Margarette Jappie says she lived next to Ruiters in her mother’s yard in Salamander Square in Kensington before recently moving to Atlantis.
Ruiters, 30, and her boyfriend, Ameerudien Peters, 26, are currently on trial for the rape and murder of her one-year-old son, Jeremiah Ruiters, in June 2017.
It is alleged Peters raped, beat and then stabbed the tot.
Ruiters is charged with murder and child neglect.
The couple is facing two more charges of child abuse with regards to Ruiters’ two surviving children.
Jappie told the court Peters looked after the children when Ruiters was at work.
State prosecutor, Maria Marshall, questioned Jappie on the condition of the children.
“The condition of the children was bad. Their hair was always uncombed and they were hardly washed and their clothes were also dirty.
“Kiana (the eldest) was absent from school most times. When I was on short-time I use to question her why she was not at school,” Jappie said as Ruiters gave her panga kyke.
Marshall asked whether Jappie ever confronted Ruiters about the condition of the children. “Abigail and I didn’t see eye to eye. I never confronted her about it.
“She gets very stroppy when you tell her something. I always just said, ‘kyk hoe lyk die kinders’,” Jappie said.