Sexual assault being investigated in Reiger Park case

Johannesburg - An investigation is under way to determine if 3-year-old Cuburne van Wyk was sexually assaulted, and if there was an attempt to get rid of evidence, a court official said on Friday.

"The possibility of sexual assault is being investigated, and the setting alight of the body to allegedly destroy evidence," senior public prosecutor Henk Strydom told reporters at the Boksburg Magistrate's Court.

The man arrested in connection with Van Wyk's murder made his first appearance behind closed doors following a court order that it be held in-camera.

Strydom said the order prohibited publication of the accused's identity and photographs of him. This was because certain witnesses still had to attend an identity parade and identify the accused.

The court did not allow any media or public into Courtroom A on Friday where the accused appeared. His name also did not appear on the court roll.

The man, believed to be in his mid-20s, faces charges of murder, and possibly kidnapping and defeating the ends of justice.

His case was postponed to 22 August for bail application, and he was remanded in police custody until his next appearance.

Strydom said the accused, surprisingly, wanted to represent himself during court proceedings, and had not requested the services of an attorney.

The State intended opposing bail.

Strydom on Friday also reprimanded a journalist from Jacaranda FM because the radio station had disclosed the name of the accused, before the court order was issued.

He warned that anyone caught defying the court order would be charged with contempt of court.

The accused was arrested in Germiston on Wednesday by metro police officers. Cuburne's body was discovered on Saturday by a passer-by at a mine dump in Reiger Park, Ekurhuleni.

Police said he died as a result of multiple head injuries and burn wounds. He disappeared on 6 August while he was playing outside with his siblings.