'What did you do to my child?' - murder accused mom breaks down in dock on hearing her child was raped
Cape Town - "What did you do to my child?" murder accused Abigail Ruiters shouted at boyfriend Ameeruddien Peters after it emerged in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Wednesday that the little boy had been raped.
"I didn't do anything to him," Peters responded as Ruiters burst into tears as both stood in the dock.
The six-month pregnant mom of three appeared alongside Peters, 26, on Wednesday just over a week after the death of 18-month-old Jeremiah Ruiters.
Ruiters refused to stand next to Peters as neighbours in the public gallery cried.
She also pushed him as he tried to plead with her to listen to him.
During bail information proceedings, it emerged that Ruiters had been at work at the time of her son's death. She was also the sole provider for her household.
Neither have any criminal record.
The matter was postponed to July 5.
The little boy is expected to be buried on Saturday.
Ruiters' father, Pastor Ronald Ruiters, last week confirmed he would first speak to his daughter to decide if the family would wait for her possible release on bail so that she could attend her youngest son's funeral service.
Ruiters has been charged under the Children's Act and now also with murder, and Peters has been charged with murder and rape after the toddler died of serious injuries to his head and body last Monday.
The couple lived together with her three children and have been together for about a year.
Pastor Ruiters has officiated at a number of funerals for young victims of violent crimes, including Celine Cowley, 4, who was sexually assaulted and stabbed in Ravensmead in August 2006, and Nadine Jantjies, 7, who was raped and strangled in Wesbank in 2009.
He described his grandson as a loving child who always smiled when he held him.
Three months ago, the toddler was hospitalised after he broke his arm.
According to social workers' records, he had also been hospitalised on two previous occasions.
There was no evidence at that time of abuse from the family.