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Jeremiah Ruiters murder: Accused says child witness influenced before testimony

Ameerudien Peters is accused of raping and killing his girlfriend’s 18-month-old son, Jeremiah Ruiters, in June 2017 .

FILE: Hundreds of mourners gathered to pay their last respects to slain 18-month-old Jeremiah Ruiters in Kensington on 24 June 2017. Picture: Lauren Isaacs/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The man accused of raping and murdering his girlfriend’s baby boy in Factreton believes her eldest daughter may have been influenced before testifying in court.

Ameerudien Peters is accused of raping and killing his girlfriend’s 18-month-old son, Jeremiah Ruiters, in June 2017 while the child’s mother Abigail Ruiters faces charges under the Children’s Act and is also accused of murder and child neglect.

Peters is being cross-examined in the Western Cape High Court.

Jeremiah Ruiters’ eldest sister was eight years old when the toddler died.

The young girl took to the witness stand earlier this year and testified in camera about how Peters would keep her home from school to clean the house and look after her baby brother while her mother was at work.

Peters disputes this, claiming to be a model parent by ensuring his girlfriend’s three children were regularly fed, had clean clothes and had packed lunches, prepared by the eldest, or money to buy food.

He’s told the court the eight-year-old girl could have been told what to say when she testified about his treatment of her, her sister, who was three at the time, and their deceased brother.

During cross-examination, Peters seemed confused and took long pauses before answering some questions.

Judge Monde Samela also asked the accused to stick to simply answering the questions put to him instead of giving the court long-winded explanations.

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