Baby L’s mother has denied using drugs or knowing that her partner was abusing her daughter.
The 22-year-old woman and her 36-year-old partner who is also her co-accused in the matter appeared in the Pretoria North Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, seeking bail.
Baby L is still in a semi-coma at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital. Her family fears she may have suffered brain damage.
She has been treated in hospital since late December after she lost consciousness while in the care of her mother’s partner. He claimed the child had fallen from a washing machine days earlier.
The woman’s legal representative read out a statement to the court yesterday disputing allegations by the State.
During a previous appearance State prosecutor Tania Carstens read affidavits of various witnesses, including the child’s biological father, her grandmother, and the family’s domestic worker.
Statements from the sister and mother of the partner of Baby L’s mother, were also read into record.
Allegations surfaced that Baby L’s mother and her partner are regular drug users, that she had covered the child in long clothes when visiting family – allegedly to hide bruises on the child’s body – and that she had denied the father the right to see the child.
On Thursday the mother denied ever using drugs. She claimed that at times Baby L was dressed in long clothes, because it was after dusk and cold.
She denied having covered up any bruises on the child’s body and added that her partner never abused her but rather that the child bruised easily when touched too hard.
She also claimed that she fled from the child’s father because she feared for her life.
According to the statement, he had assaulted her before, was aggressive, had violent outbursts, and at times did not feed her or Baby L, and thus she left him.
She claimed that while staying with friends, he would stalk her and this continued even after she had moved out of Pretoria.
The mother claimed that Baby L’s father threatened to take the child away from her if she did not go back to him.
She then made a decision not to let him see Baby L out of fear that he would flee with the child.
In a statement read out by her partner’s lawyer in his defence, the man also denied any drug use or abusing Baby L or her mother.
The matter was postponed to February 13 for closing arguments.