Teeth extracted with pliers: Court hears evidence of murdered Orderick Lucas' medical history

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Cornelia Scheepers with the new takkies she bought grandson that he will never get to wear. With her is Orderick’s mother Davedine Lucas.
Cornelia Scheepers with the new takkies she bought grandson that he will never get to wear. With her is Orderick’s mother Davedine Lucas.
Tammy Petersen, News24
  • Orderick Lucas' four lower teeth had allegedly been extracted with pliers.
  • According to his medical records, he had an array of ailments in the months leading up to his death.
  • The little boy's birth had also not been registered.

Malnutrition, ulcers on his genitals and mouth, a broken arm and septic sores – these were among the ailments for which young Orderick Lucas was treated in the less than two years he was alive.

The little boy's medical history was entered into the record on day 2 of the murder trial of Melvyn Volkwyn, a friend of Orderick's mother, Davidene, in the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday.

Proceedings came to a halt as the mom of five broke down in the witness box when she testified of her toddler's teeth allegedly being extracted with a pair of pliers while he was in the care of the accused.

READ | Alleged killer pleads not guilty to Orderick Lucas

Davidene said Orderick had had a loose tooth and had not wanted to eat. She had asked Volkwyn to take him to the clinic, offering to pay him R50 for his efforts when she returned from work.

She had paid and thanked him that night, she testified.

"I [later[ discovered that four of his lower teeth were gone and his gums looked torn," she told the court.

When she had collected her son, someone on the property told her how her child had shouted that day, but she didn't hear the rest of what he had to say as Volkwyn called her away.

Taken

She stayed out of work the next day and had gone to the clinic to check if Volkwyn had indeed taken him. Clinic staff told her there was no record of Orderick being seen the day before.

She said she later heard that her son had screamed so bitterly as his teeth had been extracted with pliers. She could not continue her testimony as she wept.

Earlier, defence advocate Susan Kuun referred to the medical records of both Orderick and Davidene, who had tested positive for tik, dagga and cocaine in the early stages of her pregnancy.

She said that, contrary to Davidene's testimony that the little boy was well cared for, his hospital records painted a different picture.

Eventually, Orderick's broken arm was one of the factors which led to him being removed from his mother's custody.

According to her testimony, she had taken the boy to the local hospital after the child had been with Volkwyn.

Orderick Lucas
Orderick Lucas.

She testified on day 1 of the trial that Volkwyn had sent her to buy tik and Mandrax. She left her son with him while she went to the drug dealer. Upon her return, she apparently noticed that "something wasn't right" with his arm.

But, according to the medical report, she had taken Orderick to Eerste River Hospital for a fever, diarrhea and dehydration; and the doctor noticed that his little arm was broken.

Kuun said her client's version was that she had had "an accident" with Orderick, telling him that she had smoked Mandrax and had picked him up by jerking his arm.

"That is not correct," Davidene responded in Afrikaans. "That would have dislocated his arm or broken it at the joint. But that didn't happen." She testified that she told the doctor that he could have fallen, which resulted in the break.

Written

The doctor, in his notes, had written that he had a strong suspicion the injury was "non-accidental".

Davidene said she agreed. She testified that she was told it was suspected someone had broken his arm.

Volkwyn pleaded not guilty to Orderick's murder, two years after the one-year-old was found dead in a stormwater drain.

Orderick Lucas
Orderick Lucas with his father, Kounkou Dziendelet.

Davidene, who admits to being a drug user, did not have custody of any of her four children at the time of Orderick's murder.

He and his twin brothers had been placed in the care of her mother, Cornelia Scheepers, by social services. Her oldest daughter lived with her paternal family.

Orderick went missing on 24 March 2019. His body was found on 2 April when a group of children had tried to retrieve their ball from a stormwater drain.

Davidene said she had left her son with a friend. Volkwyn had gone to fetch the little boy and claimed to have returned him to his mother.

She denies getting Orderick back from Volkwyn, or giving him permission to retrieve him from the friend she had left him with.

He had, according to her, told her that he had taken him back to Scheepers on the Monday.

He was only reported missing the Thursday when Davidene arrived at her mother's house and found that he was not there.

Orderick's birth had also not been registered, reported a social worker who investigated the possible abuse and neglect of the child after his death.

The trial continues on Wednesday.

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