Abigail Ruiters says only the accused could be responsible for the death of Jeremiah
News / 12 November 2019, 9:50pm / Robin Lee Francke/Daily Voice
Cape Town - In a dramatic twist, Abigail Ruiters said only her ex-boyfriend, Ameerodien Peters, could be responsible for the rape and murder of her one-year-old son.
Ruiters finally took to the stand in the Western Cape High Court in her own defence on Friday.
During cross-examination on Monday, State prosecutor Maria Marshall told Ruiters that she heard her co-accused deny that he killed or abused her son, Jeremiah, “so who can it be?”
Ruiters replied: “I wouldn’t know. I wasn’t home on that day, but at work. He [Peters] was alone with the children, so who else could it be?”
Ruiters, 31 and Peters, 28, are on trial for the rape and murder of little Jeremiah at their home in Salamander Square, Kensington, in June 2017.
Ruiters is charged with murder and child neglect under the Children’s Act.
The couple is facing two more charges of child abuse relating to Ruiters’ two surviving children.
Peters previously testified that he did not murder or rape Jeremiah, instead blaming the little boy’s older sister, who was three at the time, of hitting and biting him.
He admitted that he looked after Abigail’s three children while she went to work.
He also claimed Jeremiah was lomp and used to fall and injure himself a lot, which apparently accounted for the numerous old and new injuries on the toddler’s undernourished body at the time of his death.
Marshall also questioned Ruiters on the injuries Jeremiah sustained on the day of his death.
“That morning of 12 June 2017, you did not leave Jeremiah with those injuries?” Marshall asked,
Ruiters replied: “No, he did not have anything when I left him. He was in good order.”
Marshall then stated: “So you would agree with me, if not you, the only other person who could have abused and killed Jeremiah is accused one [Peters]?”
To which Ruiters responded: “I agree.”
Ruiters admitted that she did “not really know” Peters when he moved in with her and her children in October 2016 - within a month of meeting him at a pub in Maitland - but the couple “got to know each other as time went by”.
Marshall questioned Ruiters on Peters’ previous claims that he worked for the City of Cape Town as a “landscaper”, earning R2 300 a fortnight, and that he studied engineering at UWC.
He told the court that he supported Ruiters and her children financially.
To this Ruiters responded: “That’s not what he told me back then.
“He told me he studied engineering at Northlink College. He was not working, it’s not true.
“He once gave me a R100, I don’t know nothing of R2 300. If he had to give that R2 300, I could have placed the children in daycare.”
Marshall reiterated: “So he [Peters] wasn’t telling the truth?” to which Ruiters responded: “Yes, he lied.”