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Man pleads guilty to little boy’s rape and murder and will face sentencing

VICTIM: Reagan Gertse. file image

VICTIM: Reagan Gertse. file image

Published Jan 26, 2022


Cape Town - Jacobus Petoors, who entered into a plea agreement with the State for the kidnapping, raping and murdering of 8-year-old Reagan Gertse, will face sentencing proceedings at the Cape High Court tomorrow.

Petoors pleaded guilty to the three charges today at the Cape High Court.

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The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) confirmed Petoors gave a full explanation of what happened on that fateful day in Tulbagh.

Petoors was out on parole after being convicted of rape and assault with the intention to do serious bodily harm on July 2012 which had been committed on October 29, 2011.

He was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment and released on parole for three months before committing the crimes.

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Eric Ntabazalila of the NPA said Petoors admitted he had lured Gertse to a nearby river where he had raped him and pressed him to the ground and placed him under the trees when he stopped moving.

He then pretended that he had not been with Gertse despite being seen by the community.

Petroos had been carrying out his community service at a nearby church when he saw Gertse on February 29 2022.

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Gertse was invited to a children’s party and only remained at the residence for a short while before leaving.

“Petoors, 55, pleaded guilty to the three charges and the court convicted him immediately. The court then rolled over the case to tomorrow, 27 January 2022, for sentencing after hearing arguments in aggravation and mitigation of sentence,” said the NPA in their statement.

“The State alleges that Reagan Gertse was seen in the company of Petoors on the morning of 29 February 2020.

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“On that day, the boy was invited to the party of Amelia Booysen at Blesbok Street, Tulbagh, scheduled to start at 4pm.

“He attended the party but left after half an hour. Between 5pm and 6pm that day he was again seen in Petoors’s company.

“He did not return home that evening and his family started to get concerned.

“A search party was formed and a search for the missing boy ensued. It continued on the morning of 1 March 2020 and later his body was found in nearby bushes.

“In his plea explanation Petoors confessed that on 29 February 2020 he visited the NG Kerk to do his community service which was part of his parole conditions.

“He did not find anyone at the church as he arrived late. As he walked back home, he saw Reagan Gertse at his home.

“He knew the boy as he stayed a few houses from the house he shared with his late brother, Kennels Petoors. He called Gertse and told him that he planned to go for a swim at the local river as it was hot that day.

“He alleges that the boy requested to go with.

“On their way to the river, he saw a woman walking with a boy. The boy accompanying the woman called Gertse.

“The deceased wanted to go with the boy and the woman but he fell. Petoors grabbed him, placed his arm around his neck and instructed him to go with. When they arrived at the river, he raped him.”

Gertse had tried to flee from Petoors.

“The deceased asked to go home but Petoors refused to let him go.

“Petoors dragged him closer to the river and pressed his head into the ground until he stopped moving. He then picked up his body and placed it near some trees with his face facing down.

“He then went home. Gertse’s mother, Louisa Gertse, confronted Petoors about the whereabouts of her son but he denied knowing where the deceased was. The mother told him that someone from the community saw him with her son. On 1 March 2020, police arrested Petoors.

“He admits knowing what he did was wrong and that his actions caused the death of the deceased. He told the court that he regretted what he did to Gertse and his family, asked for forgiveness and that he took full responsibility.”

The State asked that Petoors be removed from society due to the high levels of crime and to face life imprisonment during their mitigation and aggravation of sentencing.

“Petoors is currently serving the remainder of his 12-year sentence, which is 1 604 days,” said Ntabazalila.

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