Man arrested for allegedly murdering his ex’s 10-year-old daughter abandons bail

A 38-year-old man who was arrested on Monday for allegedly murdering his ex-girlfriend’s 10-year-old daughter abandoned his bail application on Wednesday at the Potchefstroom Magistrates Court.

The spokesperson of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Henry Mamothame said the court postponed the murder case against Joseph Phage (38) to 15 December 2021 for further investigations and a possible indictment.

“Phage has applied for legal aid but he abandoned his bail application. The matter will be escalated to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in the North West for a consideration to be made on transferring the case to the High Court of South Africa, North West Division,” Mamothame said.

According to the police, Phage was arrested on Monday, 8 November 2021, after the body of 10-year-old Kamogelo Sithole was found inside his shack in Sonderwater informal settlement, Ikageng near Potchefstroom.

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The police said on 4 November 2021, Phage was expected to appear in court on a charge of attempted murder for an alleged incident that was reported in June 2021 and that the complainant in that matter was his ex-girlfriend. Phage is said to have left the court without appearing and a warrant for his arrest was issued, the police said.

Following his disappearance at the court precinct, Phage is said to have proceeded to a primary school in Ikageng, where his ex-girlfriend’s 10-year-old daughter, Kamogelo Sithole is a learner, the police said, adding that he then kidnapped the child and took her to an unknown location.

Police said Kamogelo’s mother reported a case of kidnapping at the Ikageng police after her daughter had disappeared for a long time and a search for the girl as well as the suspect ensued.

Police said Phage was arrested on Sunday, 7 November 2021, at Zakhele informal settlement in Ikageng and that when he was arrested, he failed to disclose where he had taken the child after he kidnapped her.

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Following a search conducted at Phage’s shack on Monday, 8 November 2021, Kamogelo’s lifeless body was found hidden under a bed, police said.

“Preliminary investigations indicate that she may have been strangled and police are not ruling out a possibility of her being raped. Further investigations are underway,” police said.

Mamothame said the NPA “will assign a capable team of prosecutors to ensure that justice is served”, adding that Phage will remain in police custody until his next court appearance.

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