A lawyer representing a mother and her boyfriend accused of raping and murdering her one-year-old son has dropped one of her clients due to a “conflict of interest”.
Ameerudien Peters, 26, and mom Abigail Ruiters, 30, face a charge of murder following the death of her son, Jeremiah Ruiters, in Salmander Square, Kensington, on 12 June.
It is alleged Peters had beaten, raped and stabbed the boy to death.
He then took the child to the local clinic where he was declared dead on arrival.
In addition, Ruiters was slapped with one count of child neglect under the Children’s Act.
She had left her son with Peters, a known drug addict, while she went to work.
The couple had been together for a year, and Ruiters is currently six months pregnant.
Yesterday defence lawyer, Advocate Tanna Abrahams, recused herself from one of the accused in the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court.
It is not clear which of her clients she was dropping.
“I applied for judicare as there is a conflict of interest between the two accused. I cannot represent both of them,” said Abrahams.
“My other colleague [who is not present] will take over as defence for one of the accused. The defence therefore asks for a postponement.”
State Prosecutor Adiel Jansen confirmed the postponement.
Stepping into the dock, Peters seemed calm, while Ruiters once again looked like she was in a trance.
Outside court, Pastor Ronald Ruiters said he’d been to see his daughter in Pollsmoor prison last week, where she claimed Peters had moered her.
“He beat her, she reported it at Kensington police station a month ago, a van came but they never followed up,” says Ruiters.
“I asked her to be honest and open with me irrespective of how bad it is. She said: ‘Daddy, why would I ever neglect, abuse or murder my son?’ I am not happy with the department of justice in the manner they are conducting things, I should be out there.”
Ruiters says Abigail compared her situation to that of Juanita Pieters, the mother of three-year-old Courtney Pieters, who was killed in Elsies River in May.
Juanita had left Courtney with her boarder, Mortimer Saunders, 40, who was later charged with her rape and murder.
“She read the Courtney stories and cannot believe that that mother wasn’t charged.
“I took some photos of Jeremiah’s funeral to her. She was weeping.
“I asked her to forgive Ameerudien for what he has done. She told me she trusted him with her boy,” Ruiters says before bursting into tears.
The matter was postponed to 12 July.