Randy Tango, 31, dropped a bombshell at the Mitchells Plain Magistrate's Court on Monday when he revealed he would be applying for bail.
Tango, who was dressed in a black hoodie and blue tracksuit pants, faced a packed courtroom, which was being monitored by about 20 police officers.
Tango was arrested last Tuesday just hours after the naked body of 11-year-old Stacha Arendse was found dumped on a soccer field at Swartklip Centre, Tafelsig.
The Grade 7 Tafelsig Primary School pupil disappeared the day before, while watching movies at her friend’s home in Matroosberg Street.
Top cops said the killer had used another child to lure Stacha out of the house under the pretence that her mother had been calling her.
Tango is known to Stacha’s family.
On Monday, hundreds of people gathered outside court to protest, and police cordoned off First Avenue.
Inside court, community members queued, pushing and shoving to get inside the courtroom.
State prosecutor, Darren Francis, told the court Tango was facing three charges – murder, rape and kidnapping.
Although the investigation was not yet complete, the State was opposing bail.
Francis then revealed that Tango had been released on parole last October, after being convicted of car theft.
Last week police sources claimed Tango was convicted of rape.
However, his mother Vivienne told the Daily Voice her son had been accused of statutory rape 12 years ago, but that the case against him was withdrawn, “because I paid a lot for a lawyer”.
“He went out with the 16-year-old girl, and her mother made a case of rape against him,” Vivienne said.
“I paid thousands of rands for a lawyer and they withdrew the charges.”
Meanwhile, Tango has appointed a Legal Aid lawyer, who indicated on Monday that his client would be applying for bail.
The State said bail would be opposed.
Tango stood with hunched shoulders, avoiding eye contact with the public gallery, where Stacha’s father, Stanley Godfrey, 31, and grandmother, Dawn Godfrey, sat in the second row.
The case was postponed to May 3 for a formal bail application.
Asked for comment, Stanley and Dawn said they were “not in a position to speak”.
Family friend Nazley Wagief said they were “disappointed” that Tango wanted bail.
But she warned: “If he gets bail, he knows no one can guarantee what will happen to him on the outside.”
Outside court, outraged community members shouted that should bail be granted, they would carry out their own brand of justice.
“Gee hom bail, dan maak ons hom vrek,” one man shouted. ("Give him bail, then we kill him,")
Stacha will be laid to rest on Tuesday and a private viewing will take place at her home from 9am to 10am.
The church service will take place at 10:30am at the Orion Church International in Rocklands.