Christmas in jail for North West man accused of murdering and possibly raping10-year-old Kamogelo
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Pretoria - The Potchefstroom Magistrate’s Court has postponed the murder case against 38-year-old Joseph Phage for further investigation and to await the director of prosecutions’ decision to transfer the matter to the high court.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson in the North West, Henry Mamothame, said the case against Phage was postponed to February 10.
Phage, who has state-funded Legal Aid representation, has abandoned his bail application.
“Police reports revealed that Phage was arrested following an incident in which the body of 10-year-old Kamogelo Sithole was found inside his shack in Sonderwater informal settlement at Ikageng near Potchefstroom,” said Mamothame.
Police records show that Phage had appeared in court on November 4 on a charge of attempted murder for another incident that was reported in June. In that case, the complainant has been identified as Phage’s former girlfriend.
As that matter was to be heard, Phage is said to have left the court without appearing and a warrant for his arrest was issued.
As that case was ongoing, Phage allegedly then kidnapped his ex-girlfriend’s 10-year-old daughter at a primary school in Ikageng and took her to an unknown location.
“Following the child’s disappearance, the mother reported a case of kidnapping at a local police station. The police arrested Phage on November 7 at Zakhele informal settlement, and on his arrest he failed to disclose the whereabouts of the child,” said Mamothame.
The following day, police officers proceeded to Phage’s residence and on searching it, discovered the body of Kamogelo hidden under the bed.
Mamothame said preliminary investigations indicate that the child may have been strangled, and police are not ruling out the possibility of her being raped.
“Following a sterling job by the police, the NPA has assigned a capable team of prosecutors to ensure that justice is served. Meanwhile, Phage will remain in police custody until his next court appearance,” said Mamothame.