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DNA links murderaccused and toddler

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All the toddler’s genital organs were removed by means of a sharp instrument before a 4,9 kilogram stone was fastened to her body and she was drowned

DNA SAMPLES that were sent for forensic analysis have been matched to the accused who is standing trial for the rape and murder of a 23-month-old toddler from Rooikoppies, near Delportshoop, in April 2019.

The deceased, Kutlwano Springbok, was taken from her home on April 20, while her mother ran for help when the accused allegedly threatened to rape her.

Following an extensive search that was launched by the community and the police, her body was retrieved from the Vaal River on April 25.

All the toddler’s genital organs were removed by means of a sharp instrument before a 4,9 kilogram stone was fastened to her body and she was drowned.

The accused Johannes Moroe, 40, has pleaded not guilty to all the charges including kidnapping, murder, rape, defeating the ends of justice, assault, domestic violence, attempted rape and housebreaking.

Testifying in the Northern Cape High Court yesterday, Captain Ridwaan Boltman, a forensic analyst, indicated that exhibits that were sent from the Delportshoop Police Station were compared to reference samples of the deceased and the accused at the SAPS forensic laboratory in Cape Town.

Among the exhibits that were sent for DNA testing were two cotton swabs, a brown jacket with possible blood, a multi-coloured T-shirt, blue cut trousers and a pair of brown trousers, that were collected from the accused.

Two knives that were found at the home of the accused in Rooikoppies, as well as soiled and slightly torn underwear, were also seized as evidence.

Boltman said the DNA samples obtained from a jacket and two knives, that were sent for testing, matched the profile of the deceased.

He added that a mixed DNA profile, including that of the deceased, was detected from a swab that was taken from the fingernails of both the right and left hands of the accused.

The case continues before acting judge Alme Stanton. The state advocate is Keageletse Ilanga and the legal representative for the accused is advocate Dries van Tonder from Legal Aid South Africa.

– Sandi Kwon Hoo