her department said in a statement.

The 23-year-old man was arrested after the girl was reported missing on Saturday, December 28.

“A missing person's report was issued on Saturday morning and the police and the community started looking (for the girl). We had to do our own investigation,” police spokesman Captain Tsekiso Mofokeng said at the time.

Police then interviewed the family.

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

Mofokeng said the man was charged with kidnapping. Later “he gave in and confessed” and helped police find the girl's body underneath a bed in her father's flat, on Voortrekker Street. - Sapa