Police had to be called in to control scores of angry residents outside the Mitchells Plain Magistrate’s Court yesterday who were demanding to see the mother who allegedly confessed to killing her two-year-old son.
This was after Zulpha Jacobs, 30, made her first appearance at the court.
When a vehicle, which residents believed was transporting Jacobs, tried to leave the court grounds, they ran to block the exit and shouted: “Zulpha is a murderer. Bring her to us.”
The police’s tactical response team arrived to disperse the crowd, but some residents still shouted threats and banged on the car as it was driven through the crowd.
Police are also investigating Jacobs for possibly having played a role in the deaths of two of her other children.
Earlier yesterday before Jacobs appeared in court, residents had gathered outside the building. Some had posters reading: “No bail.”
When relatives of Tariq’s father, Walied Jacobs, arrived, the crowd shouted that Jacobs was a killer before Tariq’s aunt, Tawgheeda Davids, broke down and wept.
Because of the large number of residents who had arrived to see Jacobs in court and because of concerns for her safety, police officers did not allow anyone other than journalists and court officials into the courtroom.
When Jacobs emerged from the holding cells, she covered her face with the hood of a baggy top.
A navy scarf covered her head.
Jacobs slouched and leant on the dock throughout proceedings.
Prosecutor Laetitia du Plessis said the State was opposing Jacobs’s release on bail. “The State fears for the life of the accused if released.”
Jacobs’s legal aid attorney, Theo Hartzenberg, said she would not apply for bail.
It had been medically confirmed that she was pregnant and therefore he requested she be kept in the Pollsmoor Prison hospital section.
But the prosecutor said this was incorrect as medical tests had in fact shown Jacobs was not pregnant.
Hartzenberg then briefly consulted Jacobs and told the court Jacobs had a growing abscess on one of her ovaries that needed to be removed and requested that she undergo another pregnancy test.
Du Plessis confirmed Jacobs had an abscess, but repeated that Jacobs was not pregnant.
During proceedings, residents tried to push their way into the courtroom and three police officers had to stand with their backs pressed against the door in an effort to keep them out.
After proceedings, Jacobs walked from the dock to the holding cells, trying to cover her face.
She could be seen wiping one eye as if she was crying.
When the group outside the courtroom realised Jacobs had appeared, they rushed outside hoping to see her being taken to prison.
Walied Jacobs’s family pushed through the crowd and got into a van with tinted windows.
From a front seat in the van Tariq’s grandmother, Farida Jacobs, muttered: “This is too much, too much.”
The crowd then gathered in front of a gate they expected Jacobs to be transported through. “We’re going to get her when they bring her out,” residents shouted.
When they saw the car they believed she was in, some discussed lying in its path to prevent it from leaving the court.
A policeman eventually opened all the car doors and boot, showing them Jacobs was not inside.
But the residents did not budge.
The massive crowd eventually dispersed when the police were given an order, from Mitchells Plain station commander JJ Brand, to arrest them if they remained for 15 minutes as they were gathering in public illegally.
Brand told them Jacobs had already been taken to prison.
The residents vowed to return to court on Monday when Jacobs was expected to appear again.
Jacobs reported Tariq missing on Thursday and police found his body behind a school in Beacon Valley on Saturday.
Two days ago police spokesman November Filander said Jacobs had confessed to killing the boy.
Two days ago Jacobs’s father, Shahied Jappie, said that in 2001 Jacobs’s daughter, nearly two years old, died of a suspected cot death.
Three years ago her second child, a two-year-old son, died after drinking liquid used to clean CDs, Jappie said.