Murder-accused Pieter van Tonder admitted to killing 17-month-old Asheeqah Scott. Picture: Robin-Lee Francke/Daily Voice

Cape Town - Murder-accused Pieter Van Tonder explained to the Western Cape High Court exactly what he did to Asheeqah Scott that led to the 17-month-old's death. 

In his guilty plea Van Tonder detailed that he and Shakira Scott, Asheeqah's mother, had been in a relationship for five months when she asked him to look after the toddler. Scott had gone to do her laundry at home, down the road from Van Tonder's home in Delft, Cape Town. 

Upset over Scott’s delay in picking up the child and under the influence of Mandrax and dagga, Van Tonder admitted to hitting the child with an open hand in the face that she fell flat on the bed. 

"I picked her up and again assaulted her on her body head and body. I did this about three times and after the last assault I could see that she was not moving. 

"As I was climbing into my vehicle, I threw the deceased’s limp body to the back seat. As we drove off, I picked her up, then placed her limp body over the head rest of the front seat. I would speed up and then break hard, to cause her to fall on the rear seat and floor. I did so repeatedly,” he said. 

Throughout the ordeal Asheeqah did not cry or make a sound.

Asheeqah's mom, Shakira Scott speaks to the media outside the Western Cape High Court. Video: Zodidi Dano/Cape Argus

The accused said he later prepared another white pipe, lit it to heat up the glass and then used it to burn the little girl's lips.

Forensic Pathologist Lara Peddle told the court Asheeqah sustained multiple blows to the head.

"There were at least four separate blows with significant amount of force.

"The cause of death was blunt head trauma."

Peddle told the court Asheeqah had many bruises and cigarette burn marks on her foot and wrist.

She had burn wound to her left wrist which Peddle deduced could have been from a hot object being pressed against the skin. 

Some of the wounds were inflicted at least 12 hours before little Asheeqah's death. 

"Her organs were in a state. Her pancreas was nearly gone and her liver was that of an adult who drinks heavily. I had never seen such neglect in my entire career, but the neglect did not cause her death, her injuries did," said Peddle.

Ricardo Marco, Van Tonder’s friend who witnessed the brutal assault, said he struggled to sleep since the day Asheeqah was killed on September 3, 2016.

He said he was too fearful to stop the accused, but told the court two life terms would be sufficient punishment for his former friend.

But, acting Judge Mushtak Parker was having none of Marco's remorse. 

"You sat there like a coward watching the accused brutally assaulting this baby as if she was a doll. 

"I have seen and heard many stories in my lifetime, but never such a brutal case. I don’t know if I will be able to sleep at night after hearing this," he said.

The case was postponed to November 6, for final arguments. 

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Cape Argus