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Jealous man kills lover's daughter

Four-year old Lerato Rapuleng was stabbed multiple times in the neck, stomach and back.
Four-year old Lerato Rapuleng was stabbed multiple times in the neck, stomach and back.

A 22-year-old man allegedly stabbed his lover's four-year-old daughter to death last week after suspecting that the woman was cheating on him.

Lerato Rapuleng was stabbed multiple times in the neck, stomach and back allegedly by her mother's boyfriend in their Bophelong home, south of Johannesburg, on Friday.

The suspect appeared in the Vanderbijlpark magistrate's court yesterday where he was charged with murder and attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

He was allegedly on the run for two days following the minor's killing.

His matter was postponed until January 2 when he is expected to apply for bail.

His family refused to speak to Sowetan.

A neighbour who saw Lerato's body shortly after she was killed in her mother's shack said she was horrified by the sight of the toddler's naked and lifeless body.

She said the child was murdered after her mother, Mamokete Rapuleng, had an argument with the suspect after she received a call from an ex-boyfriend.

"I was standing outside and could see that Mamokete and her boyfriend were having an argument. She was standing several metres from where he was and their emotions were high," said the neighbour.

She said she then went on with her business because the couple was in the habit of fighting, but things would simmer down after a few hours.

"After about an hour I heard another neighbour shouting that something bad had happened and that we needed to call the police," she said.

"Mamokete was outside crying and screaming that the boyfriend had killed her daughter. We went in and found Lerato lying in a pool of blood," she said.

Reginald Mkhonza, another neighbour, said the girl's mother received a call from an ex-boyfriend, which plunged her lover into a raging fit of jealousy.

"That girl has been communicating with her ex for some time. The suspect apparently found out recently that they had been talking and he became upset. He told her to stop communicating with him but she wouldn't listen."

Mkhonza said Lerato was stabbed after the lover heard Rapuleng talking on the phone with her ex-boyfriend.

"He lost his mind. They had a scuffle over her phone. When she ran out he stabbed Lerato and then ran out with the cellphone."

Sergeant Gertrude Makhale said the man was arrested two days later. "It is alleged that the suspect became angry after suspecting her girlfriend was cheating. He allegedly stabbed the child because he was jealous and accused the child's mother of being in contact with her ex-boyfriend."

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