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Murder accused blames some of Jeremiah Ruiters' injuries on his sisters

Ameerudien Peters accused of raping and murdering 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.

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 - A man accused of the rape and murder of his girlfriend's 18-month-old son in Factreton has testified about several marks on the toddler's body.

Ameerudien Peters is currently under cross-examination in the Western Cape High Court.

He's accused of raping and murdering 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.

Ameerudien Peters pinched the bridge of his nose and shut his eyes tightly as he lowered his head, mumbling to himself, seemingly disturbed by photos of the deceased toddler.

The pictures of Jeremiah Ruiters's injuries were taken by a Kensington police officer after the boy was declared dead at the local clinic.

Peters told the court the cuts around the child's mouth could have been caused when he fell while holding the boy and rushing to the Kensington Clinic on foot on the day he died.

Pointing to a mark under the child's eye and three on the left of his head, Peters claimed the toddler sustained those injuries while playing outside with his two older sisters.

Asked about some of the marks on the child's arm, the accused told the court he caught the child's three-year-old sister biting him on more than one occasion.

The courts have also heard the boy suffered spinal, skull, arm and rib injuries as well as bite marks all over his body.

Some were old injuries that were healing, while others were fresh.