The DNA of only one of the five men who stand accused of raping and murdering a 10-year-old girl in 2010 match the DNA samples found on the victim’s skirt and in her vagina.
This was the findings of Cindy-Lee Juliana Sauls, a police forensic analyst, who testified on Thursday in the Northern Cape High Court on whether the samples found on the clothes and body of Velerie Julius, matched with the reference samples of the five men who stand accused of raping and murdering her.
Velerie was found dead with multiple stab wounds and extensive injuries to her genital area on December 1 2010, in Douglas.
Deon Hilton van Nel, Deon Alwyn, Mervin Jacobus, Adri Julius and one minor have all pleaded not guilty to the charges of rape and murder.
Sauls testified that only Van Nel’s DNA matched samples found on the skirt Julius was wearing when she was found dead, as well as on an intra-vaginal swab taken by the forensic pathologist who conducted her post mortem.
Alwyn, Jacobus, Julius and a 14-year-old minor accused were excluded as possible DNA donors.
Sauls testified that Van Nel was a perfect match, as he matched all nine columns in the test to determine a DNA match and added that the chances of finding another person with the same DNA profile would be extremely rare and estimated the probability thereof at about one in 49 billion – highly unlikely.
Van Nel’s legal representative, advocate Japie Schreuder, did attempt to discredit Sauls by cross-examining her about a (rectified) mistake on the DNA report, but she replied by saying that whoever interpreted the analysis, would get the same result.
The State followed Sauls’s testimony by submitting a statement made by Jacobus to a magistrate on December 4, 2010, although his legal representative, advocate Johan Cloete indicated that his client was influenced by the investigating officer, Detective Captain Pogisho Oliphant to do so, after he (Oliphant) allegedly made certain “promises” to Jacobus in return for him making the statement.
According to Jacobus, Oliphant promised him some money, free bail, a lesser sentence than the rest of the accused, as well as some tobacco if he implicated Alwyn as the one who murdered Julius.
Oliphant was called to the stand and testified, saying that he took over as investigating officer from Henry de Wee, who initially handled the case.
He denied instructing Jacobus on what to say in his statement or talking to and even seeing him before he made the statement.
He further dismissed the allegations of the alleged “promises” he made to Jacobus as “totally untrue”.
The State went on to read this statement to the court. It indicated that Jacobus submitted the statement voluntarily and that he was not threatened or influenced by any party to do so.
In the statement, Jacobus also denied that that anybody promised him anything, specifically bail money or cigarettes, when the magistrate questioned him about these factors.
Jacobus was then called to the stand, where he explained that the first part of the statement was the truth, while the last part was what Oliphant had told him what to say and thus lies.
In the second part of the statement he implicates both himself, Alwyn, Julius and the minor as involved in the rape and murder, although he initially submitted that Oliphant had told him to only implicate Alwyn, and also only in the murder charge.
“We saw four girls playing and we caught one . . . the four of us raped her and then Deon (Alwyn) stabbed her with a knife . . . I took the knife from him and cleaned it. Adri (Julius) fetched a black bag from his house and Deon and Adri placed her body inside of it. We then threw the body over the Kobie’s fence,” the statement read.
When asked by the State why he implicated all four the accused, not only in the murder (as allegedly instructed by Oliphant), but also the rape, he answered that he thought this confession would make Oliphant happy and perhaps encourage him to get him his money quicker.
The State further asked why the two parts of the statement flowed seamlessly into one story.
Jacobus only responded to this with “no comment.” The trial continues on Friday.
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