Horror abuse of girl, 2, unfolds in high court
Mother says she left child with her boyfriend while she was at work
AN AMANDASIG, Pretoria North, couple are facing charges of attempted murder and child abuse after the woman’s 2-yearold daughter was allegedly so badly abused that she is now confined to an institution, suffering from brain damage.
The parties, who may not be named to protect the child, yesterday denied they had laid a finger on the petite, blonde child.
However, pictures handed to the High Court in Pretoria reveal multiple bruises across the child’s body.
The 20-year-old mother’s defence is that she was at work last December– when the child was injured – as she had to financially provide for her child.
She said she left Baby L in the care of her 37-year-old boyfriend, who in turn claimed the child fell twice – once off a washing machine and the second time down the stairs of their secondfloor flat.
The State claims the child was at some stage covered in bruises and the accused usually covered this up with clothes so nobody could see it.
Baby L was taken to Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria two days after Christmas, vomiting and seemingly with concussion.
According to the State, the accused was told by a neurosurgeon to wait as he wanted to discuss a scan of the child with the couple, but they allegedly left before the child could be treated.
The child was rushed to the Akasia Clinic three days later after she had a seizure. She was then admitted to Steve Biko Academic Hospital, where it was established that she had bruises across her body and that both her kidneys and pancreas were severely injured.
The child was also diagnosed with severe brain damage.
The accused were subsequently arrested.
The mother is out on bail and her boyfriend is in jail awaiting trial.
In her plea explanation, the mother denied that she allowed anyone to hurt her child. She said her boyfriend once phoned her at work to tell her the child had fallen off the washing machine. They took the child to hospital, but the doctor said it was a mild concussion and gave them Panado syrup.
Three days later, she was told the child had fallen down the stairs, but her co-accused assured her the child was fine.
In his defence, the boyfriend said he and Baby L were very close and he took care of her while the mother was at work.
His sister, identified only as Awie-Marie, testified she and her mother went to fetch her brother on December 30 to take him to the shops. He walked down towards their car with Baby L on his hip. “She seemed happy and was eating a snack.”
The witness said the child, who was in potty training at that stage, had wet herself. She told her brother, who took Baby L back upstairs. AwieMarie testified she could hear her brother shouting at the child.
He later came down alone and said a neighbour, who is a social worker, was with Baby L as she had soiled herself and was bathing.
They later returned from the shops. On her way home, she received a message from her brother, who said the child had had a seizure.
They went back to his flat where she tried to resuscitate the child, but she did not respond. Awie-Marie said they rushed the child to Akasia Clinic, where she noticed bruises on the child.
The neighbour testified she did not know the child and only saw her through the safety door of their flat. She denied that she ever babysat the child, as claimed by the man.
The State said it would call a host of medical experts this week to testify regarding the child’s injuries.
She fell off the washing machine and down stairs of second-floor flat