‘I forgive creche owner’

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Labeeba Truter has been charged with assault and child abuse. Photo: Nokuthula Mbatha

Johannesburg -

The father of a toddler gagged and tied up at a local crèche earlier this month hopes the owner has learnt her lesson.

Valdo Lage says he forgives Rosettenville crèche owner Labeeba Truter.

“I think the two weeks she spent in jail made her realise that she can’t treat any children badly from now on. If she does, she will go to jail for a very long time. Besides, I don’t hold any grudges,” Lage said, adding his daughter was well and happy at her new crèche.

Yesterday Truter of Petite Bumper Day Care Centre appeared for her bail hearing at the Johannesburg Magistrate Court alongside Nomthandazo Majeke, 22, an employee at the crèche who allegedly made the video.

Both women were charged with assault and child abuse after a video of Lage’s 21-month-old toddler, who was gagged and tied up, went viral.

In the video, the toddler is seen in the crèche’s bathroom, with her hands and feet tied, struggling to free herself. Tape has also been placed on her mouth.

Reports alleged that Truter restrained the child because she was crying and she didn’t want to be disturbed while watching TV. It is also alleged that the child was kept in the bathroom for almost three hours before being released.

Truter was arrested earlier this month while Majeke was arrested a week ago at her home. It is unclear what led to the young teacher’s arrest but a family friend confirmed that she was responsible for recording the video clip.

In court yesterday, the two women sat with their eyes cast down while magistrate Paul du Plessis confirmed with the women’s legal counsel that the crèche was indeed closed, before reading out their bail conditions.

He granted them R3 000 bail each for assault and child abuse provided they did not abscond from their current residential addresses or interfere with state witnesses.

Du Plessis also warned Truter that she could not run any business that involved caring for children and Majeke could not teach any children.

Truter’s advocate, Herry-Bonnke Maluleke, said his client would not comment on what had happened until her trial begins.

“She has the right to remain silent. All will be handled at the trial,” he said.

The matter resumes on May 19.

Saturday Star


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