JOHANNESBURG - The abuse case of 40-year-old Nellie Senwametsi, who was caught on camera viciously beating three toddlers under her care at the Ninnie Neurons crèche in Carletonville, was on Friday escalated to the Regional Court.
The shocking video of the beating of the innocent and defenceless toddlers went viral in April and immediately caused an uproar.
Senwametsi was arrested but has since been released on bail.
On Friday the toddlers parents and grandparents as well as concerned residents picketed outside court. They carried "bruised" dolls which represented what the accused did to their children.
They also carried scrubbing brushes, such as the one seen in the video being used by Senwametsi to hit one of the children.
The picketers were dressed in black with T-shirts written “#MiniMeToo and #NoExcuse”. Their placards said: “No excuse for child abuse’’ and “Speed up for justice”.
Senwametsi's case has been postponed several times.
At one court appearance in June, the accused was assaulted after the proceedings ended.
Sighs of relief filled that court gallery when Judge Howard Raath announced that Senwametsi’s case would now be handled by the Regional Court. Her trial will begin in a fortnight on 29 August.
“Finally. After a very long drag. We are very happy that it is finally going to trial. We need the court to give justice. Our kids have become monsters after what happened to them. We need to make sure that this never happens again,” said a parent who asked not to be named.
Jenin Edwards, owner of the crèche who was accused by parents of concealing the abuse, appeared in a separate court where her matter was postponed to 30 August to allow for further investigations.
Ngaa Murombedzi, Advocacy Manager of Women and Men against Child Abuse (WMACA), an organisation in support of the afflicted families said she was delighted that the accused's case been referred to the Regional court.
“As an organisation, we are very happy to see that progress is happening. This has given the organisation and the parents hope that there is finally traction that they are putting in effort to ensure that everyone must be held accountable,” said Murombedzi.
Meanwhile, Senwametsi has laid a complaint with the police about the assault she suffered in June. A woman has since been charged.
The woman accused of attacking Senwametsi is due to appear in court 23 August.
Speaking about her imminent court appearance the woman said: “She called the police and came with them to my house. I spent a couple of hours at the police station and the matter is now on a trial level. She really has some nerve especially after what she did to our kids.”
African News Agency (ANA)