Slain Heinz Park teen Janika Mello was klapped twice on the night she was raped and killed, because she refused to have sex with a man she knew.
This was heard at the Western Cape High Court on Monday as the murder trial of the 14-year-old finally got underway following years of delays.
On 31 August in 2019 Janika, who was a Grade 6 pupil at Northwood Primary School in Woodlands, went to a karaoke at Portlands High School to support a local soccer club.
The teen was later dropped off by a taxi close to her home.
Her half-naked body was found in her backyard the following morning. Used condoms were found around her and the left side of her face was smashed with a concrete block.
Cops arrested Leeroy Rose and Allester Abrams as they were the last two people seen with Janika, and Abrams was allegedly seen by witnesses assaulting her.
Both men have pleaded not guilty to the charges while Allester has admitted to klapping Janika once on the night of her murder.
Her best friend, Shandre Kemp, 18, took to the stand yesterday, explaining that she knew Leeroy and Allester and saw them both on the evening of the karaoke.
Shandre said after leaving home, she, Janika and a group of friends went to Watergate mall where they bought dop before going to Portands. She said while smoking dagga at the event, she saw Allester klap Janika.
Shandre told the court that the group later went to a winkel and while smoking entjies she saw Allester klap Janika again, and a group of boys retaliated by stabbing him and chasing him away.
She says she last saw her friend alive during the early hours of the next morning after walking her home.
“She told me he klapped her because she didn’t want to sleep with him.”
Allester’s lawyer objected to Shandre’s version of events saying it was hearsay. He said another state witness who was present at the party never witnessed the first slap. Instead, the other state witness’ version tied in with Allester’s, saying he only klapped Janika at the winkel.
“It is my instruction that he klapped her because he said she should go home,” the lawyer stated.
Shandre told the court that she was merely telling them what she had witnessed and what her friend had told her.
The trial continues.