Cape Town - Wednesday is the second anniversary of the death of 18-month-old Jeremiah Ruiters from Factreton.
According to medical evidence, the toddler was tortured to death over a period of time, for which his mother and her boyfriend are now in court.
Since the trial began in the Western Cape High Court, Pamela Timm, 66, the grandmother of Jeremiah on his father’s side, has attended the hearings.
“I have attended every single court proceeding and it has been terrible sitting listening to the detailed testimony from the pathologist of how my little grandchild was tortured.
“I had to listen to how his eyes and intestines were removed and rib cage opened to determine the internal injuries he sustained.
“There were times when I couldn’t contain myself in court and left with tears in my eyes. I would be lying if I told you how many sleepless nights I have endured.
“I’ve been in and out of the doctors because of my stress. It’s really hard to sit in court, but I want to be there till the end of the trial,” Timm said.
In Court 5 in the Western Cape High Court, she sat less than 3m away from Ameerudien Peters, 26, and Abigail Ruiters, on trial for the murder of the toddler.
He died on June 12, 2017 as a result of blunt force trauma to his spine, a cracked skull, broken ribs and bite marks all over his body. Peters is facing a charge of rape and murder, while Ruiters is charged with abuse and neglect of Jeremiah.
On Tuesday, pathologist Dr Marna du Plessis, in her second day in the witness stand, summarised the injuries.
“A total of 14 fractured bones were caused by blunt force trauma. The child died on June 12, 2017 and the post-mortem was carried out on June 14, 2017.
“He had old fractured injuries that were re-fractured, as well as new fractures. There was bleeding around the affected areas. I would say the new fractures occurred within 24 hours prior to the death of the child.”
State prosecutor Marie Marshall said the pathologist was taking the court through all the visible and internal injuries step by step.
Explaining the injuries to the pericardium a membrane enclosing the heart, Du Plessis said: “It showed haemorrhage. This was caused by direct pressure in front to the back. It’s like pressing the heart against the spinal column. The child was still alive at the time and this wasn’t a post mortem injury,” she said.
At that precise moment tears rolled down the eyes of the granny and she left the court.