A man accused of beating and burning his girlfriend’s one-year-old daughter to death is fighting to stay out of jail.
Yesterday Peter van Tonder’s lawyer, Robyn Diedericks, told the Bellville Magistrates’ Court her client is going to launch a formal bail application.
The 35-year-old Delft resident was also moved from Bellville Police holding cells to Goodwood Prison on Thursday after he was beaten and choked by fellow inmates.
At his previous court appearance, Van Tonder asked for medical attention.
He is accused of beating and burning little Asheeqah Scott at his home in Kalossie Street, Roosendal, Delft, on September 3 while babysitting her.
Van Tonder had been dating Asheeqah’s mother, Shakiera Scott, 24, for five months.
The baby was declared brain dead a day later at Red Cross Children’s Hospital.
Autopsy results revealed the child had broken ribs, and old and new injuries.
On Thursday, Van Tonder, whose battered face is healing slowly, listened intently as Magistrate Ronald Rickets said the State would oppose his bail application given the strength of the case against him.
“The case will be postponed to October 20 for your formal bail application,” Rickets said.
“There has been a request from the Department of Public Prosecutions that this case be heard at the Cape High Court.
“Your J7 (request for medical assistance ) will be sent to Goodwood Prison.
“The State has indicated they will be opposing bail.”
Van Tonder’s mother who was present at court avoided the media and hid her face as she left the building.
Outside court, Asheeqah’s grandmother, Farieda Scott, 62, said her daughter, Shafieka, could not stomach being at court because she was “emotionally rattled”.
She said Van Tonder mustn’t think he’d be any safer outside jail.
“It doesn’t matter what he tries. We cannot prevent what people will want to do to him,” she said.
“I don’t want him on the outside. Look what he did to that small baby, she could not fight back.”
Earlier this week Van Tonder’s dad said Shafieka was responsible for her child’s death, saying she was a heavy drinker and abusive.