The man accused of Kutlwano Garesape's murder appeared in the Jan Kempdorp Magistrate's Court. Seen here is the hero's boy's family mother Segomotso and brothers Otlankaraba and Thabiso. Picture: Soraya Crowie/Diamond Fields Advertiser

Kimberley - Just days after the launch of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign, the man accused of brutally killing a six-year-old Jan Kempdorp boy, who tried to defend his mother from being raped, appeared in the local magistrate’s court on Tuesday.

Kutlwano Garesape died after Tefo Dikole allegedly stabbed him with a broken bottle after allegedly attempting to rape the little boy’s mother, Segomotso Garesape, on the morning of August 12.

Segomotso and her two sons, Kutlwano and Thabiso, were accosted by Dikole while they were walking to school, where she is employed as a cook, after they had missed the bus.

Dikole briefly appeared in the Jan Kempdorp Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday and the matter was postponed in order for the Director of Public Prosecution to make a decision on whether the case should be referred to a higher court.

Kutlwano’s parents, Segomotso and Frank Jacobs, who have been in regular attendance at the court appearances, said that coming to terms with the death of their son was an ongoing struggle.

Segomotso said that although she still worked at the school where her son was a pupil, they had decided to take his older brother out of the school.

“Thabiso and Kutlwano were very close... they did everything together. He (Thabiso) has changed now that Kutlwano has died. He is very short-tempered and gets aggressive when he is angry. I realise that because he was present on that morning and also witnessed his brother’s murder, it really affected him more deeply than we may understand. We decided to move him to a school in town in an attempt to ease his grief.

Tefo Dikole has been accused of six-year-old Kutlwano Garesape's murder. Picture: Soraya Crowie/Diamond Fields Advertiser

“He was very reserved and did not talk much before the death of Kutlwano. Kutlwano was the talkative one and we see that Thabiso is trying to express his anger and pain through his aggression.”

She said that he attended therapy to help him deal with the tragic incident.

“He goes for counselling once a week. That is helping him to calm down and to deal with his emotions. It is, however, an ongoing healing process as he sometimes tells us that he misses Kutlwano. Their eldest brother, Otlankaraba, regularly visits Kutlwano’s grave but Thabiso refuses to go there.”

She added that she was also constantly reminded of the incident when at work.

“I am still working at the school and sometimes the incident replays itself in my head, since the school is not that far from where my child was killed.”

Frank said that he had also noticed changes in Thabiso’s behaviour.

“He now refuses to go anywhere without me. He is constantly by my side. I have to take him to school and fetch him again. Thabiso is also very afraid of other men. The other day there was a man in the yard and he ran into the house and called me.”

He said that he felt hurt that he was not present on the day of the incident.

“My children see me as their protector... it is my duty to keep them safe. I could not protect them on the day of the incident as I was not with them. Thabiso once told me that he didn’t want anything to happen to me. That touched me deeply as I now think he is under the impression that he has to protect me.”

The family, who were supported by community members at the court, indicated that they were touched by the ongoing support.

“The community has been very supportive since the incident. They give up their time to attend the court appearances of the accused. We are immensely grateful for that,” they said.

The community said they wished for justice to be served.

“This incident has rocked the entire town as we realise that it could have happened to anyone. It could have been anyone’s child. The accused should rot in jail for what he did. We hope the court hands him a double life sentence for the pain and misery he caused the family,” community members said.

The court case has been postponed to December.

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