Mom accused of murdering toddler son claims innocence in letter to her father

2017-07-12 14:24
Magistrate's Court. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Magistrate's Court. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - Tearful Cape Town mom Abigail Ruiters, accused of the murder of her toddler son, on Wednesday claimed innocence in a letter to her pastor father.

The pregnant mom of two other children handed the letter to her newly appointed Legal Aid lawyer to pass on to Pastor Ronald Ruiters, who was moved to tears by its contents.

"In it, she once again mentioned that she was a working mother and she always maintained high standards for her children. She believes… in family values," he said after Ruiters and her boyfriend Ameeruddien Peters, 26, appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court.

Prosecutor Leon Snyman told the court the couple could face an additional charge, which he did not wish to immediately reveal.

The two are accused of murdering 18-month-old Jeremiah, Ruiters' youngest son.

The toddler was declared dead at a Kensington health facility in June, after sustaining serious injuries to his head and body.

He had been in Peters' care at the time, while Ruiters worked as a cashier at a wholesaler.

Ruiters – who was in tears as she stood in the dock during their brief appearance before Magistrate Joe Magele - further faces a charge under the Children's Act, and Peters is facing one of rape.

'Now I feel empty'

Both have been appointed new Legal Aid representatives after former lawyer Thanaa Abrahams, who previously represented both of them, told the court that being on record for them constituted a conflict of interest.

Pastor Ruiters said his daughter was disappointed that she couldn’t be released on bail yet, explaining that she didn't understand legal processes.

Factreton neighbours who attended proceedings described Ruiters as a dedicated mother who was protective of her children and did everything for them.

Peters, who was unemployed, looked after Jeremiah and Ruiters' other two children. Ruiters was the breadwinner.

Ruiters' mother Gail said she felt sad seeing her daughter heartbroken and tearful in the dock.

She missed her grandson, she said after her daughter's appearance.

"Before I went to work I always went around to their house where I saw him and played with him. Now I feel empty," Gail said.

"We trusted [Peters]. He loved that child so much."

The matter was postponed to August 16 for a formal bail application.  

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.