Poppie murder case to be heard in high court

Louisa and Kobus Koekemoer in the Brits Magistrates' Court. (Photo: Facebook)

Poppie’s mother and stepfather, Louisa (46) and Kobus Koekemoer (44) appeared in the Brits Magistrate’s Court again last week to face charges of murder, assault and child abuse.

The couple’s case was referred to the Pretoria High Court and will start on 30 October. They have been denied bail and have been in custody since December 2016.

The director of public prosecution gave instructions that the charges against the Koekemoer couple be centralised, as the various alleged abuse incident had taken place in Orania, Hopetown and Brits.

According to the charge sheet, they face a charge of murder, two of assault with the intent to seriously injure both Poppie and her brother, and a charge of child abuse regarding Poppie, her brother and step-sister.

The alleged abuse took place between September 2015 and October 2016.

“While the accused were husband and wife, they both had a legal duty to protect and nurture the children. Although the State does not really know the exact conditions, the accused, among others, shouted at, hit, kicked, pulled or twisted their ears, put the hosepipe on them during freezing weather, cut off the girl’s hair and threw them against solid objects. During this period, the children regularly suffered injuries and had bruises. They also exhibited improper emotional behaviour.”

According to the case file Louisa also has a 15-year-old daughter with a different father. Louisa and Kobus moved in together in Orania in September 2015 and Louisa’s three children moved with them. “The teenager was chased out of the house and went to live with her grandmother. She was forbidden to go home and the emotional and verbal abuse against her continued,” the file read.

The charge sheet states that social workers started monitoring and assessing the situation and they considered removing the children from the couple’s care after which Louisa and Kobus left Orania with Poppie and her brother in September 2016 and moved to Brits.

Poppie was seriously assaulted and died on October 25.

“The deceased’s body was riddled with bruises and marks. The cause of death: head injuries as a result of assault with a blunt instrument.”

The State will allege that both the accused were active participants in assaulting the children.”

Daleen van Manen

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