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‘Her mom killed her’

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“The accused even got some water for Anowar to wash herself. She came out of the bathroom with a green towel wrapped around her waist.”

THE MAN accused of raping and killing a 23-month-old toddler and disposing of her body in the Vaal River, near Delportshoop, claims that he had sexual intercourse with the child’s mother and has instead accused her of stabbing the child.

Young Kutlwano Springbok was murdered in April last year. A stone was fastened to her body to prevent it from floating to the surface of the river and it was only retrieved five days later.

The accused, Johannes Moroe, 40, appeared in the Northern Cape High Court yesterday on charges of murder, kidnapping, defeating the ends of justice, assault, attempted rape, housebreaking with intent to commit an offence and domestic violence.

The legal representative for the accused, advocate Dries van Tonder, said that his client was walking past the toddler’s home in Rooikoppies on the evening of the incident on April 20, 2019.

“The accused said the door of the house was open and the deceased’s mother (Anna Anowar), who was sitting at the door smoking, called him. He went in and started talking about the wardrobe that he had to fix. He said that he would not be able to do it then but he would come back another time.”

Van Tonder added that Moroe wanted to share Anowar’s cigarette, and she had told him to fetch one inside the house.

“As he was lighting the cigarette, he saw a five-litre container of honey beer. He asked Anowar why the lights in the house were not working and why she was making use of a candle.”

Van Tonder stated that Moroe placed the light bulb on the table when he discovered that it was not working properly.

“The accused said that they were sitting on the settee talking, after which they started to kiss. He decided to spend the night at Anowar’s place. He had some dagga and proceeded to roll a dagga zol.

“As it was raining, he asked Anowar if he could smoke in the toilet. She told him that the children would smell the dagga and advised him to rather go into the other bedroom and smoke at the window.

“The accused said Anowar also smoked part of the dagga joint. After closing the window they kissed and then had sexual intercourse in the bedroom. After they had slept together Anowar realised that she was menstruating and the accused saw blood on his penis.”

Van Tonder added that Moroe used a rag to clean himself.

“The accused even got some water for Anowar to wash herself. She came out of the bathroom with a green towel wrapped around her waist.

“The two continued sitting on the settee, drinking the honey beer. She then told the accused that she wanted regular beer and indicated that she knew of a shebeen where it could be purchased on account.

“She got dressed and wrapped a towel around her head, before leaving to fetch the beers. The accused continued drinking the honey beer and finished smoking the dagga zol.”

Van Tonder stated that while Moroe was sitting in the lounge, Kutlwano woke up and started talking in a “crying voice”.

“The accused picked up the deceased and tried to soothe and calm her down. According to the accused, the deceased was only wearing a T-shirt with no trousers or panties. He went to look for Anowar at the door and when he saw her approaching, the deceased started crying.”

Van Tonder said that Moroe had told Anowar to refrain from “making jokes” when she enquired whether he had raped Kutlwano.

“She was carrying two beers in a plastic bag, which she placed on the table. She threatened to call the police after accusing Moroe a second time of raping the child.

“The accused walked into the house with the deceased still in his arms. He became angry at the accusations that were levelled against him and placed the deceased on the bed.”

Van Tonder said that his client was under the impression that Anowar was carrying a knife when she followed him into the bedroom.

“The accused wedged himself between her and the child to prevent Anowar from hurting the deceased.”

Van Tonder added that Moroe witnessed Anowar stabbing the child.

“The deceased started to cry. After she placed the deceased on the bed, a struggle ensued between Anowar and the accused. The accused saw a knife in Anowar’s hand when he grabbed her right arm and pressed it against the wall. During the struggle the knife fell from her hand.

“Anowar woke up one of the children and told him to call for help, as the accused was trying to rape her. The child left the house, while the deceased was still crying. During the struggle, Anowar fell near the wardrobe, when the accused pulled her down. This is when he used the opportunity to escape and ran to his parent’s house.”

Anowar branded Moroe a liar and refuted all of his claims.

A neighbour Lena van Wyk, told the court that on April 20, 2019, at around 10pm, Anowar arrived at her house with her two young boys.

“She told me that the accused had entered her house through the window and that he had tried to rape her. She had knife scratch marks on her neck.

“Anowar explained that she had left the twin toddlers inside the house, as she was frightened. I called the police and they did not take long to arrive. The following day, I heard that her child was missing.”

Sergeant Tsietsi Monobitlha from the Delportshoop SAPS Visible Policing unit, who attended to the call on the night, at about 10.15pm, said the complainant reported that the accused had tried to rape her.

He did not recall anything untoward in the bedroom and did not see any blood.

“The window in the second bedroom was broken and slightly ajar, so that a person could fit their hand through the opening.

“Anowar started to panic because it was only the twin boy who was asleep on the floor. We searched inside and outside the house, we walked the streets leading to the river but could not find the child or the accused.”

Monobitlha added that at around 3am they found Moroe at his parent’s home and he was arrested on an attempted rape charge.

“I did ask about the child because he was supposedly the last person to have been seen in the presence of the child, although I did not ask him too much. The accused was detained in the cells in Barkly West, because the cells in Delportshoop are not in a good condition.”

The case continues before acting Judge Alme Stanton.