Bail application for murder accused fails to go ahead due to missing prosecutor

2017-08-16 22:43
Raimondo Timm, a relative of Jeremiah Ruiters' biological father. (File, Tammy Petersen, News24)

Raimondo Timm, a relative of Jeremiah Ruiters' biological father. (File, Tammy Petersen, News24)

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Cape Town - A seven-months pregnant Cape Town woman who, along with her boyfriend, is accused of murdering her toddler son, were forced to remain in custody after their formal bail application failed to go ahead on Wednesday.

Abigail Ruiters and her boyfriend, Ameeruddien Peters, were arrested for the murder of her son Jeremiah Ruiters after the toddler was declared dead at a health facility in Kensington in June. He had sustained serious injuries to his head and body.

ALSO READ: 'What did you do to my child?' - murder accused mom breaks down in dock on hearing her child was raped

They had spent most of the day in holding cells below the Cape Town Magistrate's court on Wednesday, waiting for their case to be called.

Ruiters also faces a charge under the Child Care Act and Peters, a charge of rape.

Their case was delayed until the afternoon as the prosecutor assigned to the case, Adiel Jansen, was double-booked with another case in the Regional Court.

Peters' lawyer Alan Koester and Ruiters' lawyer, who only wanted to be identified, as Advocate I Edwards, were annoyed over the long delay.

The prosecutor handling other matters in the court, Melaney Wells could not handle the case in Jansen's stead because she did not have the docket or the charge sheet.

The matter was adjourned to after lunch and resumed at 14:00, with still no sign of Jansen, leaving Wells to hold the fort.

In the meantime, Edwards applied for access to a copy of Ruiters' warning statement, but was given short shrift and told she would have to wait for trial.

A warning statement explains an accused's rights.

When Jansen finally arrived for the expected bail application, Koester and Edwards complained that they had to prepare for their clients' defence without knowing what the exact charges were.

Jansen rejected the submission that they had not known what charges the two faced, and said there had even been a ruckus in the court during a previous appearance when it emerged that Peters would also face a rape charge.

Edwards immediately asked for a postponement so that she could file an appeal at the high court to get the warning statement that was earlier denied to her.

The matter was duly postponed to August 25 to allow the parties to provide feedback on what was happening with the appeal over access to the statement.

Outside the court Ruiters' father Pastor Ronald Ruiters was furious that his daughter had still not had a chance to apply for bail.

''The State has messed this up,'' he said angrily.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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