CrimeNews

Ekurhuleni child murder case moves to Johannesburg High Court

The case will be transferred to Johannesburg because the Germiston court does not have jurisdiction over the matter.

Chevonne Rusch’s murder case was transferred to the Johannesburg High Court for pre-trial.

ALSO READ: Chevonne Rusch: Murder case postponed to January 2023

In the high court, the accused, Cornelius Stefan van Niekerk and Rochelle Botha, will face eight counts, including rape, murder and sexual assault.

The transfer was announced in court on January 19 during the accused’s latest court appearance.

The matter was on the roll at Germiston Magistrate’s Court for indictment and was previously postponed on November 9.

The accused, Cornelius Stefan van Niekerk and Rochelle Botha, in the dock at the Germiston Magistrate’s Court in November.

The November postponement was requested by the state to allow it more time to complete medical reports to finalise the high court indictment.

ALSO READ: Chevonne Rusch murder – case postponed to allow for indictment preparations

In May, the NEWS reported that a case of murder was opened after the dead child was taken to Wannenburg Clinic in Primrose.

Bedfordview SAPS spokesperson Sergeant Lillian Modiga said Primrose police officers were called to the clinic.

“When officers arrived, nurses showed them a child brought in by a man believed to be the child’s stepfather.

“The child was wrapped in a blanket and had blood in her mouth and bruises all over her body. The child also had a wound on the back of her head,” she said.

Modiga said that because of the injuries, a murder docket was opened.

It was accused number one, Van Niekerk’s sixth court appearance, while accused number two, Botha, the mother of the dead two-year-old, made her fifth appearance.

Accused number one, Cornelius Stefan van Niekerk, and accused number two, Rochelle Botha.

Once the accused were given the indictment papers by their legal representative, they were allowed to read them.

The magistrate said the case had been transferred to Johannesburg because the Germiston court did not have jurisdiction over the matter.

ALSO READ: Murder case of Chevonne Rusch to proceed to High Court

She said a pre-trial is scheduled for February 3 and that Advocate Williams would prosecute the case.

When questioned, Van Niekerk and Botha said they would continue to use legal aid for representation and elected Afrikaans as their language of interpretation.

Van Niekerk submitted a list of two witnesses to call on during the trial, while Botha submitted the names of four witnesses.

Later, an emotional Botha, sporting blonde-and-brown dyed hair, wiped what appeared to be tears from her face as she stood in the dock.

Van Niekerk and Botha also face charges of trafficking a person and child abuse.

Bail was denied. They will remain in police custody until their high court appearance.

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