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I'd never hurt children, says man accused of Jeremiah Ruiters' murder

Ameerudien Peters is 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 torturing his girlfriend's 18-month-old son in Factreton has told the High Court that he loved children and would never do anything to hurt them.

Ameerudien Peters is 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.

Peters was being cross-examined about a series of injuries to the toddler.

Ameerudien Peters said that his house was always full of children as the neighbours' kids would regularly play with the deceased child's older sisters.

The accused said that he even took care of his sister's two sons until the age of 11, which proved how much he loved children, adding he'd never try to harm a defenseless child.

State prosecutor Maria Marshall asked Peters about several injuries to Jeremiah Ruiters sustained before and around the time of his death.

She referred to medical evidence by a State witness earlier this year.

The toddler suffered broken bones in his legs and hands, 14 fractures along his rib cage and fractures on the sides and top of his head.

The boy's spine was also severed and he had suffered anal injuries.

Peters said that he did not know how the child sustained the injuries, appearing to become more frustrated with each question.